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Building culturally responsive, strengths-based programming across languages: Approaches from Denver and New Zealand

Building culturally responsive, strengths-based programming across languages: Approaches from Denver and New Zealand  

On Demand

Duration: 60 minutes

The first few years of life are a critical window for language development, and children learn much of that language before they even enter school from their families. We know that language is culture, and it is thus imperative in our work with families that we affirm their identities, strengths, and histories. Leveraging that knowledge, we can build empathy toward understanding and eliminating barriers for access to resources and support.

In this webinar, we heard from program leads in the United States and New Zealand about the approaches they have used to build culturally and linguistically responsive programmingWorking through this lens, their programs are building community and a holistic foundation of support for the children and families they serve.  



cultural responsiveness_presenters

About Emma Quigan

Emma Quigan trained and practiced as a speech & language therapist before taking up a position focusing on professional development and sector capability for the Ministry of Education of New Zealand. She joined Talking Matters at its inception, and leads community-based initiatives that design and support coaching models to wrap rich language environments around babies and children at home and in ECEs. Emma is studying for her master’s degree in education with Prof. Jan Gaffney and Dr. Rae Si'ilata at Auckland University.


About Pedro Mendez 

Pedro is part of the Early Learning Department at the Denver Public Library and leads the implementation of LENA Start and the library's zero to three outreach efforts. He is known for his extensive and deep-rooted work in the community of Denver. He believes in holistic family programs that are responsive and community powered. Pedro is passionate about advancing education efforts to bridge openings for families.


About Sisi Dong Brinn

Sisi Dong Brinn is currently the regional lead of early childhood partnerships at LENA, a nonprofit that supports the language and literacy development of the earliest learners from birth to three. Sisi is passionate about access to education and opportunities for all students – her work has focused on leadership development, programmatic design and implementation, and facilitation of learning with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Sisi was born in China, and immigrated to the United States at a young age. She received her B.A. from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and her M.A.T. from the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.

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