Elkhart Community Schools hosts bilingual event to kick off school year

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 10:44 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Want to know what’s good in Michiana?

Elkhart Community Schools (ECS) kicked off the school year with a “Welcome: We are Elkhart” event Thursday night.

People gathered at the Elkhart High School Freshman Division from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Based on feedback from parents, the corporation built the event to meet families’ needs, with a special focus on Latino families.

“Planning has been a driving force behind my education career, and so I’ve been able to transfer those skills really well into coordinating this event,” said Bilingual Communications Specialist for ECS Erick Martinez.

The corporation said its population of Spanish-language students continues to grow, and they want all families to feel comfortable.

Local organizations were there to talk about literacy, mental health and healthcare opportunities too.

“Yeah, for Elkhart Community Schools...We are Elkhart, I mean welcome, right! What better way to welcome the families and the students to the academic year; to learn about the resources; to see the superintendent; to see the mayor out here and all the other community partners that are here to support these families,” said Executive Director of La Casa de Amistad, Juan Constantino.

Elkhart Community Schools currently serves over 3,000 Spanish-language students, which is roughly 28% of the district’s total population.

“And so, what that in mind, it’s important for the schools to be aware of this and to welcome the community. Let them know that we are here for them. We hear them,” said Martinez.

The corporation has added a Director of English Learners to help these students with their academics.

Interpreters are also in every school building.