More than a dozen non-English speaking parents now understand a lot more English thanks to classes at Sequoyah Elementary and Skelly Elementary. In partnership with the YWCA, Tulsa Public Schools Language and Cultural Services offered a tuition-free course designed to help parents communicate easier at their children’s schools and in the community.
Led by a certified instructor, the students attended class eight hours a week for 18 weeks to develop their English skills. They also covered digital literacy and how to prepare for parent/teacher conferences.
In December, the students and their families gathered in their classrooms for a graduation ceremony, complete with speeches, songs, and certificates.
“I feel proud and happy,” said Andrea. “I am grateful for this program because I got to learn a lot more.”
“They have done so well. They have learned so much,” said instructor Sean Sebring.
Sean said she tried to teach the students specific words and phrases that would help them in their daily lives with everything from shopping, going to the doctor, and talking to teachers. As a bonus, the class was filled with food and fun.
“They are such a delight to teach. At least a few times a week they would come up with different foods, mainly for their countries,” said Sean. “They also kept me on my toes, asking questions that challenged me in different new ways. Not only did they keep me on my toes, they had me rolling on the floor laughing with some of their crazy stories. It was never a dull moment.”
During the celebration, the class at Skelly sang Christmas carols – in English and Spanish – while their families snapped photos and recorded videos.
“I am very happy for the opportunity we were given to learn English and to be able to understand and speak little by little this country’s language,” said Rosie.
The students all received two certificates to show they completed the course and passed their test.
“I’m very proud of these students and their hard work,” said Sean.
The next class begins January 13th at Lewis & Clark and Tulsa Learning Academy. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“It is never too late to learn,” said Ruby.
For more information on the English classes, click here.