The CULTURA Club at Baldwin Senior High School was created at the end of the 2009-10 school year by a then junior student, Vanessa Bonilla. She identified the need for our school to create a club in which our growing Hispanic population could become more integrated in the school and community life. She wrote up the proposal, involved the original group of CULTURA club members, obtained support from the school administration and became President of the CULTURA Club (Caring Unique Latinos Together United Raising Awareness).
Some of the activities the CULTURA Club has organized this year include:
© Volunteering time at the Ronald McDonald House to comfort Daniella, a little girl from the Dominican Republic who came through the program to get open-heart surgery. CULTURA club members and their parents went to the Ronald McDonald’s house and spent a full day doing crafts with Daniella, playing with her and making her feel comfortable(Daniella and her mother don’t speak English), celebrated her birthday with her and took Daniella and her mother out to the beach.
© Collaborating in the school with the Foreign Language Department to teach a lesson on Hispanic cuisine to students of Spanish in Mrs. Wecksler’s Spanish III class. Our club members brought different Hispanic dishes they cooked at home and taught the Spanish students how to make them. Then, they had a tasting for the whole class.
© Raising funds all year round with the campaign “Have a heart, give a heart” in which students, teachers and businesses around the area gave $1 donations in exchange of a heart-shaped card with the donor’s name printed on it. A wall was decorated posting all the hearts to thank our donors.
© During Valentine’s Day, the club used the heart shaped cards to send love or friendship messages around the school. Teachers and administrators contributed as well, sending thank you notes to each other, and students also donated money to send appreciation notes to their favorite teachers and staff in the school. The Vantentine’s Day campaign was a great success!
© Collaborating with the STAR (Students That Are Raising) Club to teach their members (students with disabilities) different Latin dances. CULTURA members and STAR members got together after school in one of the school cafeterias for a Latin dance fiesta. Vanessa Bonilla introduced each song with background information about where each dance originated, the meaning of each dance, demonstrated the basic steps and… off we went! Each CULTURA member paired up with a STAR member and danced to the rhythm of 4 different songs including bachata, salsa, merengue and cumbia. Then, everyone had Hispanic food and we took group and pair pictures. The activity was so successful that we are going to make it a yearly event!
In a restless effort to reach our $2,500 goal to donate to our charity and help people in need we have organized two more events before the end of this school year:
© On Tuesday, June 7th , we are going to cook a charity dinner for 65-70 residents and their families at the Ronald McDonald’s House of Long Island. The dinner will be cooked in site by the CULTURA club members who will spend there the whole afternoon and early evening.
© On Saturday, June 11th , we are having a CAR WASH at Baldwin Senior High School to finish raising funds for The Gift Of Life. The car wash will take place from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and all the money will be donated to finance a child’s surgery. For this event we are getting help from some school athletes, members of the track and basketball teams.
Ana Bessy Valdez
Ana Belinda Valdez