Trustee Jamie Resendez represents District 4 covering Southeast Dallas, Seagoville and Balch Springs. In the feature below, taken from his monthly column in El Hispano, he shares how a program in his district helps parents succeed, which in turn, helps students soar.
How Dorsey’s ESL parent classes hope to boost parent engagement
On a Tuesday afternoon, you can walk through halls and sense learning as class is in session for a group of parents. And in many cases, they’re learning English for the first time.
“With what I’ve been learning in class, I am now able to better help my children with their homework,” said Elia Lopez.
Lopez is one of about 20 parents at Julius Dorsey Elementary School, attending English as a Second Language classes (ESL) held in the school.
Dorsey’s administration decided to implement this program at the campus to help parents better engage with their children and education, but also to encourage them to build their self-esteem through quality education.
The free program is in partnership with Dallas County Community College District’s Eastfield College, the free program helps parents to acquire the language skills which will help them communicate better, lead them to better job opportunities and higher engagement in their children’s education.
“We are a family here at Dorsey, and we want parents to know that we are not just here to serve their children.” said Counselor Cathy Gonzalez.” “We tell parents that there is no age limit to learn and remind them that as their children’s first teacher, they will make a greater impact on them by being able to communicate and understand them better. We are grateful for the support from Eastfield in providing the resources to help us empower Dorsey parents.”
The classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday, during the school day, as a way of easing the child care burden on parents. While students are learning their numbers, letters, and other things in class, their parents are also learning.
“My children find it a bit funny when I’m doing ABCs homework with them, but they help me and tell me they are happy that I’m coming to school with them, too,” said parent Veronica Aguirre.
The ESL program will end in February. Parents will have a total of 60 hours of college credit, making them eligible to then pursue a GED diploma.