We are excited to offer a new ECFE/Family Literacy program for parents and their young children whose native language (or one of their languages) is Spanish. We will have a Spanish-language interpreter to help our teachers and tutors communicate with parents and children. Cornerstone United Methodist Church here in Marshall, MN has agreed to host our Monday morning class. Our ECFE/Karen Family Literacy class is now in its second year. Thanks to funding from United Way of Southwest Minnesota and the Marshall Community Foundation, we are able to expand our outreach.
People may wonder why culture and language specific family literacy classes are necessary. A 2014 report Immigrant Parents and Early Childhood Programs from the Migrant Policy Institute describes the barriers to progress that these families face, especially those families where the parents have limited English proficiency. Being in an early childhood classroom setting with language support helps the adults learn English along with a knowledge of important educational, civic, and social service systems. They learn to support their children’s development of literacy and numeracy skills in both English and their primary language, which will promote their success in kindergarten and beyond. The families benefit from these opportunities, and ultimately our schools, communities, and workplaces benefit too.
If you would be interested in volunteering with this new program, please call us at 507-401-7337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.