Painesville, the county seat of Lake County, has experienced a 12% population growth from 2000-2010. In that same decade, the Hispanic population has increased from 13% to 22%. The dramatic growth in the Hispanic population has coincided with a high rate of student transience and poverty. To combat these problems, school district Superintendent John Shepard and Assistant Superintendent Josh Englehart are leading a community improvement effort to address the needs of the growing Hispanic student population.


At a meeting of representatives of education, social service and non-profit organizations in July, Englehart announced plans for a Family Resource Center at Elm Street Elementary. The Center will provide resources and services to minimize non-academic barriers to success and improve the community’s overall health and wellbeing, such as: immunizations, dental services, mental health, housing, basic needs (food, clothing utilities), protective services, employment training, and literacy.

Elm Street Elementary is an ideal location. The school’s current student population is 57% Hispanic. Forty-seven percent of the overall student population is classified as “limited-English proficient” with 91% identified as “economically disadvantaged.” A ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Center is expected soon.

Amber Torres Gonzales, the Center’s Coordinator and Family Advocate, is excited about getting to know the Painesville families that will be taking advantage of the Center’s services. “I genuinely believe that this new bilingual family resource center is a vital component of our district’s commitment to academic excellence and student success,” said Gonzales.

For more information about the Family Resources Center, contact 392-5548 or [email protected]