Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 1st will mark the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.  The following attached resources are designed to:

Expand our collective knowledge of the history and contributions of AAPI individuals and groups

Present the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders through multiple perspectives

Provide books and activities that can be incorporated into instructional programs in grade K through 12

Since the largest AAPI group in Pennsylvania and in North Penn are of Indian descent, a few resources have been included to provide additional information about Indian culture.

A Little History about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

The effort to officially recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the United States began in the late 1970s. In 1977, New York representative Frank Horton and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye introduced separate joint resolutions proclaiming the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.  Neither resolution passed so representative Horton introduced another resolution the following year, which requested the president to proclaim a week during the first 10 days of May starting in 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week

President Carter signed Public Law 95-419 on October 5, 1978. In 1990, Congress expanded the observance from a week to a month. May was designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992 during the George H.W Bush administration. 

The month of May was chosen to commemorate:

The date of the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843.

The completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Before you check out the resources, here are a Few Fun Facts... Did you know?
  1. Chinese immigrants came in the mid-19th century to work on the railroads and gold mines.
  2. The first documented arrival of Asians in America was in 1587 when Filipinos arrived in California. Evidence also suggests that the first Japanese individual to arrive in North America was a young boy in October 1587. It’s believed he accompanied a Franciscan friar.
  3. Asian American/Pacific Islander Americans account for nearly 5% of the American population and the group is projected to be the fastest-growing major population category over the next half-century.
  4. Hawaii is the state with the largest percentage of Asian Americans with 57%.
  5. You may be wondering which city in Pennsylvania had the largest Asian population. Although there is some debate about which city is number one, three North Penn communities make it to the top: Lansdale, North Wales and Hatfield.
Check out the resources below:
    Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Resources