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Spanish Club Provides Learning Experiences Beyond the Classroom

This spring, Catholic Central Languages Teacher Ms. Jennifer Manriquez organized a trip with her students to The Academy of the Americas (AOA), a bilingual public school in Southwest Detroit, to host a field day event for nearly 90 elementary students. The field day was one of several service experiences the young men take part in throughout the year as members of the Spanish Honor Society.

The culminating year-end event consisted of CC students organizing and facilitating field day events such as kick ball, bean bag toss, soccer relays, and additional engaging events for the elementary students.

“The CC students displayed excellent leadership skills with organizing, teaching, and leading the games and activities,” said Manriquez. “The younger kids loved interacting with the high schoolers, and they all became fast friends. It was a collaborative effort, and the CC students showed compassion, enthusiasm, and sincere joy as they interacted with the elementary kids. . . It was a great cultural experience and opportunity for them to put their language skills to use.”

Manriquez’s favorite part about her job is seeing her students develop their bilingual communication skills through her teachings and field trips. As the sponsor of Catholic Central’s Spanish Club and Spanish Honor Society, she is able to share her experiences and the value of being bilingual.

“I love everything about the [Hispanic] culture, travel, music, history, cuisine, etc., as I spent time teaching and living abroad in Mexico, Spain, and Ecuador. I love when my students make connections and show genuine interest in continuing their studies in a second language,” said Manriquez.

Spanish Club

The Spanish Club is one of Catholic Central’s largest extracurricular clubs with 79 members. There are several cultural games and events planned throughout the year for club members such as Spanish trivia game days, authentic food with a visiting taco truck, cultural field trips, and more. 

“The main purpose of the Spanish club is to offer a connection for the younger Spanish students to get involved with the school, to participate in diverse cultural activities, and to interact with students in all grades,” said Manriquez. “It's a great way for Spanish 1 and 2 students to participate in a fun, academic group.”

Spanish Honor Society

For students who are excelling in their Spanish studies, the Spanish Honor Society, an academic honors club, offers students a challenging role as club officers. To join the honor society, Spanish Club members must have completed at least two semesters of Spanish, meet the academic requirements, attend monthly meetings, and fulfill the community service requirements. Officers run the meetings, plan and coordinate the Spanish Club events, and develop leadership experience.

“The Spanish Honor Society students have a community service requirement, where they use their language skills in real life situations,” explained Manriquez. “This gives them the chance to gain different perspectives on various cultural situations, and, most importantly, it gives them the opportunity to use their Spanish and communicate with others.”

Members of the Spanish Honor Society participate in the language department’s travel abroad program, which has taken students to Peru, Spain and Costa Rica, to name a few.

For both extracurriculars, students engage in activities from traveling to Detroit and eating authentic cuisine in Mexicantown, to leading community service projects for bilingual students in Detroit such as their recent mask drive, a field day at the Academy of the Americas, and making Christmas Cards for residents in Southwest Detroit. In addition, students have participated in a clothing drive for a boys’ home in Peru.

“By participating in these types of activities, it really makes the language come alive and often many of our students continue their studies at the college level,” said Manriquez.

To learn more about joining the Spanish Club or the Spanish Honor Society, you can email Ms. Manriquez at

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