The Spanish Volunteer Program at Leander ISD gives students the opportunity to engage in a second language during their elementary school years.

Overseeing the program for the district is Teresa Orkun, Volunteer Spanish Program Coordinator.

“For over 20 years, volunteers have been enthusiastically teaching basic Spanish language as well as Hispanic traditions and cultures stimulating students’ minds,” said Orkun. “We are thankful for the dedication of these volunteers and to LISD educators for allowing the program in our elementary schools.”

She first joined the program 17 years ago as a volunteer teacher when her eldest son was just a kindergartener attending Pleasant Hill Elementary. As a native Spanish speaker, she felt it would be a great way to remain close to her son while at the same time giving back to her community.

On designated days of the week, volunteer teachers lead 30-minute lessons on the basics of the Spanish language such as the alphabet, pronunciation rules, exception rules and vocabulary words relating to everyday life. Students also practice basic conversational skills. All the material that is taught is suited to students’ grade level.

“The students at Cypress Elementary have found the rewards of learning a new language whenever they communicate with family or friends that speak Spanish,” said Marispy Fitzpatrick, Program Coordinator and volunteer Spanish teacher at Cypress.

Ten schools across LISD are currently participating in the program with roughly 1,250 students benefiting. But more volunteers are needed to continue to make the program a success. Find out how you can become a volunteer.