By Gloria Kat
“The stress I felt when doing a presentation made my hands sweat, as I was the only one in the group who didn’t speak English.” ~ Early Childhood Education Teacher
Having more than 60% of early education teachers at our center whose first language is Spanish or are bilingual is a tremendous benefit for the families who receive our early education services. It also means that our teachers are appropriately prepared and certified to deliver an early childhood program. However, the journey that some teachers endure to be able to study in a foreign language poses a great deal of stress and anxiety. It hurts when a teacher leaves her position to pursue a different career, and it can take months to hire a new one!
Part of our commitment to promote equity in health and education is to ensure families can access programs in the language of their heart, such as parenting classes, car seat safety classes, Mental Health First Aid classes, and many more that are offered year round. The need to increase equity in education led me to explore the idea of offering post-secondary education for those interested in the early education field. The ongoing child care crisis is a systemic issue and there is not a single solution to it. However, one thing we can do is offer educational incentives to reduce drop outs among the Latinx/Hispanic student population. When I approached my colleague Leah Morley, Online Lead/Faculty of the School of Early Education at Front Range Community College and asked if we could create early education classes in Spanish, her answer was: Yes, we can!
With the support of the Colorado Health Foundation the College has taken on the task to design and implement an online platform that is compatible with the Spanish language and the courses are taught by a qualified native Spanish speaking instructor. To this point, I am positive that this innovative approach will open the door for other classes to be taught in Spanish and the Front Range Community College will become the educational hub for Latinx/Hispanic students throughout Colorado. The Front Range Community College team is amazing!
For any questions regarding this project please contact:
Gloria Kat, The Family Center/La Familia email@example.com
Leah Morley, FRCC firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Advisor (English/Spanish) ECEenespanol@frontrange.edu