In their first meeting of the school year, the Italian Club board and their sponsor, Mrs. Chase, celebrate the successful end to the afternoon. They continue to look forward to many more eventful meetings throughout the school year.
In their first meeting of the school year, the Italian Club board and their sponsor, Mrs. Chase, celebrate the successful end to the afternoon. They continue to look forward to many more eventful meetings throughout the school year.
Andres Florentino

Gables’ Language Clubs Promote Diversity and Cultural Harmony

Gables welcomes heritage into academics, creating three different clubs centered around learning culture: Italian Club, Spanish Honor Society and lastly, French Honor Society
Circolo Italiano Celebrates Italian Culture With a New Sponsor

The variety offered in Gables’ courses  branches out to its multitude of clubs, reflecting the school’s diverse community. Being a school that offers three foreign languages, Gables makes sure to manifest this academic aspect of itself in something students may find more enticing: language program clubs. Among these programs are Spanish, French and Italian, the last of which is responsible for the interactive and educational Italian Club.

“I think that being able to have the Italian club, where you can learn about a different country, their culture, try their food and learn a few words is a really good way to broaden your horizons and learn new things,” sophomore Andres Florentino said.

Gables’ Italian Club, which saw its beginnings decades ago, is currently sponsored by Italian teacher, Mrs. Chase, who has taken on the responsibility for the past 17 years. Due to its traction, Gables’ Italian teachers have continued to uphold the Italian Club, or Circolo Italiano, over the years to spread and teach Italian culture.

“I gladly sponsor the Italian Club, because it’s fun for the kids. It’s a way for the kids, especially the lower level kids, to mingle with the upper level students. It used to be that we only allowed Italian students that were taking an Italian class to be a part of it, but in the past few years, we’ve opened it up to any student in the school, so it’s a nice way for students who are not taking Italian to come learn about Italian culture,” Mrs. Chase said.

Without the help and interest of the students attending, the Italian Club would not be how it is, for its board consists of Gables students who have a passion for teaching about Italy and its culture.  The general layout of a meeting, which occurs once a month, is that of first being presented a powerpoint correspondent to a characteristic of the country’s culture, put together and explained by the board members.

“Then, we either have a food based on that festival or holiday or facet of Italian culture and then oftentimes, we do an activity to go with that. So it’s usually a cultural PowerPoint, a food and an activity,” Mrs. Chase said.

Although Italian classes remain popular among those who speak it as a mother tongue, there are several levels of classes available at Gables, with non-native speakers often participating in the Italian Club itself. Because of the simplicity and reliability of the club, many students – even those outside of the Italian language program – attend to enjoy time together eating, chatting and learning.

“I like the fact that they are able to include everybody, you don’t necessarily need to speak Italian. And it really exposes us to different cultures, and obviously since I want to learn [Italian] and speak it, I would love to learn about the culture,” Historian, junior Perla Santos said.

Taking into account the importance of expanding academics to more nuanced alternatives, Italian Club is a welcoming, informative and well-balanced option that takes some stress off of curious students. An outlet to both bonding and learning, this fusion seeks to bring students closer to the Italian culture and to each other.

National Spanish Honor Society Grows in Size

Every Friday calls a diverse group of students to the cafeteria to learn, eat, cook and share their love of Hispanic culture. This collection of students take part in the National Spanish Honor Society, a club surrounding the academic and cultural effects of the Spanish language. Continuing the six year streak, the National Spanish Honor Society educates more students on the rich cultures of Latin America and Spain.

“I’ve heard a lot about the club from friends, and I joined this year mainly for the community service hours. I figured since Spanish has always come easy to me, I might as well get some service hours while I speak it,” freshman Abel Alonzo said.

Mr. Sanchez, the current sponsor of the club, founded the National Spanish Honor Society about 6 years ago. His original plan for the club was to educate students on over 21 Hispanic countries and cultures in hopes of expanding their knowledge about the topic. However, the drastic increase of participating members, from the original six to over 250, resulted in a restructure of the club’s model.

