TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLLFI) -- The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on Tippecanoe County families. One demographic in particular feeling the effects is the Hispanic community.
Covid-19 numbers are continuing to climb in Indiana with more than 1,000 new cases in one day as of Friday, Aug. 21. According to the Indiana State Health Department, Tippecanoe County's reported cases are at more than 1,300 since the start of the pandemic. As in-class learning is beginning again, parents like Alejandro Macias are concerned.
"I've heard stories of people having a hard time getting the information, understanding the processes, or even having a hard time helping the kids with the homework," said Macias.
Macias was born and raised in Mexico before moving to Lafayette more than 20 years ago. Right now, the Hispanic community sits as the third-largest ethnic demographic in Tippecanoe County testing positive for Covid-19.
"It is a big burden to know that our community has been one of the most infected," said Macias. "I would have to say we have to be more cautious overall."
His children are currently in the Lafayette Catholic School System. While his older children have excelled out of English language classes, he feels for those families who in the midst of still learning.
"It is a big burden to know that our community has been the most infected, if we as parents have a hard time understanding the whole system, it's not going to go through well with the kids," said Macias.
Lafayette Catholic School System Executive Director Eric Davis agrees. That's why the district has been planning since last school year to work out any e-Learning language barrier issues. This includes hiring a bilingual liaison.
"Her role is really to continue to support, do outreach, be available for translation services," said Davis.
Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County school districts have also invested in bringing on a team of translators for families.
"Parents are the primary educators and if there's a language barrier between the parents and the teacher, it's not ideal and so we're working to make sure that that doesn't exist anymore," said Davis.
All the districts have a number of language liaisons either working with teachers, working with tech support, or even holding classes one on one with students over video-chat to make sure the learning is not greatly disrupted during this pandemic. Tippecanoe County and West Lafayette have also subscribed to different language learning activities that students and parents can use with e-Learning.