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  • Jaden Mercado

Club Feature: The Culture Club

In 2006, Nancy Barile, a beloved teacher at Revere High School, started Culture Club, a way for RHS students to experience, share, and celebrate culture.

The origin of Culture Club is interesting. When Barile won a grant for writing instruction, the Christian Science Monitor wrote a feature article about her. A woman in California saw the article and was so impressed with Barile's work that she reached out to her. After learning more about Barile and RHS, the woman set up a trust which provides funding for popular student activities including Culture Club, Rock Ensemble, and Book Club 

If any Revere High School student wants to join Culture Club, they freely can. All Culture Club experiences are free. Students do not have to pay for tickets or transportation. The grant covers all expenses. 

As a club, Barile and students attend plays, ballets, dance performances, musicals, museums, colleges, and lectures. They also do community service, especially for military veterans and the elderly as well as raise money in the wake of national or international disasters. This year they raised money for Moroccan earthquake victims.

Barile’s favorite experience was when - after attending several international operas at the Majestic Cutler Theater - the woman who owned the opera company let her students actually appear in the opera as extras! The feeling was amazing, Barile said. It was such a cool experience for her students. They further designed the playbill and their essays were featured inside. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, when coordinating events for the students. Negotiating the price of tickets for shows can be challenging, Barile acknowledges. She always tries to get the best price.

Even though Culture Club is eighteen years and counting, the club is always changing and growing. They’re always open to new ideas, experiences and figuring out ways to be innovative. Barile is the sole advisor to the club, but she takes suggestions from the students. If students see a show or an experience that they want to take part in, she’ll listen and try to make it happen. If they go to her for a fundraiser, she’ll try to make that happen as well. 

Barile wouldn’t change anything.

For 18 years, the Club has provided incredible experiences for RHS students. Students from years ago still tell her how they remember the shows they went to and their experiences. The students who participated in Culture Club talked about how they gained the cultural competence to compete with their wealthier peers. The Culture Club truly has exceeded expectations over the years. Barile is beyond happy with everything they’ve done. She knows it’s had a long-lasting and far reaching impact on RHS students. Since it’s her last year at Revere High School, Barile hopes the club will continue with a new advisor. 

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