English language students and staff at Research Triangle partnered with the Durham Literacy Council, an organization dedicated to providing free literacy services to adults and out-of-school youth in Durham County, and Durham Technical Community College for a parent night. Both organizations were invited to provide educational opportunities to parents for the development of the English language.
Durham Technical Community College presented an explanation of adult English as a Second Language (ESL) course offerings beginning with the free basic ELS class, including the Beyond Basic ESL (BBESL) course work.
The Durham Literacy Council shared an overview of resources offered through their organization, including volunteer support to develop English language for real-world issues, such as employment and health care, and helping children with school and continuing education support.
“Through our partnership, the organizations provide information and resources to English language learning families in the familiar environment of RTCA,” said Erin Huckel, dean of lower elementary at Research Triangle. “Our goal is to engage and enroll parents in English language learning opportunities to grow their English language proficiency and confidence during interactions with school personnel, employers, and in the academic setting.”
In addition, EL students presented work artifacts reflecting on the learning of directional words, led parents in a listening game of Simon Says, and the sixth- through eighth-grade students presented a comedy skit with idioms.
“As a school, we are a resource for community partnerships and a safe haven for our families,” said Huckel. “The emphasis of EL parent involvement events is on embracing families for the cultural richness they contribute to our community through varied morays, traditions, and languages. We encourage parents to speak their native language at home with students and expose their children to print and writing opportunities in an effort to raise our scholars as biliterate; not just bilingual.”