LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The number of Hispanic families is growing in Little Rock, and some teachers are struggling to communicate with some of their Spanish-speaking parents. This summer, the Little Rock School District is working on breaking down those barriers.
"We are hard pressed to communicate with every parent as effectively as we would like to," said Karen Broadnax, Little Rock School District's ESL Director. "We've just seen the massive growth of Latino numbers in our community and we really want to be responsive to our parents."
The district is offering its employees free Spanish classes at Hall High School taught by a UCA professor, and about 60 teachers are taking part.
"We thought that this would be a really great opportunity to allow for our educators who come in contact with parents on a regular basis to be able to get some of these skills," Broadnax said.
Sandy Carson teaches fourth grade at Fulbright Elementary School. She said her high-school level Spanish isn't enough to communicate with parents.
"Parents will try very hard to help you if you can get a few vocabulary words in there," Carson said.
After completing the class, teachers will have access to Rosetta Stone. Broadax said that way, teachers can continue to improve their skills at their own pace.