Spanish-speaking adults in Cache Valley wanting to further their education will have more resources to do so, thanks to a new partnership between The Family Place and the Mexican Consulate of Salt Lake City.
“It’s a very high need,” said Lizette Cruz, outreach coordinator at The Family Place.
In her work, Cruz said she sees many Spanish-speaking adults in the valley facing challenges with literacy. These obstacles can lead to lower self-esteem and make it harder for parents to help their kids with schoolwork.
In an effort to overcome this, The Family Place will begin hosting Plazas Comunitarias, or literacy nights, at Logan High School. These online-based courses will allow adults who have not finished high school to complete that curriculum.
“Our mission at The Family Place is to strengthen families and protect children,” said Cruz. “The way that we can do it through this program is literacy. What better way to empower our adults than with that education so that they can, in return, push their kids to have a higher education?”
The resources for Plazas Comunitarias come from the Mexican government through the local Mexican consulate.
To celebrate this new partnership, representatives from the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City came to a Cinco de Mayo Celebration at The Family Place on Saturday.
“Sadly most Mexicans that come from Mexico to the States, they usually didn’t finish elementary school and they only have a really basic education,” said Josue Aguas, a consular official.
For Spanish-speaking adults who want to attend college or continue their education in other ways, Aguas said Plazas Comunitarias is the first step.
“Education opens the doors for you to have worthy work, to acquire resources, to provide a good quality of life for your family,” Aguas said.
He also said if an individual who completes this program returns to their home country, the curriculum is recognized in not only Mexico but in a few other Latin American countries such as Brazil and Columbia.
In addition to providing The Family Place online curriculum resources, the consulate representatives brought Spanish-language education books on topics such as literature, geography and history.
Cruz said when people who were born in Mexico or grew up there are given these books, it can create cultural bonding opportunities for parents and children.
“If we don’t bring these types of things into the valley, me and my daughter wouldn’t have that connection,” Cruz said.
Family Place staff is still coordinating with Logan schools Superintendent Frank Schofield to determine a start date and meeting time for the program. Cruz said the literacy nights will most likely be hosted one or two times a week, depending on demand.