Southgate staff get thanks from parents

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2002

The parents of English as a Second Language curriculum students are grateful for the quality education their sons and daughters are receiving at Southgate Elementary School.

So grateful, in fact, they cooked lunch for Southgate's faculty, support staff and administration Friday.

"We believe this is a great way to show our appreciation to the teachers," said Valentina Gallegos, who assists Nancy Clark in teaching ESL classes at Southgate.

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Gallegos said the parents recognize the contributions Southgate teachers are making to both the education of their children and entire families.

Teachers and ESL parents meet monthly to assess the progress of students and discuss topics of mutual interest

Recently, another unique venture took place, involving eight families. Mothers and daughters attended a conference at Mankato to further communication between the students and their parents.

The daughters ranged in age from 10 to 18 and Gallegos said, "There were very good results from the conference, which attracted

80 families from northern Iowa and southern Minnesota."

But more important to the Hispanic families is how their sons and daughters are doing in Austin Pubic Schools on a school day-to-day basis.

Vanessa Martinez, one of the parents, said the ESL students are doing "quite well."

She joined other parents in cooking a traditional Hispanic meal for the Southgate educators Friday. The faculty lounge was decorated in the traditional red, green and white colors of Mexico. Martinez is a mother of an eight year old daughter

at Southgate Elementary School. Speaking through an interpreter (Gallegos), she said the interaction between students and teachers at Southgate and the involvement of families in the education of their children is producing "good results."

The Austin Public Schools program has also enjoyed support from the corporate sector. Quality Pork Processors, Inc. donated money to the ESL program at Southgate that resulted in the purchase of badly needed curriculum materials.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at :mailto: