Bilingual Nights Offer Assistance to Families

The room decorated for bilingual night
In an effort to include more families for whom English is not their first language, two bilingual events were recently held at Bayville Primary School and Locust Valley Intermediate School to provide information about the schools.

Over the course of two nights, 75 parents were given tips and tools in their native Spanish language that included how to navigate the district website, explanations of events in the district calendar and the various resources the schools offer for children with disabilities.

English as a New Language Teaching Assistant Cynthia Ergen served as the host and translator for the events. She was joined by Dr. Patricia Griffin, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Alissa Barosin, ENL liaison for the Special Education Parent Teacher Association, Paola Diaz from the Locust Valley Public Library and Ashley Birbal from the Bayville Public Library. Ms. Diaz and Ms. Birbal spoke of the free programs offered by the libraries that are open to all residents.

Information about the ENL program was described in detail along with encouragement for families to participate in events and to have their children join school district sports and clubs.

“For families that did not study in the United States or that don’t speak the language, all of these issues can be stressful,” Mrs. Ergen said. She added that outreach to families that speak languages other than English is important and has been making parents feel more comfortable participating in their children’s educations. “The families left these events with smiles on their faces.”