Rafael Castillo
Parent Advocate

When my wife and I bought a house in the IPS district, I was concerned about my five-year-old son Christofer’s education. But then my wife researched all the IPS schools and found the innovation school where our son now attends, Global Prep Academy at Riverside 44. This school allows my son to keep his culture, to learn both his mother’s native language and mine.

I also have a 21-year-old daughter. There wasn’t a Global Prep or an immersion program like this when she was Christofer’s age and attending schools in Indianapolis. Because of this, even though she loves her culture, she will never understand Spanish the way my son does now and will in the future. It is hard when my mother, who only speaks a small amount of English, can’t communicate very well with her and must ask me to translate at family gatherings.

By the time my son reaches middle school, he will be fluent in Spanish. I am so grateful for this. His teachers send home books each day and extra books each Friday. I read him the Spanish books and my wife reads him the English books.

This school engages all communities and ethnicities. The teachers and the students are from all different backgrounds. My son is treated well at this school, he trusts his teachers, they’ve come to be more like family and the school feels like home. There is not another school in Indianapolis that can offer this to my son, to my family.

This innovation school has built a bridge between culture and languages in a nation filled with immigrants. Integrating different languages into the school system---is important to me and it is necessary for children like mine.

I support replicating innovation schools like Global Prep that are serving children of all backgrounds and bonding together cultures and languages.

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