In a California elementary school, parents have a classroom of their own

 Yordanos Habte hands out practice absence slips to her classmates at Fruitvale Elementary School in Oakland, California on Oct. 1, 2018. She is a student in a family literacy class at her child's school. The class help parents learn skills, such as writing notes to their children's teachers.

Yordanos Habte hands out practice absence slips to her classmates at Fruitvale Elementary School in Oakland, California on Oct. 1, 2018. She is a student in a family literacy class at her child's school. The class help parents learn skills, such as writing notes to their children's teachers.

Inside a classroom at Fruitvale Elementary School in Oakland, California, about 20 women are practicing spelling out loud in English.

They're the mothers, aunts and grandmothers of children at the school. Four mornings each week, the women - immigrants from Central America, Mexico, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean - drop off their children and then head into a classroom of their own to learn English.

Wahbiai Alqaifi, a mother from Yemen, has been in the US for 15 years. She has six children, one of them a fourth grader at Fruitvale. She used to struggle to understand English in her daily life, she says, but the class helped her expand her vocabulary.