Last spring a group of Sonoma State students came together in hopes of bettering Sonoma County through various forms of volunteer work. They organized themselves into a group called the Multi-Cultural Education club.
The mission of the 25 club members is to empower their future educators through bilingual education, community involvement and self-advocacy. The club has multiple goals, all of which aspire to better the community. These goals include helping adults adjust to technological advances, mentoring the youth to help them prepare for secondary education and teaching foreign languages to broaden the bilingual community. The club is devoted to addressing the academic needs of Sonoma County students.
Secondary education is something that the club values as well as the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college. The club offers workshops for young students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
These workshops aspire to influence students to get on track for college. Apart from arts and crafts, the workshops offer lessons that are used later in life such as money management, and the importance of saving up.
“My favorite part about being involved in [the] club is how I constantly get the opportunity to meet with so many diverse people, this year I am especially looking forward to working with the community,” said Lacinda Moore, president of the club.
One of the main reasons the club started is because there aren’t enough bilingual teachers teaching. The club offers bilingual education to past and future educators.
“The reason I decided to join is because I saw first-hand that the need for diverse teachers was important. My sister went to a predominantly Hispanic school and out of all the fifth grade teachers only one spoke Spanish. She was always needed to translate,” said Ada Medina, vice president of the club. “When I saw this I knew something had to change. The club at first was only meant for teachers but we soon discovered that diversity is needed in all parts of education not just the classroom. We need diversity in the community, most importantly in the library since that is a main source where parents and children go to.”
The celebration for Day of the Dead is just around the corner and the club was given the opportunity to have an altar for the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos, which will be held at Santa Rosa Junior College.
The club will not only celebrate the holiday, but will also use the event to promote the club so they can further better the community.
“We get to work in our community and network with potential colleagues and community leaders to learn from and understand how [the] club can help raise awareness of multi-cultural events and community,” said Moore.
An upcoming event in promotion for the club is a movie series that will feature a variety of film showings based on the month and cultural themes based on specific awareness months.
The club intends to include activities for each movie showing, as each film serves as a topic for discussion amongst club members, broadening everyone’s knowledge on ethnic backgrounds.
The Multi-Cultural Education club is a group of students that aspire to educate both the younger and older community, along with spreading the importance and knowledge of ethnic diversity. Each member has a common goal of bettering the community.
“I enjoy being in the club because I am alongside friends that have become family,” said Medina. “I am looking forward to making a change in our community, and also looking forward to learning and experiencing new things the club has to offer.”