Free Language Program For ECISD Parents And Staff

By Jen Kastner

Newswest 9

ODESSA - An Odessa school is breaking down language barriers for English-speaking ECISD staff and Spanish-speaking parents.

It's a program that kicked off this school year at Cameron Magnet Elementary. ECISD elementary bilingual specialist Luz Melendez tells us,

"We know that we live in a global world. We live in a global society so we wanted to open up that doorway to start acquiring a second language or polish a second language."

All Ector County ISD staff are invited to free Spanish classes once a week at Cameron Magnet Elementary.

ECISD school bus driver Marte Cirrincione tells us she's learning Spanish so that she can strike up conversations with Spanish-speaking kids she takes to school every day.

"They laugh at me but they kind of appreciate the fact that I'm trying [to learn] and they're trying, too," she says.

While Spanish classes are taking place in one classroom, English lessons are happening in another classroom.

Spanish-speaking parents of bilingual and ESL students are invited to come in and learn English for free in an effort to make them feel more involved in their children's educations.

"A lot of times our parents are a little bit hesitant about visiting the campuses because they fear that they might not be understood or they might not know what's going on," adds Melendez.

The program even offers free babysitting during the lessons. For more information, visit: