President Obama Applauds New Commitments in Support of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative


In February, as part of his plan to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, the President unveiled the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.  As part of the initiative’s launch, the President also established the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force to review public and private sector programs, policies, and strategies and determine ways the Federal Government can better support these efforts, and how to better involve State and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.

Today, the President will announce new commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative at the Walker Jones Education Center in Washington, DC.  Following the announcement, the President will hold a town hall session where he will take questions from the group of DC-area youth who will attend the event. During the session, the President will highlight how the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Administration continue to work to build ladders of opportunity for all young people across the country.  In attendance at the event will be leaders from 60-plus school districts across the country with the Council of the Great City Schools, parents, business leaders, athletes, mayors and members of Congress.

Today, Magic Johnson Enterprises’ Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria launched the National Convening Council “NCC”, an independent private sector initiative bringing together leaders from business, philanthropy and the faith, youth and nonprofit communities.  Over the next several months, the NCC will travel the country, lifting up examples of cross-sector efforts that are having a positive impact on boys and young men of color.

Source: The White House

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Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter Issue #37


Read About It

Children from Around the World

Three-year-old Lena, from Amman, Jordan, is one of many preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD who are also dual language learners DLLs. She is developing language skills in Arabic and English. Lena uses either language or both languages, depending on the situation. Toda, whose family is from Lagos, Nigeria, is nonverbal and uses signs to communicate. Throughout the day he’s exposed to Nigerian-English on the radio and Yoruba a Nigerian language by his aunt. Jose’s family is from Columbia. He knows his favorite DVDs by heart but his receptive language skills are still emerging. Jose’s mother speaks English and Spanish at home, although his grandmother, his primary caregiver, speaks only Spanish.

Lena, Toda, and Jose represent the many multilingual children around the world who have ASD. Although children with ASD often have poor joint attention the ability to share, with another person, an interest in each other, an object, or an event, which can make learning any language more difficult, children and their families benefit from experience with more than one language for many reasons.

This article in Young Exceptional Children highlights important issues to consider when providing early intervention services to families with children who are DLL and have ASD. Read Around the World: Supporting Young Children with ASD who are Dual Language Learners to learn about the practices that help teachers keep cultural and linguistic diversity in mind. The Division for Early Childhood DEC and Sage Publications have enabled free access through Sept. 30, 2014.

Source: National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning

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Advancing School Readiness with the Office of Head Start’s Multicultural Principles Spring to Spring Series


The National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsivenesss (NCCLR) Spring to Spring series is designed to help programs to develop culturally and linguistically competent systems and services. Every other month, the series will highlight one Multicultural Principle. It also will provide corresponding NCCLR resources on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center ECLKC. Staff will learn to use culturally responsive practices when supporting children’s progress toward school readiness.

Multicultural Principle 6

Effective programs for children who speak languages other than English require continued development of the first language while the acquisition of English is facilitated.

Children who speak languages other than English make up one third of the Head Start enrollment. They speak more than 140 languages and are enrolled in nearly nine out of 10 Head Start programs. It is critical that Head Start staff and policy makers understand how to best support the development and school readiness of these young dual language learners DLLs.

Research has found that effective programs for DLLs support the development of children’s home languages while they learn English. It dispels concerns that learning two languages, whether simultaneously or sequentially, may cause delays in either language. In fact, there are multiple benefits to becoming bilingual or multilingual. When children’s home language is supported, knowledge and concepts they learn in their home language are transferred when they learn the vocabulary in English. For example, they may learn shape concepts in their home language and then the names of shapes in English. It is important that Head Start staff understand Multicultural Principle 6 and the science behind it so they can create sound language policies, use effective curriculum methods, and individualize for each DLL.

Featured Resources

Important to Know: Dual Language Learner Facts, Figures, and Findings

Learn the definition of “dual language learner” as defined in the Head Start Act. Find data around the number of DLLs enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start in each of the 12 regions and other key findings.

The Importance of Home Language Series

School readiness for DLLs is tied directly to the mastery of their home language. This series of handouts provides basic information on topics related to children learning two or more languages. The handouts emphasize the benefits of being bilingual, the importance of maintaining home language, and the value of becoming fully bilingual.

Gathering and Using Language Information that Families Share

In order to support the learning and development of young DLLs, staff need to understand children’s backgrounds and experiences with more than one language. This resource helps programs learn to gather accurate and useful language information for assessment and curriculum planning.

Same, Different, and Diverse

DLLs are a diverse group with different languages, experiences, strengths, and gifts. This resource outlines the language similarities among all children. It also points outs the differences between children learning two or more languages and those learning one language.

The Revisiting and Updating the Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs Serving Children Ages Birth to Five page contains PDFs for each principle. A full version of the resource also is available.

How to Subscribe

Select this link to subscribe to the series and view previous issues:

Please share this message with all staff in your program who may be interested in participating.


If you have questions about these resources or the Spring to Spring series, please contact NCCLR at or

Source: National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

April 2014

The Office of Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR) is pleased to announce the launch of the new Spring to Spring Series, Advancing School Readiness with the Office of Head Start’s Multicultural Principles. This series has a similar format as the Fall to Fall Series on Relationship-Based Competencies, which was developed by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement.

The Spring to Spring Series is designed to help programs develop culturally and linguistically competent systems and services. Every other month, the series will highlight one multicultural principle. It also will provide corresponding NCCLR resources on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC). Staff will learn to use culturally responsive practices when supporting children’s progress toward school readiness.

