Parents get info in Spanish |

Parents get info in Spanish

by Maggie O'Neill
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Roxanna Cano, 7 months, sits with her sister Alejandra (not shown) during the second annual Hispanic Community Information Night at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

Alicia Prado speaks no English, but wants to help her 10-year-old daughter Jackie improve at school.

Prado and more than 30 other parents attended the recent Hispanic Community Information Night at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, where school and community officials spoke in Spanish about many topics.

Prado, who won a raffle prize of crayons, chalk, paper, scissors and glue, said she was able to learn in her own language about services at the school and in the community that she otherwise wouldn’t know because of the language barrier.

“I came for the information,” she said.

The event pulled in so many more families this year than last that the organizer is considering a second information night in early 2005.

“We know (that the people who attended) will be a very good source of encouragement for others,” said organizer Evelia Reyes, one of three English as a second language coordinators for the school. “We want to be able to grab that while it’s still there.”

Bordewich-Bray Principal Susan Keema spoke with parents at the beginning of the night, with Reyes translating.

“We strive to meet as many of the needs as possible at Bordewich-Bray,” she said. “Parents are partners, and without you we can’t fully reach the children.”

Report cards are now available in Spanish. Announcements in Spanish will be sent home with about 140 students.

“What happens is, any paperwork that is given to parents is given to me,” Reyes said. “I translate it, and they get it. Like the weekly school newspaper, parents are now getting that information.”

Donna Schellin of the school’s Success For All program, which works closely with ESL classes at the school, provided free books to parents, including “Baseball in the Barrios.”

“The greatest indicator of how well your children learn to read is how much they read away from school,” Schellin said. “That’s why we ask you to read, read, read.”

Many of the questions parents asked of the Spanish-speaking hosts were where to get medical help. Others involved how to help their children if parents do not understand English.

“That’s when we stressed the ESL,” Reyes said. “We really pushed to them that in order for their children to improve, they must (improve) themselves.”

Representatives from businesses presenting information included Sierra Pacific, Wells Fargo Bank, the American Heart Association, the Public Utilities Co., Citizens for Affordable Homes and the Carson City Boys & Girls Club.

“We feel (the night) was very successful,” Reyes said. “We were very pleased with the turnout.”