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Programs still available for students of Peoria Public Schools learning English

Students at Harrison School in Peoria are learning about Latino artists, authors and more during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hannah Alani
Students at Harrison Community Learning Center in Peoria are learning about Latino artists, authors and more during Hispanic Heritage Month.
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Students who are learning English as a second language saw significant learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic — but progress is being made to bring them up to speed.

Anna Rose is the director of multicultural and bilingual programs at Peoria Public Schools.

She says families are taking advantage of after-school tutoring and individualized learning programs also available to students who depend on their public school for English language education.

Face shields are also allowing teachers to safely show students how to enunciate words.

"The students will be able to catch up on math, reading and increase their English skills," she said. Because that's what we focus on, is becoming a bi-literate program, so the kids are able to be proficient in both languages."

Rose is also working to connect Spanish-speaking parents to their children's teachers through after school events during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The pandemic disproportionately affected the Latino community and Rose wants families to feel supported.

"A lot of our families lost their parents, or siblings, or people from their country, and they're not there to mourn them and be there with their families," she said.

Luzmiria Estrada is the parent of a first grader at Harrison Community Learning Center on Peoria's South Side. The family recently moved to Peoria from Mexico.

During an after-school event last week, Estrada said she's grateful for opportunities that bring families and teachers together.

"It is very important, because in this way, it gives us bridges of what is happening here in the school to inform us on how the kids are doing, and how they are working," Estrada said in Spanish.

Learn more about after school programs here.

Hannah Alani is a reporter at WCBU. She joined the newsroom in 2021. She can be reached at hmalani@ilstu.edu.
Jordan Mead is a reporting intern at WCBU. She joined the station in 2021.