For the first time at Seeliger Elementary School, Michele Van Voorst is hosting a breakfast for parents of Hispanic students.
"This is to improve communication between Hispanic families and the school," said Van Voorst of the Thursday event. "It's to encourage them to get involved at the school and help their kids."
Van Voorst, a physical education teacher, is hosting the event as part of her work on administrative credentials.
"I think parents are looking for ways to be involved, but maybe they're shy because of their language barrier," she said.
The breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. in the school's gymnasium. Muffins and coffee will be provided by the parent-teacher organization.
"We are hoping, really, to have parents sitting and having coffee and meeting each other and discussing how best to help their kids," she said.
Van Voorst will discuss assisting children with their homework, how to read a student's report card and the role of the English-as-a-second-language department. Everything will be translated into Spanish and more than 150 parents were invited to attend.
Invitations were sent to parents where any language other than English is spoken in the home.
Parents who come to the breakfast can visit their child's classroom. The breakfast is expected to last about an hour and is free of charge. Lee Conley, principal of Seeliger, will babysit.
Van Voorst hopes the breakfast will encourage parents to spend time with their children on academic subjects, but also to become more involved at the school. Involvement in the parent-teacher organization is low.
"Really, what we're looking for is parents to help their kids with homework," she said. "But if they can come and help with the PTO and work in the classroom, that's all the better. The more the parents are around the school and helping in the kids' classrooms, the more they can see where their kids are at."
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
If You Go
What: Breakfast for Hispanic parents
When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday
Where: Gymnasium at Seeliger Elementary School, 2800 S. Saliman Road
Call: Michele Van Voorst at 283-2200