What’s recently happened?
The Bishop Noll community has made many clubs and extracurricular activities to help spread culture. The students at Bishop Noll Institute (BNI) have been offered the opportunity to learn more about other cultures.
A club called the BNI Multicultural Committee was created this year at Bishop Noll. The club consists of kids who want to learn about different cultures. 26 students in the club are excited to learn.
The first thing the club did this year was participate in the Purdue University Northwest Hispanic Heritage Parade. This parade was created for Mexico’s Independence Day. In this parade, the kids handed out rosaries, stickers, and flyers. The students made traditional Mexican paper flowers. They also made posters that celebrated the country's Independence Day.
Another school activity that celebrates culture is the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Honor Society, SHH). In SSH, the kids learn the impact of Spanish on cultures and how to make the community a better place.
The Spanish Honor Society sponsored activities like Halloween candygrams and concha bake sales. Even the Spanish classes have joined in on the fun by learning about el Día de los Muertos and creating a school altar. At the altar, kids from all over the school were able to write down the name of someone they know that has passed away.
In the college Spanish classes, kids got the chance to go to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Students got a chance to explore the museum and all of its masterpieces. After exploring, they learned about the history of the surrounding community while eating delicious food.
The Spanish Honor Society has gotten talks from people around the world about education and its importance. For example, a university worker from Mexico talked to students about doing what feels best and explained that college is important for their future.
The Hispanic Student Union is an organization at Bishop Noll that helps Hispanic and Latino students learn about their culture while also getting academic assistance. They have information about college scholarships and will have guest speakers as well. The Hispanic Student Union had a bake sale to raise money for a conference that they will be attending next year.
The Black Student Union has been at Bishop Noll for several years and gives African-American students a safe space to speak about current issues. They also accept all students as allies regardless of race. They help answer questions about and share African-American culture with other people. They have done bake sales and plan to bring historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to Bishop Noll. Last year, they collaborated with former Assistant Principal Jaime Cavazos and the history department concerning a Black History curriculum for every grade. It is run by Victoria Hibbler and Kennedy Castro. They are planning on bringing more experiences to the table.
What’s coming up?
Good things are coming for both clubs and the SHH that students are excited about.
In the Multicultural Committee, students are going to be learning about Middle Eastern culture. The kids will watch videos and read articles about the culture, and they will have an opportunity to get henna done.
A fundraiser that the club has been thinking about is the Pulsera Project. The committee will sell bracelets created by Central American artists, and the profits will be given back to the organization to support projects in Central America. This is a good way for the students to learn about other cultures.
The Spanish National Honor Society is having mass in Spanish. Since Bishop Noll is a Catholic school, they have mass every month. The Spanish-speaking mass will be on December 12. Also in December, the Society will build a shrine to the Virgin Mary.
The Black Student Union will be hosting guest speakers to talk about their perspectives and talk with the students.
A teacher who has played a special part in learning about cultures in Bishop Noll has been Ana Acosta. Acosta is in charge of the Spanish Honor Society and the Multicultural Committee. She has been teaching at Bishop Noll for seven years, but she began teaching 20 years ago.
Acosta thinks that it is important for kids to learn about cultures since Bishop Noll is a diverse school. She is helping kids build relationships with each other. She likes that kids know about different cultures while having different perspectives.
She also believes that learning about different cultures will help students when they go out in the real world. They won’t have culture shock or segregate themselves. Learning about different cultures will help kids become well-rounded individuals and foster relationships.
Overall, she wants her students’ high school experience to be more diverse than hers as she grew up.
The students have had great experiences participating in multicultural activities. Daniella Girón-Rivera got the opportunity to enjoy them for the first time this year.
Girón-Rivera is a student from Guatemala who transferred to Bishop Noll in her junior year of high school. She is currently a senior who is taking ACP Spanish 200 and is on the Multicultural Committee.
Bishop Noll has shown Girón-Rivera that there are a lot of people from different cultures and that each culture is unique in its way.
Girón-Rivera has also noticed the difference between the United States and Guatemala. Her favorite has been the Homecoming dance. It has been her favorite since she likes dancing with her friends. Her favorite thing was the trip to the Mexican Art Museum.
“I learned the history from Mexico,” Girón-Rivera said. “It was a new experience because I’d never been to the museum. It was fun and pretty. We can recognize Mexico’s culture and its beauty.”