Since she took over as moderator of the Language Club years ago, veteran Chaminade Julienne Spanish and Latin teacher Linda Colas has led the group in a volunteer project every Advent season that benefits those served by the Catholic Hispanic Ministry.
The club organizes an annual Christmas bake sale and accepts donations in order to purchase clothing, grocery gift cards and presents for families in need. Students also craft handmade, holiday-themed piñatas to contribute. This year, all $430 in proceeds helped brighten the holidays for one special family.
“Sister Maria Stacy gave us one large family to provide for this Christmas. We bought coats for the women and toys for the kids,” plus a dozen $25 Meijers gift cards said Colas, who is in the middle of her 29th year at CJ.
Sr. Maria, SND, is the director of the Archiocese of Cincinnati’s Hispanic Minstry program for the Dayton region. In addition to coordinating holiday donations, she also plans celebrations at St. Mary Church located at 310 Allen St. (off Xenia Avenue) for “La Navidad” (Christmas) and “Los Tres Reysmagos” (The Feast of the Three Kings), where the piñatas are used for fun party games.
“In some years we’ve done this service project and no one even knew about it, but we did it anyway,” Colas said. “I wanted a service component for the club, so this is how we decided to make a difference.”
The Language Club is open to all CJ students taking French, German, Latin, Spanish or American Sign Language. Members meet every Wednesday after school, but Colas said gatherings become more frequent during the winter months as the group prepares for service projects and other school-wide initiatives, including CJ’s celebration of Language Week in January.
“We’re not a big club, but we do a lot,” Colas said. Students interested in joining can stop by room 334 or email Mrs. Colas for more information.