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One Unique Center Has Students Teaching Students. Here’s How It’s Paying Off

March 5, 2014
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One Unique Center Has Students Teaching Students. Here’s How It’s Paying Off
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
At the Futuro Latino Learning Center, college students are the educators.

For some students, school can be nerve-wracking. But an ingenious school in Towson, Maryland, makes pupils feel at ease by having college students teach all the classes.

At Goucher College in Towson, M.D., immigrants come to the Futuro Latino Learning Center to learn English and computer skills. Most of the college students teaching at the center are Spanish-speaking or are Spanish majors; they are supported with work-study grants. These educators serve mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants, but the center also has some attendees from Iran, Brazil, and Syria (many of whom are parents).

Director Frances Ramos-Fontan, who was born in Puerto Rico, teaches Spanish at Goucher and runs the center. She told Carrie Wells of the Baltimore Sun, “You have participants who have never sat in front of a computer. We had one woman from Guatemala, her hands were frozen she was so afraid. It’s like learning another language from scratch, learning a computer.”

It’s not just the students at Futuro Latino Learning Center that receive an education–the college students benefit too. Fernando Parra, a freshman Spanish and international relations major at Goucher who teaches computer classes at the center, said, “It’s really great having the opportunity to teach them something that we take for granted.”

MORE: This Non-Profit Is Teaching Immigrants Much More Than Just Language

 

 

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