Mr. Sanchez moved his proliferating club from his small classroom to the cafeteria. Accompanying the move was the creation of two branches of the club. One branch focused on academic aspects, supporting those struggling in Spanish courses, the other gravitated toward the cultural side of the club. 

The academic branch organizes and carries out tutoring services, allowing students to receive hundreds of community service hours every year. The club’s tutoring is not confined to language and literature classes but almost all subjects at Coral Gables Senior High School. Whether it is somebody new to Spanish or a fluent speaker having difficulty in English courses, there is a tutor suited to help them excel; with students learning English as a second language being the trend of tutees.

The cultural branch creates enriching experiences that help students learn about Spanish language, music, food and customs. Through the sharing of unique food, to the tune of Hispanic music, students immerse in the cultural experiences of Latin America, even celebrating widely known Hispanic holidays. 

Hispanic Heritage Show where students sang, danced, played instruments and read poems.

“The cultural branch of the club develops musical band, dancing, theater and art that are all Hispanic related… Currently, we are giving community service hours for anybody participating in the Hispanic Heritage Talent Show and once the club gets going, this cultural branch will be celebrating Christmas, Dia de los Muertos and Los 3 Reyes Magos, for example,” sponsor Mr. Sanchez said.

Currently Emanuel Lopez sits as the President of the NSHS board. Him, along with the rest of the board, handle all fees, meetings, service projects and events. He assigns tutors and oversees that new members are involved in activities. The latest event for the 2023-2024 school year is the Cuban-style Domino night.

“I’m looking forward to the fun events we have planned for this year… especially the domino night we are introducing. I know plenty of people know how to play and are interested. I am hoping we can get a high turnout for the event, and for the club in general,” President Emanuel Lopez said.

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The support provided by the National Spanish Honor Society has exceeded expectations. Thanks to the work of Mr. Sanchez and the hundreds of students that work within his club, there is a reliable tutoring and cultural academy that can support struggling students. Countless students, parents and teachers commend the NSHS each year for the help and varying opportunities they provide to the student body.

“I enjoyed the Spanish Honor Society more than I thought I would. When I was a freshman, I was just looking for clubs that would give me community service hours, nobody told me that they could be so fun. This club has helped me make new friends and improve my Spanish speaking overall,” said the Sophomore Coordinator, Alejandro Hernandez.

French Honor Society Plans for a Successful Year

A new year begins as the French Honor Society plans to dive into the future while still holding on to the past. It all started seven years ago when Madame Rouit decided to create a club specifically for the French program. Having a strong passion for the students in the French program, Madame Rouit wanted to create an unbreakable bond with them. The club continues to educate students about their exquisite French culture carrying on the legacy the club has been upholding since its humble beginnings.

“When I arrived at Gables more than seven years ago, there was no French club or French Honor Society and I wanted to create that club to create more of a community for the students who are taking French classes,” Madame Rouit said.

The French Honor Society, having high hopes to increase their club members this year, are organizing different French themed food parties, a park clean up, painting classrooms, tutoring and monthly meetings. With the club becoming a bigger influence each year, it is still looking forward to the arrival of new members from freshman to seniors as it hopes to expand.

“This year we are looking forward to breaking the new record that was set last year of 83 members in multiple ways. We will achieve this by inciting people to do classroom paintings, crepe and galette parties and park cleanups,” sophomore historian Paul Winston said.

One of the major reasons the French Honor Society has continued to increase in popularity is due to its activities and service hours events. Throughout the year the club hosts activities like the galette party and the crepe party. In these events students learn about the historical background of these French goods while enjoying the baked goods.

The club also contains community service hours opportunities such as the classroom painting, the Sewell Park cleanup and tutoring. These community service opportunities help create the tight community the club shares. With everything posted on FHS instagram, members are informed constantly about the activities.

“This year, as tutoring coordinator, I hope to create more opportunities for both those who come as tutors but also those that need help for tutoring. I would like to not only limit the attendance by those who are in the French program but also welcome those that simply want to learn a language on the side or maybe educate themselves more on the French language,” junior Talah Pharaon said.