Multicultural Principle 1

Every individual is rooted in culture. Every person is raised within a cultural group that has knowledge, rules, traditions, values, and beliefs specific to that group. As children, we consciously and unconsciously developed and learned cultural “rules of being.” As adults, we may choose to pass on some aspects of our culture while rejecting others. Some may come to think and feel that their “way of being” is the only right way. However, all cultures share certain similarities. Culture is shared through spoken language and behaviors, instruction, stories, sayings, songs, and poems.

Self-reflection and awareness help build cultural responsiveness. They can broaden understanding and acceptance of cultural attitudes and practices different from our own. Remember that the differences in people within a culture are much greater than in people across cultures.

Featured Resource

Multicultural Principle Learning Extensions: Principle 1 – Every Individual Is Rooted in Culture

These activities will help program staff extend and apply thinking around the first principle. Use the “What Is Culture?” poster to define and describe culture in your classroom. This resource also offers strategies to help staff connect with the home cultures of the children and families in the program.

The Revisiting and Updating the Multicultural Principles for Head Start Programs Serving Children Ages Birth to Five page contains PDFs for each principle, as well as a full version of the resource.

How to Subscribe

Select this link to subscribe to the series:

Please share this message with all staff in your program who may be interested in participating.


If you have questions about these resources or the Spring to Spring Series, please contact NCCLR at or

Source: the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Civil Rights Data Collection, Data Snapshot: Early Childhood Education


Inside this Snapshot: Early Childhood Education Highlights

  • Public preschool access not yet a reality for much of the nation: About 40% of school districts do not offer preschool programs.
  • Part-day preschool is offered more often than full-day: 57% of school districts that operate public preschool programs offer only part-day preschool.
  • Limited universal access to preschool: Just over half of the school districts that operate public preschool programs explicitly make such programs available to all students within the district.
  • Kindergarten retention disparities: Native-Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Native-Alaskan kindergarten students are held back a year at nearly twice the rate of white kindergarten students. Boys represent 61% of kindergarteners retained.
  • Suspension of preschool children (new for 2011–12 collection): Black children make up 18% of preschool enrollment, but 48% of preschool children suspended more than once. Boys receive more than three out of four out-of-school preschool suspensions.

Source: Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

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Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children


In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential.

Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

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The Early Achievement and Development Gap: ASPE Research Brief


The large gap in achievement and development between children growing up in poor and low-income families and their peers in more advantaged situations continues to be a concern to parents, the public, and policymakers. This brief describes research on the achievement and development gap – its origins, size, and what we know about how public policy can narrow the gap.

Answers the questions:

  • How early in life do we see evidence of achievement and developmental gaps?
  • What is the magnitude of achievement and developmental gaps by family income and education at school entry, and does it widen during the school years?
  • How big are the early gaps in achievement and development by race, ethnicity, or home language?
  • How do multiple risk factors contribute to achievement and developmental gaps?
  • How have achievement and developmental gaps changed historically?
  • What are the long-term consequences in achievement and development for children who experience poverty early in life?
  • What do we know about the mechanisms that contribute to these gaps and diverging pathways in early childhood?
  • What does the evidence suggest for early care and education policies and programs intended to support school readiness for all children?

Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

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First Read: Free Funding to Support Spanish and Latino Book Purchases

Ends March 16, 2014

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is pleased to share with you the following opportunity from First Book. They are a nonprofit organization that provides new, high-quality books and educational resources for schools and programs serving low-income children.

First Book has an expanded selection of Latino Interest books on their Marketplace, including a new Latino Culture section. Thanks to support from Disney, they are offering a limited-time funding opportunity to help Head Start and other early care and education programs give the gift of reading to the children and families they serve.

Just follow these easy steps:

Select the link to sign up with First Book:

Visit the First Book Marketplace and fill your shopping cart with $200 worth of your choice of books from the Latino Interest category, which includes the Latino Culture and Heritage Collection for Elementary School, a $200 value for 50 titles.

Apply code LCC_ACFLibros at checkout.

This is a first-come, first-served opportunity that ends on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Share this email with colleagues and community partners so they can sign up, too. Thank you for all you do to support and serve kids in need in your community!

¡Feliz lectura! Happy Reading!

Source: Office of Head Start

Now Available for Free Download: Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor


The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is excited to share our newest publication!

From the foreword by Barbara Bowman of the Erikson Institute to a closing essay by David Johns, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child is designed to challenge the prevailing discourse about Black children–one which overemphasizes limitations and deficits and does not draw upon the considerable strengths, assets and resilience demonstrated by our children, families and communities.

This report, which addresses the needs of policymakers, advocates, principals, teachers, parents and others, weaves together three critical elements:

  • Essays from experts that focus on using our children’s, families’ and communities’ strengths to improve outcomes for Black children
  • “Points of Proof” from organizations that serve not as exceptions, but as examples of places where Black children and families are succeeding
  • Data points that indicate how our children and families are doing across a range of measures

Our outstanding essay contributors, in addition to Barbara Bowman and David Johns, include:

Cecilia Alvarado, University of the District of Columbia Community College
A. Wade Boykin, Ph.D., Howard University
Carol Brunson Day, Ph.D., Consultant
Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D., University of Maryland
Iheoma Iruka, Ph.D., Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Kristie Kauerz, Ed.D., University of Washington
Hakim Rashid, Ph.D., Howard University
Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., Howard University

Source: National Black Child Development Institute

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Highlighting the Positive Development of Minority Children


In recent decades, the development and well-being of ethnic and racial minority children has received sustained attention from policymakers and practitioners. But much of the focus has emphasized problems in the children’s development, eclipsing attention to minority children’s strengths and assets. We must pay closer attention to what families and communities are doing right to promote optimal child development so these efforts can be supported and strengthened through programs and interventions.

Source: Society for Research in Child Development

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