FCPS Heritage Months, Celebrations and Traditions

Heritage months, celebrations and traditions help support an understanding of our own cultures and identities, as well as others.

In the United States, Heritage Months are periods within the year that are designated to celebrate and acknowledge various ethnic and marginalized groups. These are times not only to celebrate but also to educate others on various groups’ histories and contributions to American History. Heritage months and observances help us to understand our own cultures and identities, as well as others.

Meaningful learning experiences that increase representation of all identity groups are integrated in all subject areas, and FCPS will provide guidance and resources to teachers for the following heritage months and observances acknowledged by the Fairfax County School Board.

September

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

October

Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Native peoples, past and present. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October in the United States, instead of Columbus Day.

LGBTQIA+ History Month

LGBTQIA+ History Month is recognized in October nationwide to acknowledge and celebrate that LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families are an integral component of our nation.

Disability History and Awareness Month

During October, Disability History and Awareness activities provide an opportunity to create greater public awareness for individuals with disabilities, with the goal of full inclusion in their communities.

Adapted from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities information (PDF)

A Fairfax County Board resolution is forthcoming.

November

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. It is also a time to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Adapted from the National Congress of American Indians

February

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. 

Adapted from A&E Television Networks, LLC

March

National Women’s History Month

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history.

Adapted from the National Women’s History Museum

April

National Arab American History Month

National Arab American Heritage Month is a time for celebrating the history, contributions, culture, and an enhanced understanding of the diverse population of Arab Americans.

Adapted from INSIGHT Into Diversity

May

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

People with ancestral roots in Asia and the islands of the Pacific have been integral to the story of America. To celebrate their heritage and contributions, in 1992, May was designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Adapted from the National Geographic Society

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is a national month of recognition of the history of Jewish contributions to American culture, acknowledging the diverse achievement of the Jewish community in the U.S.

Adapted from the Anti-Defamation League.

View the Fairfax County School Board resolution honoring Jewish American Heritage Month

June

LGBTQIA+ PRIDE Month

In the month of June we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

Adapted from The White House

Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 that word of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, effectively marking the end of slavery in the United States.