Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hispanic Family Night at Vol State February 19

Information about ESOL classes, Vol State degrees and programs, local community groups

Refreshments, movies, entertainment for children

From Volunteer State Community College:
Hispanic Family Night at Vol State puts the spotlight on education

Education is a lifelong pursuit that can benefit everyone in the family. Volunteer State Community College is holding an evening especially designed for Hispanic families. The Hispanic Family Education Night will help answer questions about everything from college degree programs to English classes. It will be held on Tuesday, February 19 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on the Vol State campus in Gallatin.

“There are high school students who are ready for college, and perhaps adults who want to go back to school or improve their English skills,” said Eric Melcher, Communications Coordinator at Vol State. “We’ll have several of the college offices on hand, including Admissions and Advising. We’ll have bilingual staff available for advising and translating in Spanish.”

“We’re seeing a growing need for information about the college in Spanish and English,” said Volunteer State Advisor-Counselor Terry Bubb. “We know that many Hispanic families have members who have different English skill levels. This event will have something for everyone. We’ll have information about our ESOL classes, for people who want to improve their English skills, and also information about our degrees and programs for those whose English is already at the college level.”

ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. The classes provide a stepping stone for Spanish speaking people to build their skills in conversation, writing and reading.

Families will be able to see the support services Volunteer State has for students, including the award-winning NewSkills Center, which provides help with developmental needs in areas, such as math, reading and writing. The Language Center, with resources for people who speak foreign languages, will be part of the campus tour. The TRIO Student Support Services program will also be represented. It provides a wide array of help for first-generation college students, those with low family incomes, or those with certain disabilities.

The Sumner Hispanic Alliance will have information about events and opportunities for the Hispanic community. Local community groups, who provide educational support in a number of different areas, will also be on hand at the event.

“It’s not just for people who want to go to Vol State,” said Melcher. “We’re trying to provide resources to help families get more information about higher education. It can get complicated and it helps to talk to someone, one-on-one and in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Refreshments will be served and there will be movies and fun to keep the kids entertained, so parents can have time to ask questions. Everyone is invited to attend. The Hispanic Family Education Night will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and people can stop by whenever it’s convenient. It will be held on Tuesday, February 19 at the Thigpen Library on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3570 or in Spanish 615-230-4846.
Photo: Vol State instructors (left to right) Ruth McKinzie, Karen Hutson and Cindy Chanin answer questions at the 2007 Vol State Hispanic Family Night. Source: Volunteer State Community College. Used with permission.

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