School Activities Support Latinos
By Alba Melendez
Latino students have a special place every Thursday from
2:15 to 3:30 in a very special classroom. The room is 163. That is the room where
the Hispanic Club
In the Hispanic Club students get the chance to enjoy fun activities
related to their culture and to learn a very important lesson of how to get a
fulfilling future with great opportunities. The Hispanic Club is a program that
helps Latino students keep and practice their heritage.
In the Hispanic Club the students can learn to dance
traditional dances. But the Hispanic Club also teaches students that the Hispanic
culture is not only food and dances. In the club the students get to see how
the Hispanic culture
is more than what meets the eye, “We are people able to do the same things
the other cultures do,” said Ms. Castro, the head of the Club and a Spanish
teacher at Blair.
The Hispanic Club also helps students to see a way of
going to college from a different point of view. It helps students to see college
as a way of success. “We
try to motivate students to go to college,” said Ms. Castro.
When the Hispanic Club was created its main mission was
for the Latino students to have a place where they could have fun and feel comfortable.
With time another mission was added. Students were motivated to attend a college
or university so they could have a better life than the one their parents had.
With this new goal of the Hispanic Club more students got the chance to be more
started making the decision to go to college and have a degree.
A difficulty that the Club faces is the little interest
from Hispanic students who think that life is nothing more than working in a
fast food restaurant for
little money. “A college education is needed for Hispanic students because
it gives them power and it levels them up in society,” said Ms. Castro.
Students also join the Hispanic Club because they get
information about different scholarships, grants and other programs that give
money for college.
Just by being involved in the club students learn more
about their culture and
also get a great deal - “They get community service hours from attending
the meetings,” added Ms. Castro.
Platicas Latinas is a branch of the Hispanic Club. In
this program students get the chance to listen to other people who are Hispanic,
too, and who have achieved
things in life. “The Platicas Latinas helped many of my students in the
past. Some of the students that got out of Blair couple of years come back and
do a Platica of how they achieved their goals,” said Ms. Castro.
Spanish for Spanish Speakers Classes
The Spanish for Spanish Speakers classes that are taught
at Blair and are classes that mainly focus on the Latino students. These classes
are specialized for the
students that already speak Spanish.
In the classes the students get to learn more of their
cultures than what they already know. Also in the classes the Latino students
get to have the chance to take the advanced placement (AP) Spanish test and the
AP literature test. “Last year all of the students who took the test had
a five, but one who had a four,” said Ms. Castro referring to the Spanish
Literature test done in May of 2003. Five is the highest score a student can
get. Students with a three or higher can receive college credit for a high school
The Hispanic Club, Platicas Latinas and the Spanish for
Spanish Speakers classes are always connected in one way or another. Both Platicas
Latinas and the Hispanic Club have the same mission for the Latino students which
is to “help students
get a college degree,” Ms. Castro repeated. Students get motivated by looking
at what they can accomplish later in life.
If you are not in the Hispanic Club and simply do not
join it because you think it is not a good experience, Ms. Castro wants you to
join it or to at least go
to one meeting and check it out. “If you feel interested you are always
welcomed,” said Ms. Castro.
(After this article was written, Ms. Castro’s room, which is the Hispanic
Club meeting room, was changed to PT2. )
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2004
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