La Paz Chattanooga Helps Hispanic Students Enroll For School

Over 75 Bilingual Volunteers Assisted Families In School Registration

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
La Paz volunteers helped Latino and Hispanic students enroll in school
La Paz volunteers helped Latino and Hispanic students enroll in school

La Paz Chattanooga helped recruit and train over 75 bilingual volunteers to work with 14 Hamilton County public schools during the county-wide school registration day. Volunteers requested time off from their employers to help Chattanooga's Latino and Hispanic students enroll in school for the upcoming academic year. 

According to the latest reporting, there were over 5,200 Hispanic and Latino students in Hamilton County public schools at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The parents of many of these students do not speak sufficient English in order to properly complete the paperwork needed for school. La Paz volunteers assisted them by helping them prepare their documents and interpret for school officials. 

"It's committed community partners like La Paz that go above and beyond to support our students and their families that will improve access and outcomes across Hamilton County," said Jared Bigham, executive director of Chattanooga 2.0. 

Bilingual services are key in helping educators and students succeed, said officials. A recent survey conducted by La Paz found that educators and students in Hamilton County need greater access to culturally relevant services such as bilingual translation and interpretation services. Interpreters are needed at conferences, during school registration days and in general communications to families. These services allow parents to become active participants in their child’s education by helping them understand their child's academic needs. Additionally, with additional training and support, teachers would be able to provide information on student academic progress and performance. 

"The local Latino community is constantly seeking opportunities to learn English, but for many local Latino residents, their English proficiency is not yet good enough for them to fill out the paperwork on their own," explains Patrick Miles, La Paz Chattanooga's director of Community Engagement. "The process of filling out the mountain of papers required at school registration can be challenging for a native English speaker. So, for our Spanish speaking families, this process can be daunting. Just a little bit of assistance from caring community members goes a long way to show our city's collective efforts to help students in our area develop." 

Clifton Hills Elementary teacher, Jacob Vrieswyk, said, “The support that La Paz gives our school has been a lifeline for us at Clifton Hills Elementary. Without their partnership, we would not be able to adequately serve our community. From helping out with school registrations, interpreting during parent-teacher conferences, and collaborating with us as we seek new ways to serve our families, La Paz is always there for us.” 

As the leading Hispanic/Latino organization in the area, La Paz aims to continue serving as a community liaison by helping families receive the support they need to thrive in Chattanooga. This includes helping parents learn the ins and outs of the school system so that their children have a greater propensity to succeed in the classroom, said officials. Since opening its doors in 2004, La Paz has served over 30,000 people in our region through direct services, in depth case-management, and education and outreach programming. 

For more information regarding La Paz's community outreach efforts , please contact Patrick Miles, La Paz's director of Community Engagement and Administration, at pm@lapazchattanooga.org or call the La Paz office at 624-8414.

La Paz volunteers helped Latino and Hispanic students enroll in school
La Paz volunteers helped Latino and Hispanic students enroll in school


Tennessee Board Of Regents Approves Funding Requests For Initiatives And Construction

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved four priority requests for education, job-training and security initiatives across the state’s community and technical college system for the next fiscal year on Friday, including 100 new success coaches to bolster student advising.  The success coaches, or relational advisors, would work directly with students to help them navigate ... (click for more)

Lee Writing Prof Commissioned To Write Play

Lee University’s Stacey Isom Campbell has been commissioned to write a play to be performed by Lee Theatre next spring.  “It’s a huge honor to have been asked to write something brand new to be performed on our campus,” said Ms. Campbell, associate professor of creative writing at Lee. “I’m excited to have my work showcased in this way.”  Dr. Christine Williams, ... (click for more)

School Board Approves "Partnership" With State As "Lesser Of 2 Evils"

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 7-2 to join in talks with the State Department of Education leading to a Partnership Zone for five low-performing schools. Joe Smith and David Testerman voted against the plan. Other board members said the only alternative was for the state to take over several low-performing schools under the Achievement School District in which ... (click for more)

Investors Who Lost In Dyer/Brennan Scheme Furious At Seeing Dyer At UTC Games; Attorney Says He Takes Disabled Brother To Work Games

Two victims in an investment scheme by Doug Dyer and James Brennan said they were furious to see Dyer continuing to attend UTC sporting events. Dyer is a past president of the Mocs' Quarterback Club. In two victim letters prior to the Dyer/Brennan sentencing next Friday - from Mickey McCamish and Mark E. Smith, they state that Dyer bought season tickets to UTC football and has ... (click for more)

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The calendar fills up quickly in September as families return to a packed routine after quieter summer days. Unfortunately, your health might take a backseat to your busy schedule. So make a note on your calendar that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and remind yourself—or the men in your life—about the importance of a healthy prostate.   Prostate cancer is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)