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Engaging Spanish-Speaking Families through Student-Led Translation

Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH) provides children and families throughout Fauquier County with a wealth of information and activities about leading healthy, active lifestyles. FRESH has recently partnered with Seton School in Manassas to ensure primarily Spanish-speaking Fauquier families can also benefit from all that FRESH has to offer.

At Seton, Ann Martella’s Spanish students have incorporated the translation of FRESH materials into classroom assignments. The 12 student translators are a mix of heritage speakers and students learning Spanish as a second language. Translated materials include FRESH’s ‘Harvest of the Month’ fact-sheets and recipes, various movement activity guides, and literacy posters.

Speaking about the importance of Seton’s partnership with FRESH, Martella noted, “As a teacher, you want your students to see that language learning is more than just textbook exercises and unit tests. Translating for FRESH is giving them the opportunity to use their skills in the real world! They are so pleased to be able to use their Spanish knowledge in a practical and meaningful way to share with others.

Student translator, Zoe Machate also shared, “By helping translate recipes, games, and learning activities, we learn too. It’s a nice mutual exchange of benefits. As we teach others, we teach ourselves more Spanish and learn about new activities.”

FRESH staff member Pam Heppard hopes this partnership will further FRESH’s mission within Fauquier schools and the community. Heppard remarked, “FRESH wants to engage entire families in the work we’re doing to promote nutrition, active lifestyles, and literacy. We know that some of our students’ parents and caregivers may not always be able to read the information we send home or post on social media. The translation of our materials helps to bridge this gap, making our work more inclusive of everyone in our community.” For more information about FRESH, visit:


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