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Book of The Month: Stories from Families About The Power of Multilingual Kids!

Book of The Month: Stories from Families About The Power of Multilingual Kids!

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By MomsRising/MamásConPoder

An interview with one of the Curators, Nina Perez!

Please tell us the mission of MomsRising, and how you came to work there?

MomsRising/MamásConPoder is committed to advancing policy and cultural change that make the world a better place for all moms and families. Our mission is to work together with families and the community to increase family economic security, to decrease discrimination against women and moms, to fight racism, sexism, and all forms of prejudice in order to build a nation where businesses and families can thrive.

I often wonder what happened to other children who may have not won the teacher lottery. That is why I do this work - because families shouldn't have to bank on an opportunity lottery to thrive.

Why is the mission of MomsRising so important to you?

I've been a part of the MomsRising community for the last five years and I can't imagine more important work. Growing up, I could see how inequality often impacted families in my community all at once, including my own experience in schools as a dual language learner. Our community (including teachers at my school) told my mother that it was wrong to teach me two languages; often making her feel guilty for her desire to maintain our cultural language. Thankfully, my second grade teacher turned out to be an amazing advocate for us with the school and worked together with my parents to ensure both of my languages were supported, but I often wonder what happened to other children who may have not won the teacher lottery. That is why I do this work - because families shouldn't have to bank on an opportunity lottery to thrive.

What was your inspiration for writing this book with your fellow co-authors?

This book is a project built out of the passion of MomsRising's volunteers to ensure there are educational spaces that value the cultures and languages of their families. It was truly a community project with no single voice, but a collection of voices from across the nation. Our MamásConPoder Spanish language community in particular has long discussed dual language learning, the difficulty of finding bilingual early learning environments, and the emotional stigma of speaking a home language other than English in the America today. We wanted to bring those voices and experiences together to show elected leaders, educators, and the community the benefits of speaking multiple languages and how important these programs are to families.

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