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Hispanic culture through kids' eyes

In a special Nick News With Linda Ellerbee, kids from Hispanic backgrounds tell what's different about growing up in the country's largest minority.

Many kids have been introduced to Hispanic heritage either through a friend or Spanish class at school. But the extent of their experience usually goes no further than learning the language and ventures very little into the culture.

Nickelodeon has decided to do something about that, especially since Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee has invited actor/comedian John Leguizamo and many Hispanic kids to discuss everything from Hispanic stereotypes to their own thoughts on living in America in Mi America! A Celebration of Hispanic Culture.

When I sat down to watch a preview of the special, I expected to see what I had seen in many other Spanish culture videos: Hispanic kids telling us about their culture and language. However, there was something more to this video.

Ellerbee not only shows the lifestyles and culture of many Hispanic-American kids, but she actually asks them about their lives as Hispanic-Americans.

I found it compelling to see all the kids talking about something they are so proud of: their Hispanic culture. It makes them different. One girl points out that while other girls have to go to salons to get tans, she doesn't have to do that.

But while they have much to be proud of, they also talk about the hardships of living in America with a Hispanic background.

"Why do we need Hispanic Heritage Month?" Ellerbee asks. The answers to this question summarize the entire video. Hispanic Heritage Month gives Hispanic-Americans a chance to show others the good things about their culture, not just the stereotypical images highlighted in the entertainment industry or on the news.

Mi America! sheds a positive light on Hispanic-Americans and is well worth your time.

Alice Feigel, 15, is in 10th grade at Countryside High in Clearwater.