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Watch: A Parent's Campaign to Break Down Language Barriers for ELL Families

When Teresa Garcia moved to suburban Seattle, she struggled to communicate with her children's teachers, to help her children with homework assignments, and to understand the notes that came home in their backpacks.

Garcia, who was still learning English, felt like she was failing her daughter, who needed specialized services. She set out on a campaign to ensure that other English-as-second-language families in the Federal Way, Wash., schools did not feel as hopeless as she once did.

In the video above, which is part of Education Week's new Parent Changemakers series, Garcia talks about her push for better language services. The district now provides translations of documents and web pages in 10 languages, paving the way for more families to access information about what is going on in schools.

"Make ... education be the first and main thing for your students, for your children right now," Garcia said. "... take the time right now to go to the school and speak with teachers, request an interpreter, request documents that you need or ask for help."

The video is available in two versions. The version at the start of this post has Spanish captions. The version below has English captions:

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