MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There are more than 15,000 bilingual students at Shelby County Schools.
And the Hispanic Community at the schools is only growing.
To get one of the best understandings of Shelby County's Hispanic Community, you may not have to look further than our schools.
“Come to the schools and see our community. Yes, it's growing,” said Christina Villalpando, SCS family bilingual counselor.
But it's not just represented in some of the 15,000 bilingual students at SCS; men and women from the Hispanic Community make up teachers, faculty and staff at the district.
Some of those people have roots in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Panama.
“That's what we're aiming for in Shelby County Schools. We want to make sure our parents are included. They feel welcome. They love our schools,” said Yesenia Ubaldo, SCS family engagement specialist.
“We are very proud to be of Latino-decent, clearly, and we enjoy our cultures, our foods, our music, but we want to share that experience with everyone else,” said Ileanette Rosado, SCS community specialist.
At an event Friday, SCS's Families Connected program hosted a training session for parents.
The sessions were given in English, Spanish and Arabic.
For immigrant families, it's a chance for parents to learn more about how school districts work in the U.S.
“How to become involved in that whole process so you can be your child's best and first advocate,” said Ileanette Rosado-Wilson, SCS community specialist.
“I think it's important as an immigrant to help others,” said Villalpando.
Christina Villalpando immigrated to the U.S. in 1997. Yesenia Ubaldo immigrated when she was in second grade. And their stories are similar to most at the event.
“So I went through the ESL. I graduated high school and university. I was an immigrant myself. Giving back to the community is really important,” said Ubaldo.
Hispanic Heritage month runs through Oct. 15.