CHESTERFIELD, Va. — Manchester High School is embracing the Hispanic community, while students prepare for the future. Its Spanish Immersion classes are full of opportunities.
"Whatever profession I will go in, Spanish will be utilized," said senior Kennedy Taylor. “It's very important here in the United States. I can use my Spanish in whatever career I'd like."
Over 820,000 Latinos reside in Virginia, comprising 9.6% of the state's population — and that number is growing every year.
That's why the goal of Manchester High School's Spanish Immersion Center is to open the eyes and minds of the students to other important cultures.
They want them to learn Spanish, but also to use it in the community to help form a sense of unity in our society.
"Every year we have tons of opportunities for parties and stuff like that, that we do to celebrate different cultures," said senior Jacob Couch. “Whether it be from Spain or South American or Latin American countries. It's awesome to see a different perspective of how different people live their lives."
It is also fostering a sense of community.
"The people who speak Spanish feel more comfortable," explained Kennedy. “It's like a breath of fresh air to them when they realize I speak their language, because learning English itself is one of the hardest languages to learn."
The students also volunteer at local elementary schools, translating for Spanish-speaking families at kindergarten registration, helping kids enroll in ESL programs during the summer and translating for Hispanic families shopping for the holiday season at the "Christmas with a Cop" event.
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