KEARNS, Utah – Noche familiar Latina, or Latino family night, aims to bring Latino families together to celebrate their culture and learn about educational resources.
The Granite School District put on the third annual event earlier this week.
“For a couple of years we’ve had these nights, sponsored these nights for families to come, and really help parents get involved in their children`s education,” said Martin Bates, the superintendent for Granite School District.
More than one-third of the students in the district are Hispanic or Latino, yet most of the students and their families still have limited knowledge of the American education system.
For the past few years, the district has been working to bridge divides caused in part by things like language barriers and a lack of understanding among cultures.
“The population’s growing even bigger, and there’s some cultural things where getting involved in the school, a lot of parents haven’t gone through the school process, so they can’t help their kids as much as they’d like to,” said Andrew Busath, a teacher at Kearns High School.
With Spanish as the primary language at the microphone, and music and dance to celebrate, it's all part of an effort to show just how important education is to every family, regardless of their cultural background.
“Across the state of Utah we find that kids from minority families don’t graduate at the same rate that other children do,” Bates said.
Bates said they believe the key to changing that is promoting family involvement.
“And because parent involvement is so important in a child’s education, we’re really reaching out to families to help them and the kids understand how important an education is,” he said.
At the end of the day, educators say the goal is to help every student become college and career ready.
The event was held in conjunction with the group Latinos in Action, which works in 110 schools throughout several states including Utah.