Beyond Crises: Imagining Families and Communities

Beyond Crises: Imagining Families and Communities

The recent shootings of Asian Americans and whether these will be considered hate crimes, tornadoes ravaging the Southwest and elsewhere, and fears of uncertain variants of the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the news during the writing of this piece. Crises, unfortunately, are not new to us. As educators, along with feeling deeply troubled by these, we have had a tendency to focus on what we perceive is missing or lacking in the lives of our students and their families.

When it comes to multilingual, multicultural students, we often find ourselves and others using deficit-based statements that describe what we perceive, such as “they don’t know English and their parents don’t know how to help their children learn.” This deficit-based lens can unfortunately contribute to predictable odds of failure for historically marginalized students, especially during the many crises that we have encountered and will encounter in the future. However, more and more researchers, practitioners, and scholars are finding that when we focus our attention on what we perceive to be weaknesses or broken elements in the lives of our students, we fail to see the inherent strengths and assets that they bring to our schools and classrooms. Further, if we use that lens often enough, we begin to default to it as our modus operandi rather than focusing our attention where we should: on identifying, cultivating, and building on students’ existing and developing assets.

Research points to the essential relationship between identifying and acknowledging students’ personal, social-emotional, cultural, and academic assets and their academic and social-emotional growth and success (Biswas-Diener, Kashdan, and Gurpal, 2011). Similarly, using and applying the same assets-based lens to our students and their families enables us to form more effective and lasting partnerships with them. One of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises has been the manner in which educators responded with a renewed sense of purpose around partnering with and caring for multilingual, multicultural families.

Many of the educators with whom we work ask us how they can be more supportive and involved with families during crises. And, just as importantly, they also ask how they can work more closely with their local communities and beyond to provide comprehensive supports for students and families. In this piece, let’s explore how we can overcome inequities by building from the strengths and assets of each of our unique communities (including our students and families as well as the individuals, organizations, agencies, and institutions that make up our local communities). Begin with an Assets-Based Approach

We see crises, whatever they might be and wherever they might occur, as fueling our restart of what can be and is being done to band together. Indeed, if we really think about crises, we quickly realize that we are not silos unto ourselves. Our students and their families as well as members of our local, school, and classroom communities are all interrelated, interconnected, and even interdependent on one another. Further, when we take time to consider the possibilities of these overlapping ecosystems, we can truly support students to flourish.

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Kids Bilingual Immersion Gamified Educational Program Chinese English Announced

curaFUN announces its new emotional development and social resiliency subscription program for children in English and Mandarin Chinese. The program helps kids aged four to 11.

curaFUN, a youth-centered organization for native Chinese, American-born Chinese, and overseas Chinese worldwide, announces its gamified subscription programs for emotional development and wellness for children aged four to 11. Subscriptions include interactive activities that teach children social and emotional life skills in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

More details can be found at https://www.curafun.com

The newly announced subscription service aims to develop well-rounded and globally competitive children who are proficient in both English and Mandarin Chinese. The virtual programs use gamified activities and real-life interactions so that children become comfortable in speaking and interacting with their peers in both languages. The activities are offered in English only, Chinese only, and English and Chinese options.

Understanding and speaking in more than one language has many benefits. According to the latest financial reports, bilingual workers earn as much as 20% more than those who can only speak one language. Further, neuroscience research has found that the brains of bilingual and multilingual people have stronger brain connections.

curaFUN developed its emotional wellness games to further the educational programs available for Chinese who want to improve their English skills as well as English speakers wishing to perfect their Chinese. Their programs train children to develop social competency which helps them interact with their friends in either language.

The subscription program features 23 – 30 progressive levels and more than 20 hours of gameplay. The online A.I. powered games cultivate a growth mindset in children, teaching them leadership skills and building their emotional wellness. The program is recommended for children in pre-kindergarten through Grade 5.

curaFUN emphasizes that its program builds on existing educational offerings that are solely focused on building subject-specific knowledge. They say that children need to strengthen both their IQ and EQ to become well-rounded and competent adults.

The program may also have therapeutic benefits in the early detection of ADHD, anxiety, and autism.

“To thrive in life, your child must possess a solid foundation of social-emotional skills that empower them to learn and connect,” the organization writes. “Children also get a head start on leadership insights and negotiation tactics.”

Interested parties can find more information by emailing info@curafun.com or visiting the above-mentioned website.