Spanish-Speaking Parents Learning English Through Unique Program

Spanish-Speaking Parents Learning English Through Unique Program

Springdale School District's Family Literacy Program attracting more participants.
SPRINGDALE, AR - Imagine not being able to understand what people are saying to you when conversing. It's a reality many Spanish-speaking parents in Springdale face on a daily basis.

However, a unique program in the Springdale School District is helping them to learn English.

At first glance, it's a class that looks just like any other at J. O. Kelly Middle School.

However, instead of just students, there are also parents in these classes.

Four days out of a week and for 3 hours a day, dozens of Spanish-speaking parents come to class as part of the Family Literacy Program to learn how to speak English.

"We just think that what's good for our families is good for our kids here. Language is power no matter if you're a child or an adult and we just feel this is a great program for our families as well as our community," says Principal Sarah Ford.

Many parents taking part say they are far from where they started in just a matter of months when it comes to speaking English.

"It wasn't that good, but it got better in this class. I can tell the parents it is very important to come to this class," said Guillermina Castaneda, who is in the Family Literacy Program.

Andrea, Guillermina's daughter says, "She used to not know that much, maybe just a couple of words. But now she can talk to me in English. When I don't know stuff, she could help me."

For many taking part, it's piece of mind to know a language once foreign to them while out in the community.

Castaneda says, "It's hard when you go somewhere and they don't speak Spanish and you wait long for a translator."

"What a wonderful role model for our kids seeing our parents sitting in school part of the day," Ford says.

Their advice to others who also only speak Spanish, it is never to late to learn something new.

"We always have time, you just have to give the time to learn," says Castaneda.

"I know the more a parent is engaged in a child's school they are, the better the win for that child," says For.

Click here to watch this report.
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