AC JosepH Media

CAMDEN – On Friday, the Camden City School District announced a partnership with The Latino Spirit, a digital hub serving the region’s Latino community, to provide live Spanish translation to its monthly Advisory Board of Education meetings.  

“We strive to be an inclusive community for all families,” said Superintendent Katrina McCombs. “Today’s announcement is an important step in ensuring all voices are able to participate fully in our advisory board meetings.  In the weeks and months ahead, the advisory board will provide guidance and feedback on critical issues related to our District’s continued progress, and I’m grateful we are now able to better accommodate our Spanish speaking families,” she said. 

READ: Camden Education Fund Launches Grant Opportunity To Support Local Youth-Serving Organizations

Currently, 54% of Camden City School District students are Latino, and 30% of District students speak Spanish as their primary language at home.

“Too often, our Spanish speaking families miss important updates from the district or are unable to share their perspective on key issues because of structural barriers, especially language barriers,” said advisory board member Falio Leyba-Martinez.  “It’s just not right that our board meetings were inaccessible to a large percentage – potentially more than half – of our families.  I am thankful to the Superintendent and my colleagues on the Board for taking steps to address this long-standing barrier,” he said. “This is an opportunity for our Spanish-speaking families to get real information, directly from the District,” Leyba-Martinez added.

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As part of his ongoing advocacy to make advisory board meetings more accessible to Latino families, Mr. Leyba-Martinez sought out local vendors with experience in providing live Spanish translation.  His efforts led him to The Latino Spirit. 

The Latino Spirit has provided live, simultaneous translations of Governor Murphy’s press briefings during the pandemic.  As part of its partnership with Camden City School District, The Latino Spirit will provide a similar simultaneous broadcasts of the District’s advisory board meetings. Broadcasts will be available for viewing in a separate live stream on Facebook.  No password or login will be required.

“We are excited to offer this service to Camden families, as most Latino parents mainly communicate in Spanish.  This is also a giant step forward to help educate children on the importance of the Spanish language within a global context,” said Latino Spirit CEO Diego Maya

The cost of partnership is covered by a $6,000 donation from the Camden Education Fund.  

The Camden City School District Advisory Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM.  Meetings are currently being held virtually.  

To view board agendas or register to speak at a meeting, click here.

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