NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nearly 30% of students at Metro Public Schools consider Spanish their primary language. Now one new charter school in southeast Nashville is working to eliminate language barriers in the classroom.
Isaac Unda and Nathaly Guevara recently moved from Venezuela. They enrolled their 6-year-old son at Aventura Community School — a bilingual project-based school in its founding year. Since the start of classes, they say he's already learned several words and phrases in English. Isaac calls his improvement significant.
Nathaly says they feel happy and relaxed knowing their son is in that environment. It's made the transition here in America a positive one.
"For them to be able to come to school and not only the students be able to speak in their language and be understood, but their parents to be able to communicate directly with the teacher and the teacher communicate directly in the language that the parents understand makes really just such a difference," said Founder and Executive Director of Aventura, Natalie Morosi.
At Aventura, students spend about 80% of their day learning in Spanish
"Aventura has just been a collective dream of so many people in our community for a really long time," Morosi said.
Odalis Yazmin Pena says she suffers whenever she goes somewhere where people can't understand her. Now she says her daughter won't have that problem thanks to the English she's learning in the classroom.
"The benefits of having a diverse population is that both of the populations benefit," said Diana Aguilar, director of Family Engagement and Operations. "So our English speakers benefit from learning with our Spanish speakers, and vice versa."
Right now the school is kindergarten through first grade, but a new grade will be added each year.
"We have families who have kids in the tummy, like 'my baby is not born yet but I'm trying to figure out about your school,'" Aguilar said.
It's something families say is important as Nashville's Hispanic community continues to grow.