Unfortunately, many schools in the United States don’t offer any services ESL Classes for Spanish-speaking parents. For parents whose second language is English, a Spanish translator or bilingual staff member is often necessary to decipher the conversations in important meetings about their own children.
Parent-teacher meetings are essential to a child’s success at school; so many students are not given the opportunity for parental help when their parents are turned away from these meetings. Often, the schools simply don’t have the budget to afford translation services or hire translators to assist these parents, and their students sometimes slip through the cracks. However, one elementary school in South Carolina is going above and beyond to help these parents understand.
Park View Elementary Offers ESL Classes for Parents
A small school in South Carolina is actually going beyond the process of hiring a Spanish language translator. Instead, Park View Elementary is offering parents ESL classes for learning the basics of English. Parents can attend the night class at a community college for free, and childcare is even offered if the families cannot afford a babysitter.
Not only does the class help teach parents about speaking English, it also makes them more comfortable when seeking resources and help from their community when language barriers get in the way.
The ESL Classes are Run by Volunteers
From the teachers to the childcare providers, the class is run entirely by volunteers hoping to make a difference in the community. The community college even donated 12 iPads to help students gain a hands-on experience and use Spanish translation apps when necessary during the class.
Many of the parents were hesitant about the class at first, but are now enthusiastic and excited to attend every week. Many feel more comfortable and are able to attend meetings with their child’s teachers.
Communication is an essential part of any students’ education. Parents must be able to effectively communicate with teachers. Without this communication, parents wouldn’t know whether or not their child was falling behind. If they knew, they could try helping at home. Similarly, it’s important for parents to know when their child is doing particularly well in a certain subject.
Park View Elementary took this sentiment seriously and is now actively promoting this communication. Instead of hiring an English to Spanish translator for meetings, the school is helping parents understand for the rest of their lives.