LearningQuest literacy center programs draw kids into helping parents’ ESL progress
See the original Modesto Bee article by Deke Farrow HERE
Rosa Cisneros looks through a workbook during her LearningQuest ESL night class at Eisenhut Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. ANDY ALFARO AALFARO@MODBEE.COM
Eisenhut Elementary School fifth-grader Jeanette Cisneros has a straightforward way of helping her mom, Rosa, improve her English language skills.
“Sometimes I don’t understand some Spanish, so I just tell her, ‘Speak English,’ and that helps her,” the child said. Her blunt comment drew laughs from her mom and Karen Williams, executive director of LearningQuest-Stanislaus Literacy Centers, as the three sat at a cafeteria at the north Modesto school one recent evening.
Every occasion to speak English does help Rosa Cisneros, who more than 15 years ago immigrated to the U.S. from Peru with her parents and little brother. Just 15 then, she was thrust into high school, where she struggled to improve her language skills.
“It was really hard for me,” she said as she waited for her LearningQuest ESL night class to begin at Eisenhut, and Jeanette and her brother, Daniel, took part in the Kids Club offered for children of the English-as-a-second-language students. “But with the passage of years, I just get a job and my English started coming out.
“And now my kids help me a lot because they only want to speak English at home. It’s hard for them to speak Spanish at home.