McNeel Intermediate School to host family Pachanga event tonight

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News (From left): McNeel eighth grader Jaslyn Gama stands with ESL teacher Rosario Escalera in preparation for the Pachanga event to celebrate Latino culture this evening. Gama will be singing "Cucurrucucú paloma" at the event.

BELOIT - Everyone's invited to the McNeel Intermediate School Pachanga set for 5:30 - 8 p.m. today.

The event will feature entertainment, food and information for parents, according to ESL teacher Rosario Escalera.

Eighth grader Jaslyn Gama will be singing "Cucurrucucú paloma" at the event. She has impressed her fans after the McNeel talent show and her parents recent wedding. She likes singing, especially when it's recorded and shown to her grandmother in Mexico.

McNeel has held the event for the last four years as part of Hispanic heritage month activities. Many parents make donations of home-cooked traditional food representing Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico and other Latino countries.

"We ask Hispanic parents to bring a traditional dish so other parents can experience all of the countries' foods," Escalera said.

Last year the event attracted more than 200 people.

The event is gaining lots of support from families as well as the community. Beloit College's Help Yourself Program, will be donating the drinks, napkins, plates and cups and the McNeel after-school program is providing a pinata and candy.

La Michoacana Tropical Oasis in South Beloit has donated food, La Mexicana grocery store also has donated food for the event.

McNeel is also home to the Hearts Latino Club. The club helps students with homework and works to support them emotionally and behaviorally.

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