Throughout September and October, with the help of Centro Hispano through funds from Knox Ed, Belle Morris Elementary conducted surveys with Latinx families from the school to gain a better understanding of how they can support this population, which makes up a third of the total school population. The overwhelming majority of survey participants reported that they did not feel confident using apps like Zoom or Teams but would be willing to learn if the school taught them and provided interpreters.With this in mind, the Belle Morris steering committee decided to have an “Internet Café” event for Latinx families.
On December 1st, Belle Morris held the Internet Café in the library. Families began the process of signing up for affordable internet, learned how to use Zoom and Teams, and received school-specific technology support. This event has led to calls and questions from multiple families unable to attend the event who wanted information and/or assistance about the topics covered. Belle Morris sees this event as a great start to reaching more and more of their school families.
The Internet Café would not have been possible without Centro Hispano, as they provided an interpreter and helped reach out to families to invite them to the event. Centro has been a long-time partner of Belle Morris and many other schools that Knox Ed supports. At Belle Morris specifically, their help has been crucial to build bridges between the school and Latinx families.