Bilingual students connect the community.

The community came together as more than 150 parents attended the district’s bilingual night on Oct. 12 for Spanish-speaking families from all LVCSD schools.

Organized and facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, the district interpreter, the event provided parents with helpful information to ensure that their children succeed in school. Ergen shared the district calendar, important phone numbers and many helpful tips that would not only benefit students, but help parents and guardians feel more comfortable being part of the LVCSD community.

In addition to the families, the event was attended by Dr. Graham, Superintendent, Michele Schafer, board of education member, several building leaders, department coordinators and faculty members. Other notable participants were the Parents Council, SEPTA, Project HOPE, Cornell Nutrition, Pintail Coffee, HealthFirst and the Locust Valley Library. Each was introduced to the parents and their roles were highlighted and explained.

The presentation included a special speaker, Emilsa Acosta, who shared her success in achieving her dream to earn her GED to become a nurse. Senior Valery Martinez shared the touching story of her journey and how she went from not knowing a word of English as a nine-year-old to being an IB diploma candidate.

But perhaps the highlight of the evening was its ending. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage month, several families and staff members brought authentic cuisine representing all of Latin America. At the end of the evening, parents, administrators and staff members enjoyed the food and company of one another.

Ergen has been running this event for eight years and said the Spanish-speaking community is appreciative that the information shared allows them to become more involved in the education of their children. “Many of these families want to be more involved but don’t know how,” Ergen said. “By showing them where to find information, how to view the website in their own language and who to contact for various topics, they now feel more comfortable.”