GISD folklórico program promotes cultural awareness through dance

Garland ISD is committed to building cultural awareness, fostering inclusiveness and engaging all voices. That is our promise to students, staff and the tri-city community. It is also why our Board of Trustees adopted a Resolution for a Districtwide Equity Assessment in June 2020.

A prime example of GISD's dedication is the success of the folklórico program at Roach Elementary School. Folklórico is an enrichment activity that is focused on learning about different cultures through dance and music. Students in folklórico not only develop their dancing talents. They also promote diversity and educate the community through their performances.

“Our program began with traditional Mexican folklórico dances but has evolved to include dances from around the world,” explained Claudia Saenz, assistant principal and folklórico instructor at Roach Elementary School. “We divide the students into 8-12 groups, and each group learns a different dance. We have represented Mexico and many of its states, as well as Puerto Rico, Colombia, Asia, Africa, Ireland and the U.S.”

 Additionally, Roach's folklórico program is unique in that staff and parents volunteer to teach the dances to over 100 student participants.

“This parental involvement is invaluable to our school," commented Saenz. "Students also benefit from an increased connection to their heritage, and grade levels learn to collaborate together"

Folklórico is just one of the many innovative programs provided by Garland ISD’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. Committed to educating the whole child, we believe that fine arts enable students to develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, self-motivation and cooperation necessary for success in life.

If approved by voters, GISD’s Tax Rate Election (TRE) will provide $42 million in funds while also lowering the district’s property tax rate by nearly 5 cents. These additional funds would help the district sustain enrichment activities like folklórico and provide even more opportunities for students to celebrate their culture and promote diversity.

For more information about the TRE, visit Garland ISD's TRE website.