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School Seminar Focuses on Accomplishment, Not English

April 15, 1993

School officials in La Crescenta are offering a seminar Saturday to show parents who don't speak English that they can still play an active role in their children's studies.

More than 200 parents of students who are likewise limited in English proficiency are expected to attend the conference, said Magaly Lavadenz, a teacher specialist for the Glendale Unified School District.

The seminar will be from 9:15 a.m. to noon at the Clark Staff Development Center, 4747 New York Ave., La Crescenta.

The conference is mainly for parents whose children attend the district's four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school in La Crescenta, Lavadenz said.

Of the 4,500 enrolled students, more than 1,000 are considered limited in English proficiency, she said. Most of them are Korean, Armenian or Latino.

Although English proficiency programs usually focus on students, school officials are beginning to realize the need to reach out to students' parents as well.

"We just felt it was a missing link that we didn't have parents involved in our project," said Sally Buckley, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. "We want them to know they can make a difference in their child's education."

By attending the seminar, "parents will feel more informed and more part of the schools that their children attend," Buckley said. "Children's achievement will improve because their parents will be able to assist."

Six speakers are scheduled to attend workshops on topics such as cultural diversity, recognizing gang involvement, and the power of reading. Translators will be available for four of the workshops.

One other workshop, on helping children achieve in U.S. schools, will be presented in Korean; another one, on understanding cultural diversity, will be presented in Armenian.

Information: Magaly Lavadenz at (818) 249-1863.

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