Liberty grad reflects on journey at ESL Night

At the district’s tenth annual English as a Second Language (ESL) Night on Aug, 25, Irais Leon, class of 2016, explained how her support system of friends, family and teachers helped her to learn English and excel in Honors courses.

“I start college on Monday,” she said. “I’m going to be a nurse.”

Irais went on to say that parents who speak little or no English can still contribute to their children’s education.

“Please don’t let your children slack off or fall behind,” she said. “Push them. Take advantage of their teachers. Help is available.”

These may have been stark words to contemplate, but Irais’ message was clear – the only way students are able to make it through school is with strong support from school and home.

Her words were met with wild applause and sentiments were echoed by Mrs. Medina, Mr. Hall and Ms. Shamro, who explained that all parents can be helpful in their children’s achievement, regardless of their language or literacy level.

Teachers then gave pledge to the families in attendance that they would do all they could to provide a quality education for their children, but also told them they wanted to partner with families to ensure their child reaches his or her highest potential.

The night was a way for students and parents meet with their principals, teachers and nurses. Particular attention was paid to supports available to help students meet educational expectations and about the school’s procedures and practices. Representatives from PRASAD, Hudson River Health Plan, Sullivan County Adult BOCES, Child Care Council, Literacy Volunteers, Liberty Public Library and the Youth Economic Group were available to answer questions, provide insight and pass out translated materials.

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