KC public schools launch programs for Spanish-speaking immigrants

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Public Schools, in partnership with the Mexican consulate, is launching Thursday a new program to help Spanish-speaking immigrants better fit into our society.

East High School is going to be home to "Plaza Communitaria," which literally means community plaza.

It's place where Spanish speaking families can go to learn.

It's not for children who are already in school, but targeted at their parents, who may not have completed their education in their home country.

Sponsored and paid for by the Mexican government, the program can help any native Spanish-speaker older than 17 get a high school diploma.

"I think for us, it’s letting the community know that we are here for them," said Luis Córdoba, the school district's student intervention director. "We are here to support them and their children. We can’t change the law. We can’t change anything that happens in Washington, DC, but we can change the climate here in our community by accepting and working with them to provide resources that they are wanting."

Classes start after 5 p.m., when most adults finish their work day, and include teaching English as a second language.

There is no cost and those who apply first are assessed to determine how much education they need.

The first sessions of the pilot program begin on March 2. The school district says it believes that educated parents help produce better educated children.