Kodiak school district’s new Family Resource Center plans to bridge the educational gap for non-English speakers

Every parent wants their children to succeed in school, but not every parent is in the same position. Getting support from a school district can be a daunting task; the Kodiak Island Borough School District’s new Family Resource Center is hoping to make it a bit easier.

Superintendent Larry LeDoux says that the goal is to make the school system more accessible to parents who may only speak Spanish or Tagalog with fluency, in the interest of making it more accessible to all students.

“We thought we had a good system. But I think it’s sort of in our head, we thought we had a good system that met the needs. But I think you really have to look at these things from your heart. Look at the fear when you don’t speak the language or the education system that you come from, it’s very different,” LeDoux said.

As an example, parents looking for extra help with their child’s homework can get signed up for the Alaska State Library tutoring service, or get their child signed up with the high school’s homework club.

Laura Griffin, works at the center and speaks Spanish fluently. She’s there to give parents who may not be fluent in English assistance with navigating the public school system and resources in the wider Kodiak community.

“A lot of the time they don’t know not because they don’t want to know, they just generally don’t know- because it might be a language barrier, or they don’t know what is occurring in the Kodiak area. And we just want to make sure that everyone has a bit of equity and can thrive in our community,” Griffin said.

The center can also help parents access programs at the local college, as well as English language programs and employment opportunities in town.

Those interested in the center can find it underneath Subway and across from Thai Market, at 326 Center Street, Suite 90 B.

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