News: Exchange with the Turkish Cultural Center

Centro Hispano’s Women’s Wellness Group has been going strong now for nearly half a year. We have a great group of women that meet around two times a month for workshops on educational topics, to share a meal, and to support each other.

This Spring the women from Centro’s Women’s Wellness Group participated in an exchange of culture, food, and friendship with women from the Turkish Cultural Center. First, several women from the Turkish Cultural Center brought food to Centro hispano to show our group how to cook a traditional meal. Then, a month later, women from Centro Hispano visited the Turkish Center and brought a few Latin American dishes to share.

The Women’s Wellness Group at Centro Hispano continues to meet several times a month. If you are interested in sponsoring a lunch or if your organization would like to present a workshop please contact Claudia Caballero at

Featured Program: Spanish Conversation Table


In June, Centro Hispano hosted the Knoxville Spanish Roundtable group. Community members gathered to enjoy light refreshments and to practice speaking in Spanish. Several of Centro Hispano’s staff and ESL students participated in the discussion as well.

This is just the beginning of our plans to incorporate more opportunities for community members to practice and learn Spanish at Centro Hispano. In fact, we will be hosting the Knoxville Spanish Roundtable again on Tuesday, July 11th from 6:30-8:00. You are welcome to come and join us!

For more information, please contact our Adult Education Coordinator, Brandon Ledford at

Featured Program: Music Classes with Señor Bob


Since January, Mr. Bob Grimac has been leading music classes for children at Centro Hispano nearly every Tuesday evening.

Bob has worked in the past teaching music and Spanish in Knox County Schools and is extremely active volunteering with various organizations around Knoxville. We are so thankful to have him sharing his musical talents with us, and the children really look forward to his music classes each week.

We are currently seeking sponsors and donations to allow this program to continue in the Fall. If you are able to help, please contact Children’s Program Coordinator Megan Barolet-Fogarty at

News: Latino Student Success Coalition

In June Centro Hispano applied for and received a grant from Conexion Américas in Nashville to develop a Latino Student Success Coalition to bring together educators, school counselors, administrators and community members who are concerned about the unique challenges facing Latino students, particularly English Language Learners, in the Knox County Schools and surrounding areas.

In the last five years, the population of Latino students served in Knox County Schools has increased by 40%. Often our schools and individual educators are not equipped to effectively support this population. The mission of the Latino Student Success Coalition is to develop the capacity of youth, educators, and community members to share resources and advocate for the educational success and life opportunities of Latino students in Knox County Schools.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this coalition, or in making a presentation or sponsoring an event as we work to develop life skills and youth leadership with students at Fulton High School, please contact Megan Barolet-Fogarty at

"Yo Soy Centro" Spotlight: Lorena Tempone

ESL Student and Volunteer Lorena Tempone


Lorena Tempone is an architect from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She came to Knoxville in 2015 with her husband who is completing a Master’s degree at the University of Tennessee.

Lorena began studying English at Centro Hispano in December of 2015 and has now advanced to participating comfortably in our highest level conversation class. She has been a part of the Women’s Wellness Group since it began last Fall and she credits Centro Hispano not only for helping her build connections to begin socializing and connecting with other immigrants, but also for giving her more confidence in her ability to integrate into the greater Knoxville community.

In February, Lorena began volunteering regularly with Centro Hispano. Just like Centro Hispano had helped her, she realized that she wanted to give back to the organization and to provide help to those who needed it most. In addition to helping with the Women’s Wellness Group, she has been putting her architectural experience to work helping maintain and improve our building. She has drawn up plans for a new fence around our patio, sewn new cushions for the benches in the main room, built shelves, and has contributed many hours to cleaning and painting both the interior and exterior of the building.

Sadly, Lorena will be returning to Argentina at the end of this summer and she will be greatly missed by the staff, students, and volunteers at Centro Hispano. However, we’re happy we were able to provide support when she needed it, and appreciate all that she has done for us in return!