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      Valley schools celebrate Cinco de Mayo

      Jonathan Garza

      A number of Rio Grande Valley schools prepared special Cinco de Mayor programs for their students.

      Action 4 News was at Harlingen's Lamar Elementary School where "gritos" kicked off the Mexican holiday for students.

      The school held a special program to celebrate the event.

      Many students dressed up in costumes while others showed off their dancing skills doing dances such as the Mariachi Loco and La Raspa.

      A folklorico group from the nearby Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church even made a special guest appearance.

      Organizer/First Grade Teacher Valerie Brown said students also learned about the history of Cinco de Mayo.

      That TMs when Mexico liberated itself from a brief occupation by France in 1862.

      The holiday is not widely celebrated in Mexico but Brown said it TMs good to learn about it because of the Rio Grande Valley TMs proximity to the border.

      "It TMs a good thing for the kids to learn|of how we should share cultures and how we're so intertwined|that it's a good thing to celebrate, she said.

      Fifth Grader Jonathan Garza participated in the grito contest and danced the Mariachi Loco.

      "It was very fun, he said. This is my last year and I enjoyed it."

      Kindergarten student Danyel Reney says it was also educational.

      "I learned about the...let's see..the tacos|the spicy beans...the rice...and all the different things that in Cinco de Mayo, Reney said.

      Brown says students enjoyed themselves and that's something the school wants to continue each year. "This is our biggest year so far, but we're going to start the tradition and hopefully it will continue, she said.