Honoring Diversity and
Authentically Partnering with
Discovery 2013 Stone Soup
The Impact of Race and Economic Status on
Early Childhood: Opportunities for Community Transformation
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Elsa E. Jones, M.A.
Assistant Academic Program Manager Early Childhood-Post University
Independent Early Childhood Education Consultant
Workshop Objective
Explore intentional strategies for
supporting families as their children’s
first teachers and advocates
honoring diversity
building and sustaining daily, authentic
family-staff-community partnerships
Challenge Ourselves!
Examine our thinking and behaviors
Feel safe if we become uncomfortable
Strive to:
be more knowledgeable and understanding,
be more culturally competent,
provide higher-quality care and education for
the increasing numbers of diverse children,
families and staff.
Tap our ZPDs!
Use our HOTS!
Cycle of Intentional
Family & Community
knowing and understanding
children, families, staff and communities
celebrating daily
the rich knowledge and diversity
we all bring
to our programs!
NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards
and Accreditation Criteria
Program Standard 7: Families
Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with
each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings.
Relationships are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture.
7.A. Knowing & Understanding the Program’s Families
7.B. Sharing Information Between Staff & Families
7.C. Nurturing Families as Advocates for Their Children
Program Standard 8: Community Relationships
Establish relationships with and use the resources of the children’s
communities to support the achievement of program goals.
8.A. Linking with the Community
8.B. Accessing Community Resources
8.C. Acting as a Citizen in the Neighborhood and
the Early Childhood Community
“Casserian Engeri”
“And How Are The Children?”
The Mighty Masai African Warriors
813,398 Children in CT
Race and Ethnicity
•495,973 are White, non-Hispanic
•96,515 are Black
•159,753 are Hispanic
•35,108 are Asian/Pacific Islander
•1,946 are American Indian/Alaska Native
•43,589 are two or more races
Children’s Defense Fund, March 2013
More than one-third of today's public school students are people of
By 2025 it has been projected the figure will reach 49%.
The number of minority teachers is decreasing:
Approximately 13% of teachers are of minority descent;
More than 40% of the schools across America have no minority
White-Clark, 2006
Linguistic Diversity in CT
161 dominant languages other than English were spoken by
public school students in grades K-12 during the 2007-2008 school
CT State Department of Education Division of
Assessment and Accountability Bureau of Data
Collection, Research and Evaluation DATA
BULLETIN – July 2008
Child Welfare in CT
21,444 grandparents raising grandchildren
4,926 children in foster care
611 children adopted from foster care
Children’s Defense Fund - March 2013
Homeless Children in CT
•4,683 were homeless in 2010
The National Center of Family Homelessness, 2010
Facts about Homeless Children
One-half of homeless children attend 3 different schools in one year.
75% of homeless children perform below grade level in reading.
The Institute for Children & Poverty
Bioecological Theory
Urie Bronfenbrenner, 1979
Biological predisposition and environmental influences
interactively affect human development
Five systems impact our daily lives:
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory-Impact of Special Needs (n.d.). Retrieved
from http://impactofspecialneeds.weebly.com/bronfenbrennerrsquos-ecological-systemstheory.html
Sociocultural Theory
Lev Vygotsky, 1962
- Human knowledge is rooted in one’s culture.
- Much of what we know comes from our families
and society.
- Much of young children’s behavior is grounded in
family expectations.
Families, Schools and Communities Together for Young Children
2008 Thomson Delmar Learning
Frameworks and Systems
Funds of Knowledge
Luis Moll
Strengthening Families Protective Factors
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Parental Resilience
Social Connections
Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development
Concrete Support in Times of Need
Social & Emotional Competence of Children
Help Me Grow
Children’s Trust Fund, DSS
Family & Community Outreach
Child Health Care Provider Outreach
Centralized Telephone Access Point
Data Collection and Analysis
Rita’s Stories:
A companion piece to A
Framework for Understanding Poverty
“My Mamma Said”
5 Family-Centered Care
Recognize and respect one another’s
knowledge and expertise
Share information through 2-way
Share power and decision-making
Acknowledge and respect diversity
Create networks of support
Janis Keyser. From Parents to Partners:
Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program
Take Home Strategies
1. Welcoming Banner: “Families are Their Children’s First Teachers!”
2. Strengthen Key Messages (written and spoken)
“Invite  Invest”; “Participant  Partner”
3. Intake Form: “Who is this Family?” Families help create.
4. Environmental Messages: “Who lives here?”
5. Family Engagement Activities & Events
“WE planned. THEY didn’t come.”
6. Self-Assessment: Beyond the Bake Sale Questionnaires (Internet)
4 Versions of Family-School Partnerships
• How Family-Friendly Is Your School?
• How Well is Your School Bridging Racial, Class and Cultural Differences
7. Home Visits
8. Favorite Books: share with families
9. Avoid the Tourist Approach: cultural history months
10. Dance!
“Family-Staff Partnership”
(1 word or 1 syllable)
Home School
(2 words or 2 syllables)
Communicate Collaborate Celebrate
(3 words or 3 syllables)
Success for Our Children
(Be The Change Needed)
(4 words or 4 syllables)
(1 word of 2 syllables)

Honor DIVERSITY Build Culturally Responsive Family