Manuela Rodriguez has five children, each of whom has homework to do each night of the school year. She encourages them to work hard and do well in school.
She just wants to help them do it.
Rodriguez's primary language is Spanish but her children’s schoolwork and school communication is in English. Teachers also prefer to speak English. Rodriguez does her best to communicate with the school and help her kids, but she was limited.
“I have problems with the homework,” she says. “I can’t help with homework or school meetings.”
That’s starting to change. Rodriguez recently was part of the first graduating class of an English as a Second Language class through the Buckner Family Hope Center at Wynnewood in Dallas. She and Corina Romero were selected as the outstanding students of the group.
The class helped Rodriguez know how to pronounce words and expanded her vocabulary. She easily can have casual conversations in English now. She’s been able to better help her children.
“The best part is when the teacher explains things,” Rodriguez says. “When you miss something, she sits down and explains it.”
Lizeth Moyao, who taught the class, praises the members’ desire to learn English and the hard work they did. Each person wants to better help their family and use their improved English skills to get better jobs.
“They want to know the language,” she says. “They want to learn to speak it. They want to know how to write it.”
The class is part of the Hope Center’s effort to help people achieve the skills and education they need to improve themselves and their families. Individuals can begin with ESL classes, earn a GED diploma and even go on to community college classes through the Hope Center.
“We want to meet people where they are and help them get to where they want to be,” says Cheryl Williams, director of the Hope Center. “They want better jobs. They want stronger families. We want that too, so we help them achieve those goals.”