Why School Bus Drivers Are Learning Spanish

Twenty-one bus drivers in Evansville are learning Spanish so they can communicate with the increasing number of Latino students.

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Photo: Thomas Favre-Bulle (Flickr)

Some bus drivers in Evansville are learning Spanish so they can communicate with the growing number of Latino students.

Officials at one Indiana school district are working to teach bus drivers Spanish so they can communicate better with a growing Latino population.  Twenty-one bus drivers in Evansville have spent their summer vacation learning Spanish. The district created the program after a bus driver asked for some materials that could help her communicate with Spanish-speaking students.

School data specialist Marietta Morgan teaches the Spanish course.

“This is their summer break,” Morgan says.  ”They are not being paid for coming to this class. This is just them taking the opportunity to learn and showing how much they care for their students.”

She says the goal is to teach them enough so Spanish-speaking students are comfortable.

“They’re not going to be able to become fluent in Spanish we understand that. The expectation is that they’re going to be able to say a few words, especially to welcome the kids on the first day of school when they feel probably afraid because they’re new to the country and they don’t speak the language.”

The Spanish program is voluntary, and Morgan expects more drivers to attend the class once school resumes.

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