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Radio Tierra programs ease families’ path to the classroom

Bilingual programs starting this school year on Radio Tierra, 95.1 FM in Hood River and 107.1 FM in Parkdale, are designed to help parents of school-aged children better understand and use Hood River County School District programs.

The first, hosted by Hood River Valley High School teacher Nan Noteboom, is a continuation of her 30-minute program that began last spring. Called “Habla HRV,” Noteboom focuses on Hood River Valley High School — the people, systems, policies, opportunities and everything else, said Noteboom.

“We want to inform parents so they can support their students,” she said. “Every week is a different topic, such as AP (advanced placement) classes, running for ASB (Associated Student Body), college admissions or dances.”

The program will air beginning Aug. 29, each Wednesday from 4-4:30 p.m.

Noteboom said her first program will be themed “What to Expect,” and she will have three HRVHS students with her in the studio.


Patricia Ortega-Cooper

The second program is a bi-weekly program hosted by Patricia Ortega-Cooper, new district equity director, and will cover the school district as a whole.

The program will run on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at noon beginning in September.

Both programs will be broadcast in English and Spanish.

“The purpose is to improve school-home communication,” she said. “We believe parents play a critical role in their children’s education, and we want to keep them informed of school programs and district activities.”

Ortega-Cooper said topics will include bus information, open houses at the different schools, policy information and even job opportunities.

“Also, we want to create another channel for parents to ask questions and/or offer suggestions for improvement,” she said.

The program will be conducted mostly in Spanish, but key information will be provided in English and Spanish. Listeners will be able to call in during the program to ask questions.

Noteboom said the two shows came about because of the work of the district equity team last school year, consisting of a group of administrators and faculty with a goal of making Hood River County School District equitable for all.

“At one of our sessions, we had a student panel talk to us about their experiences in our county schools, all high schoolers who’d attended kindergarten to the present,” Noteboom said. “One message was clear: A lot of their parents don’t understand some of the processes and policies at the high school — they don’t use email regularly, there is a language barrier, etc. They do, however, listen to Radio Tierra.”

Noteboom proposed Habla HRV to the Radio Tierra board and was approved. Last school year, she had a different Spanish-speaking guest each week, but found it hard to coordinate.

“Now, Patricia Cooper is the new district equity director and she’s going to be my regular translator, which I am so happy about,” Noteboom said.

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