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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

FHC’s Spanish Club has created a small community through shared interest in Hispanic culture

The Hispanic foods that members made at a previous Spanish Club meeting

Within FHC, a new club has joined the extensive variety of groups that already regularly meet: The Spanish Club, which gathers every other Tuesday within the school and during the off-weeks outside of school, has joined the collection. 

The club, founded by five current AP Spanish students seniors Millie Alt, Hayden Bolter, Claire Marvin, Lucy Yoder, and junior Cayden McNamara, aims to familiarize students with Hispanic culture. 

“A couple of my friends and I [in AP Spanish] wanted to start a Spanish club,” Cayden said. “[We wanted to] so that we could start immersing ourselves into a community and start building an outside-of-school Spanish community.” 

The club has organized various activities including restaurant excursions and baking competitions. Through the club, students are able to create and taste a variety of traditional Hispanic foods such as churros, fried cheese, and tostones. 

The club also watches Hispanic movies. Initially, they started with Disney movies—such as The Emperor’s New Groove—and viewed them translated into Spanish. However, in the future, they would like to expand more into Hispanic-produced films in order to further authenticate the experience. 

Throughout all of the planned events that the Spanish Club puts together, their objective of immersing the attendees in Hispanic culture is achieved while also allowing students to have fun simultaneously. 

Though the club is primarily focusing on culture for the moment, they are open to the possibility of learning new material at club meetings as well. 

“[Learning new words] is another thing that we wanted to do,” Hayden said. “We haven’t gotten to it yet just because we are all super busy [at the moment]. Learning vocabulary and slang would also be fun and is something that we’re looking into possibly for next semester.”

Although the possibility of studying new vocabulary in the language is an idea in the works for the club, the upperclassmen members want to make sure that the club is inclusive to all students, regardless of their level of fluency in Spanish.

“It’s more focused on immersion and culture rather than the language itself because we do encourage people who aren’t in Spanish [class], or are in lower levels of Spanish, to come and join,” Cayden said. “We just want to be inclusive toward everybody.”

The majority of members, however, are enrolled in the upper levels of Spanish. This could hinder the proposed idea of incorporating “charlas”—Spanish chats—into the clubs’ plans because less-fluent members may have difficulty participating.

[The Spanish Club is] a way to get excited about, not just the language, but all the things that come with learning a language: the food, the music, and different cultural things that make the language richer

— Carlos Silvestre

Nonetheless, there are various incentives for including Spanish speaking at club meetings because practicing the language outside of class and with others helps to improve language eloquence. 

“[Practicing a language] is good for muscle memory and repetition,” Hayden said. “Being able to conjugate quicker is always helpful and thinking of words on the fly is sometimes difficult as well, and a lot of the struggle with Spanish 4 is being able to speak on the fly. Being able to have that repetition and muscle memory is really helpful.”

One of FHC’s Spanish teachers, Carlos Silvestre, who is the teacher advisor of the club, encourages students regardless of their knowledge of the language to attend the Spanish club. 

“[I would encourage students to join the Spanish club because] it’s a way to learn about the culture,” Silvestre said. “[The Spanish Club is] a way to get excited about not just the language, but all the things that come with learning a language: the food, the music, and different cultural things that make the language richer.”

While learning and becoming acquainted with some of the items that compose Hispanic lifestyles, students are also building a small community at FHC. The Spanish Club is a way for students, whether enrolled in the language class or not, to meet new students, ones whom they may have never interacted with otherwise. 

“It has really become a small little community,” Cayden said. “It’s a great way for a new person, who hasn’t always been in Spanish, to start immersing themselves in Spanish. Or maybe if they don’t have time in their schedule for Spanish [class], they can come to the Spanish club and enjoy Spanish there.”

Though the club has a substantial following for a newly formed group at FHC, the executives are still encouraging a greater portion of the student body to attend meetings. When many of the current members, who are seniors, graduate this spring the current members want to ensure that the club will continue to grow and thrive.

“I encourage students, even if you’re not in [Spanish] class, to come and experience [the Spanish Club],” Silvestre said. “It’s not something that is going to make you feel uncomfortable, it is something that everybody should come and enjoy. Especially if you’re in the language, why not [attend the Spanish Club]? You will learn something and have some fun outside the structure of the classroom.”

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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