Building Bridges Between Cultures: A Literacy Program for Immigrant Latino Children


In the fall of 2000, a pilot program was established in Springfield, Missouri to provide pre-literacy activities to young immigrant Latino children. While the original intent was to provide opportunities for Early Childhood majors at Southwest Missouri State University to learn to present pre-literacy learning sessions, the program's expansion has resulted in a different but very worthwhile focus. It has evolved into a program that attempts to fulfill needs at the level of the individual as well as the community. First, we wish to spark the interest of these children in books and literacy-related activities in order to enhance their entire educational experience. We also want to assist in the integration of this immigrant population into the community at large by providing a conduit for intercultural interactions between the growing Latino community and the existing (primarily Anglo) inhabitants of Springfield. Traditionally, Southwest Missouri has experienced low cultural and ethnic diversity; therefore, few community members in Springfield have had the opportunity to interact with those from different cultural backgrounds, nor given thought to the benefits, issues, and challenges brought by the increasing immigration and diversity.


Sociology and Anthropology
MSU Libraries

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Practicing anthropology