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Hispanic Heritage Month: Longview ISD uses unique approach to reach Hispanic parents

The communications team started a new Spanish language radio show to inform parents of important district information. They also announce the varsity soccer games.

LONGVIEW, Texas — When you look at the demographics for the City of Longview, you won't be surprised at its diversity. 

While the primary population is still white non-hispanics at 54 percent, the Hispanic population makes up about 20 percent of the residents.

Meanwhile, the largest school district in town, Longview ISD, is home to 40% Hispanic students, that's more than any other race in the district.

It wasn't until the last couple of years, however, that the district really started expanding its communication to parents.

"We felt that there was a huge need in providing them with information that they needed to hear," communication coordinator Francisco Rojas said. 

Rojas and the rest of the communication team have spearheaded a Spanish language radio show that is helping Spanish-speaking parents get the information they need to stay up to date on their students' lives.

"For example, when when the school board makes decisions on something we have that information in English but we thought it was important for our Spanish-speaking parents to be aware of what the board was deciding on as well," he said. 

Rojas also hosts a live broadcast during the varsity soccer games. It's helped the team get a name in the Hispanic community.

"We got a lot of feedback when we go into the community, like at Walmart together as a team or any store, people would point us out and say congrats like you did good," former Lobo soccer player Alejandro Rojas said.

Alejandro is just entering his first year at LeTourneau University, where he was selected to play for the soccer team.

Savannah Rodriguez, a parent, and employee at LISD says her oldest daughter has gotten several universities offers right now. 

"When I was going to school, the soccer wasn't really that big," she said. "But the MLS (Major League Soccer) is getting really big and you see a lot of kids signing up to play the sport." 

Her daughter is hoping to pursue a professional soccer career. She credits the offers to exposure her daughter gets from these live broadcasts.

During the week, Francisco Rojas hosts a radio show for Hispanic parents at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those can be heard on FM 92.7 and on the Longview ISD Facebook Page. 

"Through the radio show, we provide family support topics or parenting topics. We provide information on what is going on in the school district," he said. 

He said many of the students who are growing up in this generation still have parents who do not speak English and who may not have gone to college, so the district is giving those parents resources and information to help those students succeed.

"It's been a blessing, not only for us as a school district, but for them as well," he said.