I would like to partner with Greater Bergen Community Action Head Start who could partially fund speakers and workshop professionals for my challenge of training teachers in my Head Start school on anti-bias education and culturally responsive pedagogy. Greater Community Action has served my community of Bergen County, NJ. They have provided my community with ESL classes, Citizenship classes, and assistance, GED programs, Energy Assistance, a place for WIC to distribute services to women and children in the community. They also engage families in parent workshops on parenting, academic resources, and of course Head Start schools in the community. In addition, the Office of Administration of Children and families at Head Start would help me gather resources and teaching practices from their online professional development workshops regarding diverse cultures and culturally responsive teaching. Including representatives from Bergen County’s Department of Human Services, Office of Children have a special division for professional development in early childhood which could provide additional funding or resources for the anti-bias education project.
I would also invite key early childhood organizations that would help create resources for teachers and the families and children of my Head Start community. The first organization I would like to partner with is the NJ National Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAECY) who along with NAECY has advocated for high quality early childhood programs to provide culturally and linguistically diverse children and families education that promotes that all children “deserve an early childhood education that is responsive to their families, communities, and racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds” (NAECY, 1995).
Another organization that I would like to partner with National Organization for Multicultural Education whose mission and organizational goals mirror the goals of my challenge which is to “promote the understanding of unique cultural and ethnic heritage, to promote the development of culturally responsible and responsive curricula, to facilitate acquisition of the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to function in various cultures, to eliminate racism and discrimination in society, and to achieve social, political, economic, and educational equity” (National Organization for Multiple Education, 2019).
An additional, key organization that I would like to engage in my community of practice is the National Latino Children’s Institute which advocates for the positive development of young Latino children, their families and communities in order to ensure that public policies and initiatives address the complex set of interconnected issues facing young Latinos; which include the impact of poverty, language barriers, education, health, safety, and immigration that affect families, children and their economic status are not jeopardized. Since about 85% of the school population and community are children from families of Ecuador, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico it is important that their cultural perspectives be included when creating a culturally responsive training for teachers.