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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Spanish-language Resources for Students and Families


By: Dr. Nancy Lewin, senior director, ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

As we mark Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to understand the Hispanic population in the U.S. in order to better serve them. Of the 49.4 million public school students enrolled in pre-K through grade 12 in fall 2020, 13.8 million were Hispanic students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Between fall 2020 and fall 2030, the percentages of public elementary and secondary students who are white and Black are projected to decrease (from 46% to 43% and 15% to 14%, respectively). In contrast, NCES also notes that the percentage of students who are Hispanic is projected to increase (from 28% to 30%).

Ensuring access to information is critical to students and families when making college and career pathway decisions. Providing content and information in Spanish is one way ACT is making sure families have information in a format they are comfortable using. That’s why ACT has developed a library of digital resources for Spanish-speaking students and their families that is presented in a variety of formats, including articles, e-books, and short videos.

Information is vital for helping students make the best of their high school years, and to help students and their families find and understand information on topics like paying for college, the benefits of dual enrollment classes, and an overview of actions to take with a check list and the specifics on what do during each of the four years of high school. Providing information in multiple formats, including videos, is a practical way of sharing sound information that will help Spanish-speaking students and their families make solid decisions during the path to college and career. Moreover, having students access this information in Spanish can help them and their families more effectively access information they otherwise have not been able to use. Each video is less than five minutes in length and provides practical tips and information that can make planning for college less overwhelming.

These short videos get to the crux of what students and their families should think about and decide throughout the four years of high school, especially for students entering who may not know what to focus on for each year of school. Providing this information early on provides both the information and focus that empowers students to better make decisions and choices that will affect their readiness and their future upward mobility potential.

As we mark Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s celebrate the Latinx community and the many assets they bring to our country. Providing content to our Spanish-speaking community is one way ACT can demonstrate our commitment to helping them achieve education success. These resources (and ones we will continue to develop) help support our students and families keep the pathways of information, access, and support moving forward. We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and look forward to collaborating with the Latinx community and those stakeholders who serve them this month, next month, and every month, all year long.