An estimated 25 percent of all American public school students will be
Hispanic by 2025. In Kentucky, new students with diverse needs create
challenges navigating education systems for students, parents and school
The Children's Law Center, Inc.
a non-profit organization in Northern Kentucky, focuses its work on
educating Hispanic students and their parents on how to better achieve
"We're looking to help parents advocate for
their children," says managing attorney Joshua Crabtree. "We're also
looking to connect community organizations and schools to better explain
roles and define partnerships."
Recently, the Center issued a
brief that highlighted areas of concern for Hispanic students in
Kentucky schools. Concerns included access to education, academic
achievement and access to interpreters.
Hispanic students are
less likely to graduate, partly because of the achievement gap that
comes from speaking English as second language. Many people aren't aware
that access to in-school interpreters is a right and could be crucial
"The problem becomes 'I understand the math, but I can't understand the instruction,' " Crabtree says.
involvement remains a concern, because many parents don't understand
their own and their children's rights, such as interpreters in class as
well at school meetings.
The Children's Law Center assisted 420
clients in 2010 and plans to increase that number this year. Crabtree
hopes to help strengthen English as a Second Language programs in
Kentucky schools, which could dramatically help Hispanic student's
educational success. Do Good:
• Advocate. Spread awareness. Follow the Children's Law Center on Facebook
and sign up for newsletters on the website www.childrenslawky.org .
• Run. The inaugural "Where the Wild Things Run"
5k and 10k race takes place Oct. 8. Volunteers and sprinters welcome.
.By Ryan McLendonImage courtesy Children's Law Center