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Community Focus: Oklahoma's largest school district bridges the language gap

Oklahoma City Public Schools helps parents bridge the language gap so they are better able to participate in their child's education. (KOKH)

Being as involved as you'd like with your child's education can feel like a monumental task. That stress can bubble over if you're not confident in the language the teacher speaks. Oklahoma’s largest school district is taking steps to help bridge the gap.

Oklahoma City Public Schools’ community outreach team is helping connect parents with services that can help an entire family for free.

“We always say that it takes a village, and it does. It takes everyone in the community -- it takes parents, it takes the educators, it takes the principals to really make sure that the child gets the full benefit of their education,” says Deisy Escalera, OKCPS Community Relations Manager

Escalera also says the district has some six hundred community partnerships to help students and parents. One helps Spanish speaking parents learn English at some OKCPS schools after normal school hours. Another called Super Saturday-- provides resources to families in English and Spanish to empower parents to be actively involved in their child's education.

“If you don't know the language, that can be very frustrating, and when it entails the future of your child that can add more stress to it,” says Juliana Gutierrez, OKCPS Communications Specialist.

Gutierrez also says Language Link is one of the most exciting programs available at the district. It's an over the phone interpretation system that allows parents to clearly and effectively communicate with educators at their child's school.

The Language Link program is not just to help Spanish speakers. It is a free program that gives families access to interpreters in 240 different languages, so they can communicate more clearly with educators in their child's school.

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