Billingual Oldham students serve as peer tutors

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By Tracy Harris

For students still learning English, homework can be a daunting task. But a group of Oldham County High School students are helping younger students get ahead.

The Sonadores Club — roughly translated as “The Dreamers” — formed at OCHS three years ago.

The club has about 25 members and many provide tutoring and homework assistance twice a week at the La Grange Community Center. 

Help is available in all subjects for students in kindergarten through fifth grades, and English Language Learners Director Brooke Young said the younger students love the sessions.

“They’re excited to be tutored by others like them,” she said.

The younger students look up to their tutors, including club president Junior Rua and vice president Alex Quijada.

Rua is very involved in the community, Young said, and Quijada plays soccer for OCHS.

“We’re focusing on the community and on being positive role models,” Young said.

The students received certificates of appreciation from La Grange City Council Monday.

“It’s exciting when you can shake the hand of someone who helps the community,” said Mayor Bill Lammlein.

Lammlein said he first learned about the club a few months ago at an English Language Learners program at La Grange Elementary.

“It opened my eyes to what goes in in the city,” he said.

The club serves as a bridge between the school system and the Latino community, Young said, and its members often serve as translators.

The club has also met with local politicians including Rep. John Yarmuth about the Dream Act, a legislative proposal that would provide conditional permanent residency to qualified illegal aliens who graduate from U.S. high schools and arrived in the country as minors. 

Lobbying for the act is another way to motivate Latino students and get them involved in the community, Young said.

The club meets once a month at OCHS and tutors twice a week.