New Social Studies club threads culture into history

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Stella Maximuk

Pope stands at his podium where he teaches his Social Studies classes. He is looking forward to teaching more about Social Studies at the Social Studies club.

Stella Maximuk

Midtown High School has over 30 clubs, however, a Social Studies club hasn’t existed until now. After many historic events in 2020 and 2021, now is an opportune time to learn more about Social Studies. In order to support and enhance historical and social awareness, Social Studies teacher Lee Pope will be starting a Social Studies club.

“A lot of the time when it comes to a deeper understanding of historical movements, they are glossed over in high school,” Pope said. “You look at it in college if you take history classes, but some people don’t. So I thought, why not have a club that explores that through Social Studies, which is what I teach, but we can then take it so that everybody feels like their history hasn’t been overlooked.” 

Pope plans for club members to be divided into committees which will focus on one issue or culture of their choosing. Every committee will be assigned a month in which they will have an opportunity to prepare guest speakers, decorate the school and participate in other activities that relate to their chosen topic. 

“Let’s say you were on the committee for Latin or Hispanic heritage month,” Pope said. “In the club meetings we would have guest speakers from the Hispanic community, they would come in and speak. You would participate in those and get ideas from them for other things. Your committee is not completely locked.”

Students are allowed to pursue multiple interests and join as many committees as they’d like. Additionally, the club is designed to create a low stress environment. Students who don’t want to be very involved are welcome to join. 

“At Midtown there’s a lot of different cultures,” senior Janine Williams said. “To be able to witness and experience those different cultures would be cool.” 

The monthly cultural events provide students with the chance to celebrate and share their cultures with others. For cultures and parts of history that are often overlooked, the Social Studies club provides a good opportunity to learn more about them.  

“Mr. Pope is probably the best teacher for this,” senior Maddie Hoffman said. “He really loves history and knows a lot about it. I think he really gets the meaning of showcasing other parts of history that a lot of people don’t know about. I think he’s perfect for it.” 

The club is also designed to promote inclusivity. Pope hopes that it will not only teach students about different cultures and history, but help unite Midtown students as a whole.

“It’s easy to sit in our own comfort zone and not get to know people for what they take pride in,” Pope said. “I think that it’s important that those walls are removed so that we can celebrate and appreciate one another and the diversities we bring to the world. If we were all exactly alike, what a boring planet. Everything has its place.”

Club meetings will take place after school on Mondays and will be held at least twice a month. Leadership positions are available, and the officer general election will take place during the first month. For more information, Pope is located in room C224.    

“Open your horizons,” Pope said. “Open up to diversity. Open up to the fact that this nation is a tapestry of wide and beautiful colors and every one of us makes up a string in that tapestry. It’s important for us to, as I tell my students in my AP class, pull every one of those strings and look at it, because every one of those colorful threads make us who we are as people.”

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