Dia de los Muertos comes alive at Fresno school

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bright colorful displays and pictures of loved ones are filling classrooms at Ewing Elementary School in East Central Fresno as part of Dia de los Muertos.

"Day of the Dead is when we remember the people that have passed away, and this is not a day to be scared, but to celebrate and to be joyous," said Brenda Leal, a teacher at Ewing Elementary.

Leal is one of the dual immersion educators, teaching classes in Spanish and English at the school. As a way to show Hispanic culture, every dual classroom created their own Day of the Dead displays.

Monday, students from transitional kindergarten to sixth grade visited one classroom after the other. In Mrs. Leal's class, her vibrant altar had many personal touches. Student Gwendolyne Aguilar brought pictures of great grandmother.

"It's just for us to remember them a little bit more. We bring things that were very close to them," said Aguilar.

Sugar skulls decorated by students adorned the makeshift altar. Students also brought food and flowers as part of the tradition.

"I thought it was going to be great because my family always celebrates it. It's good because you get to learn about other people's things like their family," said student Vanessa Rodriguez.

This is the first year Ewing Elementary School has participated in the Dia de los Muertos classroom field trip. Students and staff say they're already looking forward to participating next year.

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