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Rocklin High's Multicultural Club honored

By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin High School’s Multicultural club was recognized on Sunday, May 22 during the Grant Advisory Board for Youth meeting. The group was honored for their efforts to present the importance of diversity to the student body through their annual Culture Week. “In other nations, there are still people living on under $1 a day and I just want people to be aware of this,” said Rocklin High senior Derek Song, president of Multicultural Club. Song says that it is important that students learn about other cultures because the knowledge promotes global awareness. He, along with Vice President Liza Polyudova, also a senior at Rocklin High and secretary Nadia Link, a sophomore, began planning the event months in advance. Haiti was selected as the country to highlight because of its socio-economic conditions, particularly after the recent earthquake. Culture Week began in 2005 with the celebration of Japanese culture and since then has focused on Hawaii and Mexico. The club celebrated culture March 21 through March 25 with a variety of activities, ranging from educational displays to a movie night to tribal body painting and games. Students on campus helped support the event. The Interact club created posters, the Culinary Club prepared Haitian cuisine, and the advanced art students painted Haitian designs on students’ hands and arms. “The best part of culture week was trying the food,” said freshman Alina Holtsman. “Fresh food says a lot about a culture, so I’m interested to see next years as well.” Outside of the rain during Culture Week, the only problem the club encountered was underestimating the amount of food to serve. In fact, the food and body art were the activities that attracted the greatest student interest. Students were given “passports” and received stamps for completion of activities during the week. Some teachers offered extra credit for student participation. Club adviser and Rocklin High School teacher Adrienne Tacla said she is thankful for the grant supplied by The Placer Community Foundation to fund this event. Tacla hopes that students “developed a better sense of how large the world truly is.”