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Hispanic student starts blog to help parents break language barrier

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Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, in front of the office where she works on her project. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman]

Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, in front of the office where she works on her project. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman]

EDMOND — Understanding English is easy for some, but Hilda Estrada has a mission to help Spanish-speaking parents better understand the requirements set out by schools.

Her efforts come in the form of simple blog posts on her website that are written in Spanish and English, something Estrada said has helped families throughout the metro area.

“The reason why this project came alive was because, here I am in college and I looked back at my younger years and I saw the struggles that my parents faced through the lack of resources and lack of information,” Estrada said.

Growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Estrada, 23, said she noticed that students and parents often struggle with the language barriers and it puts them at a disadvantage.

“You see the potential with these students, and they are all worth it,” Estrada said.

Her posts range from the basics of what to expect at parent-teacher conferences to how children can find a quiet area to study when at home.

“My blogs aren't that long and that was purposeful. I think that with Hispanic families … just get to the point and say what you have to say without making it too fancy or wordy,” Estrada said.

When she completes her studies at the University of Central Oklahoma, Estrada plans to work in the Oklahoma City Public Schools system to focus on elementary students and help improve the area where she grew up.

“We need these teachers,” said Susan Scott, a professor of Educational Sciences Foundations and Research at UCO. “She is trying to help these parents with the skills that maybe they are not aware of or familiar with here in the United States to helping their children.”

Over the years, Scott has become Estrada's mentor and has recruited her to speak to graduate-level students about the work she is doing.

“I could just see this spark within her,” Scott said. “I don't think we as K-12 teachers or as professors truly understand how special these bilingual students are.”

Earlier this year, Estrada spoke to a group of parents at Sacred Heart Catholic School in south Oklahoma City who wanted to hear her suggestions about how information on the blog could help to break down the language barrier.

“She wanted to give them some insight into the education process based on her own personal experiences that she had with parents who do not speak English,” Scott said. “The blog has provided opportunities.”

Estrada hopes to continue the blog after graduation and host classes for parents.

“I want to continue this in my career,” she said. “The resources that I am wanting to give out to those families are simple things” that could make their lives easier.

Estrada's blog can be found online at http://feccfe.weebly.com/blogs.

Related Photos
<p>Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, shows her website and blogs she posts.   [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman]</p>

Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, shows her website and blogs she posts.   [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c3dcb16c2a315ec263a042089c2990a4.jpg" alt="Photo - Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, shows her website and blogs she posts.   [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] " title=" Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, shows her website and blogs she posts.   [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, shows her website and blogs she posts.   [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-43e14aacbca37573a765506a18785d8c.jpg" alt="Photo - Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, in front of the office where she works on her project. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] " title=" Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, in front of the office where she works on her project. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Hilda Estrada, 23 of Moore, in front of the office where she works on her project. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
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