Despite the FHS continuously gaining members, Madame Rouit has stepped down as being the sponsor of the French Honor Society and had given the role to Ms. Montes de Oca. Entering a new stage, the club is still hopeful for this year’s activities and bonding. Stepping into a new position, Ms. Montes joins the community moving forward hoping to advance and maintain the club in any way she can.

 

(Santiago Rodriguez)

“I am super excited about Mrs. Montes de Oca becoming our new sponsor this year. Having Madame Rouit for so long was wonderful, and we will still keep her near us for any advice. However, I am sure that Mrs. Montes de Oca will do an amazing job as our new sponsor, as her involvement so far has been great, and her excitement is visible.” senior president Steffi Sarmiento-Mena said.

The FHS is entering a new year, having the common goal of hosting their activities. Each activity is an accomplishment for the club as it grows closer to the common goal of achieving more members. The activities tend to attract people with their food, service hours, or just simply having an enjoyable time. Moving forward, the club will fulfill these activities eventually bringing in new recruits.

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About the Contributors
Luke Savage, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Luke Savage is a freshman at Coral Gables Senior High, working as a staff writer for Cavsconnect. He is an avid reader and runner who hopes to improve his writing and the skills involved with the triad throughout his Gables career. Additionally, he takes educational matters with utmost importance and intently plans on having an almost perfect grade point average by the end of the year. Regardless of the sacrifice of time or labor, Luke will present his best work in every class. The genesis for his interest in CavsConnect began during his search for the right publication. Writing professionally in conjunction with designing aesthetic websites interested him. He was more enticed after learning that the publication hosted an extremely competitive environment. Now with the goal of one day becoming Editor-in-Chief, he has incentive to write of a high quality, in a punctual manner and bribe the upperclassmen. Individually, Luke is often described as independent, hard-working and pragmatic. But most see him as impertinent. With four years ahead of him, Gables has no idea who he might become.  
Beatrice Stampino-Strain, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Beatrice Stampino-Strain is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High. Following an insightful year in CavsTV, she has now started as a Staff Writer for CavsConnect, looking forward to new writing experiences. Partaking in various clubs, she serves on the boards of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Key Club, while also being the Vice President of the Class of 2026. More often than not, she can be seen talking to her friends or reading a book, though not at the same time (she has tried). Always wanting to bond with people, Beatrice finds herself delving into music, literature and television shows as a form of discovery to fuel her expansive curiosity of understanding. She enjoys the unsteadiness of life despite its struggle, and is always anticipating what it will bring to her next.
Santiago Rodriguez, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Santiago Rodriguez is a current freshman entering the International Baccalaureate program here at Coral Gables Senior High. He hopes to pursue his interest in running by joining the Cross Country and Track and Field team. Despite his love for running, his biggest opponents are mosquitos. If you find him outdoors, bug spray is his best friend. He has big hopes for his future in Gables such as joining the National Honor Society, International Baccalaureate Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and possibly becoming Editor in Chief of CavsConnect. His favorite seasons are summer and fall for the many reasons of sports, weather and vacation. Wanting to continue to be a above average student, Santiago works harder, taking multiple Advanced Placement classes during high school. Hoping he has a great year at Gables, he is eager to be working in CavsConnect.
Andres Florentino, CavsTV Staff
Andres Florentino is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate Program. This is his first year in CavsTV and he is super excited to be part of the publication. He was born in Boston in an Italian/Dominican family and moved to Miami when he was 2 years old, however he has a huge love for his hometown. He loves traveling, experiencing new adventures, and learning about new cultures. Everywhere he goes he enjoys taking pictures and hopes to do that for CavsTV. In his free time, he plays tennis, goes shopping with his friends, and drives around the city. He has a sweet tooth for candy and gum and makes sure to always have some on him. This year, he hopes to join many clubs and be more involved in his school’s community.
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