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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student


School corp. organizes Latino family night


In order to provide resources to Latinos in Monroe County, the Monroe County Community School Corporation organized their fourth annual Latino family night Monday.

MCCSC collaborated with Latino Outreach, IU La Casa and Latino Cultural Center, El Centro Comunal Latino and Indiana Minority Health Coalition for the event, which featured interactive activities and presentations specifically tailored to the Latino

The event at Summit Elementary School was composed of four different sections — education, health, civic engagement and culture.

Interactive activities, such as games and safety awareness information from the Bloomington Fire Department, were organized for children, while parents were given two separate presentations.

One presenter talked about ways to learn the English language, as some Latino families in Bloomington struggle with a language barrier.

In addition, another presenter talked about the process of gaining admission into college and explained the steps necessary in order to ensure children are prepared to start applying once they reach high school.

Daniel Soto, an assistant at Latino Outreach, said the goal of the event is for Latino families with children to come out and learn more about the agencies available to help them in Monroe County.

Currently, more than three percent of residents in Monroe County identify themselves as Latino.

“A lot of different agencies came together with the idea to help Latino families know what is available for them and help those who are in need,” Soto said. “We want to make it much easier for them and their children.”

Soto said the biggest struggle for Latino families with children is the English language barrier, primarily in the school system. By exposing families to the necessary information needed to follow the path of secondary education, Soto hopes parents can take advantage and start early for their kids.

“Many parents, because they don’t speak English, don’t always know how to access grades for their kids,” Soto said. “We want to help them learn so when they grow up they can look to a higher education.”

Larry Gonzalez, a representative from the IU Office of Admissions, provided information to families at the event about the admission requirements for IU as well as the numerous scholarship opportunities that exist.

Gonzalez said families can benefit from receiving this type of information early, even before high school, in order to start preparing for the future.

“We lay it out for people so they know what they have to do to get into IU. It’s important to start the process early,” Gonzalez said. “We also provide information about scholarship opportunities, and for those applying with a dual citizenship.”

Follow reporter Brett Frieman on Twitter @brttfrmn.

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