Who is on your preschool’s diversity team?


By Karen Nemeth, Ed.M.

I think every preschool program should have a diversity team.  Bring together staff, parents, and members of your community that speak the languages of the children in your classrooms so they can provide help and support in a variety of ways.  Whether you have a very formal role for them to play or a loose, informal get together from time to time, you will find that the benefits of this type of committee will grow and grow.

For example, they can help you by reading translations of school materials to be sure the language is appropriate for the children and families you serve, they can help you find resources in the languages you need, they can serve as volunteers with the children or behind the scenes, and they can welcome new families to your program.  Here is a list of organizations that come up in my presentations.  Feel free to submit additions for this list.  I’ve started by giving some examples of the kind of help these groups can provide, but I’m leaving it up to you to fill in the success stories! Comment here or email to info@languagecastle.com

(two new ideas that came up in today’s presentation:  Embassies and organizations that support international adoptions)

Adult schools ESL students can practice English by making books or recordings of traditional stories and songs in home language & English.
After school programs
Chamber of Commerce or other local business organizations Can provide financial help for buying multilingual materials
Charities – United Way
Child Care Resource and Referral Agency Bilingual staff and materials about child development in different languages
Children’s places – dance schools, gyms, camps
Churches and communities of faith
Clinic, doctor, emergency room Can let families know your program is ready to support their home languages/cultures
Colleges and universities – and student associations
Contacts in other countries
Cultural clubs and social organizations
Curriculum provider You paid for the curriculum – now ask them to help adapt for the languages you enroll
Early intervention providers
Facebook I’ll help you connect – follow me at Karen Nemeth at Language Castle LLC
Foster grandparent organizations Provide them with training to use their other language skills
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4H, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YMHA, YWCA etc
High school and college sororities, fraternities and service organizations
Home visiting programs
Hotels, restaurants, service industry
Immigration lawyer
Language schools, translation services
Larger corporations
Library They’ll have books, recordings, software in other languages – will be happy to order more!
Local Businesses – especially that represent the languages/cultures in school
Local child care association
Local fairs and festivals – cultural, business, healthcare, social services etc
Local government
Members of your board
Parents’ contacts Parents send to home countries for books, games, catalogs, etc for your class
Pen pals
Professional organizations (chapters of NAEYC, NAFCC, NACCRRA and others)
Reading Is Fundamental
Realtor or rental agent
Recreation centers and programs
Senior citizen centers and organizations
Service organizations: Kiwanis, Rotary, Lyons, Masons
Social service agencies, welfare office, child protective services, etc
Sports associations Look for members who speak other languages and want to help their community
State department of education (look outside your own state)
State department of human services (look outside your own state)
State early childhood advisory boards
Therapists and specialists
Travel Agency
Twitter I’ll help you connect – follow me at KarenNemethEdM
Volunteer organizations and agencies

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