Closing the language gap one class at a time, HRDC is seeing an increase in the number of Spanish-speaking clients. HRDC is now partnering with the World Language Initiative to teach Spanish to employees.
“We really want to improve our community, you know, by helping people learn other languages,” said World Language Initiative lead coach Kristen Wolf.
“It’s extremely important for us to be able to serve our entire community,” said Sara Savage, Associate Director at HRDC.
“Working more upstream in the food bank with our customers and many of them speak Spanish,” added Kyla Crisp, Food Rescue Coordinator at Gallatin Valley Food Bank.
By bridging the language gap, her goal in learning Spanish, she looks to the future.
“So that I don’t freeze up when someone comes in and needs help, I want them to feel welcome,” Crisp said.
Wolf’s teaching allows for growing pains when students approach a new language.
“Just know that mistakes are part of the process,” Wolf said.
“I feel really comfortable and I can talk and I’m not being judged for my mistakes,” Crisp said.
Wolf says learning the language today can be easier and more affordable.
“It’s been so rewarding to see people find new ways to connect with the language through Netflix or Spotify,” Wolf said.
As a language teacher, Wolf encourages community members to keep learning.
“I want to encourage people to keep learning languages,” she said.
HRDC wants the Hispanic community to be present and willing to speak in their language.