NewsDepth A+: Cuyahoga Heights High School Spanish Club

The Cuyahoga Heights High School Spanish Club is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and breaking down language barriers classroom by classroom. For their work raising cultural awareness, they earn this week’s NewsDepth A+.

Like a real-life version of a language app, the club members labeled common items in classrooms with their Spanish equivalent words. Students noticed and learned.

“Yeah, like I feel like freshmen came up to me and they know desk, like they know it’s el pupitre now,” said club member, Jaden, a junior.

Kayla, also an 11th grader added, “I know a few middle schoolers actually enjoy it because they find learning a second language scary so when you have the words everybody knows then it makes it a little easier for them.”

Hyatt, a junior in the Spanish Club says he tries to stretch his language knowledge as much as he can, “I try to incorporate some type of Spanish into every day. It’s important. “

The Spanish Club has grown from seven members to 40 in just one year.

“I think to grow exponentially over a year has to do with these kids and the way the younger generation looks up to them,” said Spanish teacher Christine Bennett.

During Hispanic Heritage month, club members are also selling bracelets, or pulsera in Spanish, to help raise money to fund educational programs in Nicaragua and Guatemala which do not provide free public education. The Pulsera Project also helps provide trade skills for the workers in Central America who make the bracelets.

The students say the cultural awareness developed in Spanish Club helps them develop a deeper understanding of the news.

“I already knew that people in Central America were not as fortunate in their school system as us, but Spanish Club has helped me learn what I can do to help these people who are less fortunate,” said Amy, a sophomore in the club.

Anna, also a sophomore says, “When we learn about their heritage, and they come to the United States we can also have a better understanding to like welcome them and accept them into our community.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the impact and influence of Hispanic Americans on our history and culture. President Ronald Reagan signed a law creating the designation in 1988. The celebration runs from September 15th to October 15th. The dates coincide with independence days in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.

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