Rep. Romero speaks at Latino night
Park City School District continued its commitment to Latino outreach on Nov. 16, when it held its second annual all-Spanish "Nuestra Noche Informativa" for parents whose first language is Spanish. About 100 Latino parents attended the event, held at the district offices, for break-out sessions and speeches by educators, Superintendent Dave Adamson, and state Rep. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City, the only Latino in the Utah Legislature. "I was very pleased to receive the invitation to speak and obviously appreciate the effort Park City School District is making to reach out to the Latino community, who have difficulties maybe with meeting times to meet with teachers," said Romero, whose district includes western Summit County.
Romero is a product of Utah public education, a graduate of Highland High School and the University of Utah. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan and is a father. "One of the things I stressed is that they need to ask their kids each day ‘How did your day go? Tell me how your studies went,’" he said. "Constantly be inquiring of your kids how they’re performing and how parents might help them." It’s very important that students receive a college education "because that’s really demanded of them in today’s workforce," Romero told the parents. "The other thing I stressed is the students should stay engaged in school activities like choir or sports. Kids who are engaged in extra-curriculars perform better academically and stay engaged in the educational process," he said. Workshops covered college scholarships, characteristics of a strong united family, reading, the importance of success in school, and other basic information to be financially successful. "There was just a real emphasis on making sure the Spanish-speaking parents knew Park City schools were interested in having their students succeed and educating parents about how important their involvement is to their child’s education," Romero said. This year the district had booths to publicize available community services. These booths were hosted by Park City Police Department, Utah Valley State College, the Eccles Center for the performing Arts, People’s Health Clinic, Summit County Victims Advocacy, The Boys and Girls Club, Holy Cross Ministries, Park City Public Library, Arts Kids and The Christian Center. Spanish language brochures and clarifying conversations in Spanish were available at each booth.
A member of the district’s Latino Advisory Committee, Emilia Pablo, said "The parents liked the themes. They liked the fact that they were given solutions to their quandaries and that they have a reference of people that they can go to now if they have the need for more information." Latino outreach coordinator Nora Buchanan said, "The night went well, the parents were pleased and they reported the workshops to be helpful and informative. I believe our school district is showing the Latino Community that we are here to work in partnership with them, that we are invested in their children’s education and we want them to be able to achieve their dreams and goals."
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The unemployment rate in Summit County in September rose slightly and the state upwardly revised the August figure, evidence job gains in the Park City-area have largely stalled.