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Connections and Commitments

Reflecting Latino Values in Early Childhood Programs

By Costanza Eggers-Piérola
Foreword by Alma Flor Ada

    Every reader, regardless of their previous familiarity with the field, will find this text invaluable.
    —Alma Flor Ada, University of San Francisco

Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the national school population, and many of these students live in two distinct worlds: home and school. Meanwhile, as a teacher, you know that making a strong connection with young children and their families sows the seeds of joyful, lifelong learning. So how best do you invite Latinos—whose culture you may know little about—to be full and equal partners in your classroom's learning community?...

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    Every reader, regardless of their previous familiarity with the field, will find this text invaluable.
    —Alma Flor Ada, University of San Francisco

Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the national school population, and many of these students live in two distinct worlds: home and school. Meanwhile, as a teacher, you know that making a strong connection with young children and their families sows the seeds of joyful, lifelong learning. So how best do you invite Latinos—whose culture you may know little about—to be full and equal partners in your classroom's learning community?

Connections and Commitments provides a framework that helps you teach Latino students more responsively by focusing on four key values shared by many Latino cultures:

  • Familia/Family: Forming true alliances with the family network
  • Pertenencia/Belonging: Creating a sense of family and belonging in the classroom
  • Educación/Education: Learning together
  • Compromiso/Commitment: Taking the lead in changing professional development.
Maintaining an awareness of these four values gives you a specific foundation on which to build differentiated best practices for your Latino class members, and Eggers-Piérola includes an array of sample activities, strategies, and useful classroom tools that reinforce these concepts and move you toward a deeper understanding of Latino culture. Connections and Commitments also contains the information you need to extend beyond a single classroom with resource lists, reflection questions, and specific outreach ideas that make it an ideal resource for staff development and teacher book groups, as well as individual study.

To teach all young children well, you need culturally relevant tools to make the connection that helps them transition from home to school and share equally and comfortably in the classroom experience. To bridge the home-school gap for Latino students you need the right resources and a willingness to explore another culture's values. Read Connections and Commitments and discover how you can create a classroom that's responsive to all students today.

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