Spanish Students Work with Local Charities

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Spanish Students Work with Local Charities

Spanish 4 students chose a charity that was important to them in order to give back to their communities (Shutterstock)

Spanish 4 students chose a charity that was important to them in order to give back to their communities (Shutterstock)

Spanish 4 students chose a charity that was important to them in order to give back to their communities (Shutterstock)

Spanish 4 students chose a charity that was important to them in order to give back to their communities (Shutterstock)

Stephanie Robinson, Contributing Writer

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For the past several weeks at HHS, the Spanish 4 classes have been researching, contacting and discovering how to support local charities. Señorita Kelley and Señora Turner (née Pretti) designed and led the entire project.

The project was a part of the classes’ larger unit of “Famila Tradiciones y Comidad,” which means “Families, Traditions and Community.” The goal, according to Señorita Kelley, was for students to understand how a charity “fit in and was a part of their local and global community.” Therefore, students were instructed to choose a charity local to the South Shore, Boston, or Massachusetts.

However, the students’ chosen charities were not just any random organizations from the area. Students found charities that were important to them, whether due to past experiences or personal connections, similar interests, or just strong desires to learn more about a given cause. Then, students researched their charities; they reached out directly to the organization, whether through email or by phone. With this contact, each student learned how the chosen organization helps the community, and how the community could help the charity. Students found specific ways to help, rather than just “giving time or money.” They compiled all this information onto posters, which currently hang in the foreign language hallway at school.

The Spanish teachers spearheading the project hope that students and faculty walking by notice the charities and the information featured on the posters and feel encouraged to reach out and help. The project was planned to coincide with Giving Tuesday, a holiday on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that advocates giving to others. In class, students learned about which countries participate in Giving Tuesday and analyzed why, and also looked at celebrities that endorsed charity.

Even those who do not take Spanish appreciate the project. Senior Avery Lawless expressed, “I think [the projects] are really great!”

Señorita Kelley explained that “our class is very much hands-on based, and relevant to real world situations.” This sort of immersive learning helps students stay better engaged and more interested in curriculum. Señora Turner elaborated that “we’re not just feeding them an assignment to do work, it’s for a purpose.” The approach worked well according to senior Spanish student Lily Denneen, who said, “I love how we get to expand our understanding of culture past the classroom.”

These charity projects helped everyone involved grow. The teachers explained that after completing the projects, they gave a list of the organizations to guidance, so any student seeking volunteering experience can consult all of the organizations. Many students use their own or a classmate’s charity to fulfill volunteer requirements. Some students have even planned going to one of the charities during the holiday season to spend time with others who might not have anyone else.

Beyond that, exploring an important cause leads to self growth and discovery. This unit comes right after the classes’ identity unity. Señora Turner explained that, with this project, “No longer are [the students] just a student, they’re a person you get to know and talk with.”

These projects teach HHS students something that they will never find in any textbook. They encourage generosity and kindness. The school should thank Señorita Kelley and Señora Turner for this idea and their dedication to their students.

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