On Friday, September 19th, the summer session of the Language is the Key program at Centro para Familias Hispanas was completed.  Language is the Key is a 10-session program in which parents help their children to develop language skills through the use of games and play time. One session is held each week and consists of a group of twenty parents and/or caregivers with children ages 0 – 5.  Most of the children participating in this program are at risk of having limited language skills due to either their parent’s low educational level or limited resources reducing the educational materials available at home.

Consuelo Kwee, Director of Centro para Familias Hispanas, explains that “Learning not only occurs in the classroom, but in the home as well. The Language is the Key program helps parents to create an environment in the home that encourages children to learn and helps them prepare for beginning school.”

Families who participate in this program help prepare their children to enter school at the proper educational level or above. Ms. Kwee spoke about the impact of Language is the Key on the family: “This program benefits not only the younger children, but the whole family unit, because the parents and caregivers learn the importance of reading and learning.”

Julieta Plaza, a recent graduate of the program, reflected on how the program has helped her: “Thanks to the Language is the Key program, my daughter, Genesis, who just entered pre-K at a Wake County school, is very well adjusted. Her teacher has even told me that, academically, she is at the level that she is supposed to be. This makes me happy.”

Language is the Key began eight years ago through the help of SmartStart funding from Wake County. The program is offered in five different locations simultaneously throughout the county. The summer sessions took place in the Hispanic Center of Catholic Charities in Raleigh – Centro Para Familias Hispanas, the Green Road Library (north Raleigh), and in the following Trailer Home Parks: Stonybrook Road in Raleigh, Green Spring Valley in Garner and the Pleasant Grove trailer home park in Fuquay-Varina.