Recipient Perspectives to Supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander Families
Martha Burns: Welcome to Supporting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Families: The Head Start Program Perspective. Brought to you by the Office of Head Start: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Commission. Part of our work is to help us all better understand the perspective of each other and the populations we serve by hosting events like this. Before we go any further, please welcome Dr. Futrell, director of the Office of Head Start, for some opening remarks.
Dr. Bernadine Futrell: Thank you. It is my hope that in your cause and doing it together, that we have registered strength and the ability to move forward and the passion and commitment to do it together. Today's conversation is really one of many that I believe will help move us forward. The first thing is to get to a place where we have shared understanding, where we build bridges not walls; we build community not enemies; we build unity not division. And today's conversation is about celebrating what brings us together, what makes us strong, and recognizing the opportunity and the road ahead. Today we are here to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. And we have a very special panel of Head Start program leaders from our various regions, who are going to share with us together and this community of learners, around effective family and child-centered practices to support Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in their service areas.
The idea for this event, as we mentioned, came from our colleagues in region nine in the San Francisco area. Hey, region nine. Thank you for your leadership. They shared with us some of the amazing work that our Head Start programs are doing to provide community outreach, support, individualize culturally competent services to children and families. And because we recognize … One thing about me, if I hear something is effective and family-centered, I want to tell the world. Our team also has that understanding and belief. Because it's so important not to share with our grant recipients that today's conversation was created. With that, I would like to welcome and thank you all for joining us today for this very important session.
And I want to welcome our panel and turn it over to you because we want to hear from you your experiences so that we can learn and apply it and extend on it for our various communities that we're working with. With that … One more thank you to our DEIA Commission for your work, your leadership, and moving this forward. It is a staff-led commission that represents and reflects all of the divisions within the office of Head Start as well as our regions. It's a unified OHS approach to our DEIA efforts and it's a unified approach to today's conversation.
With that, I am going to turn it over to our panel who will begin having conversations today. Martha, I believe I'll turn it back over to you, as you are going to facilitate today's panel. Thank you.
Martha: Well, I'm not alone. I have a wonderful colleague from region nine who came up with this idea, Laura Candeloro. If you would like to introduce yourself, I would appreciate that.
Laura Candeloro: Thank you so much. And thank you Dr. Futrell for your remarks this morning. I'm in San Francisco. My name is Laura Candeloro. I am a program specialist here in region nine. And I apologize in advance for the tenor of my voice, I am getting over a little bit of an illness this week, but I'm very, very excited to be here. We're actually going to get started before we do our formal introductions of the programs. We're actually going to do a quick word cloud. If you go to the address on the screen, you can go to menti.com; you can do this on your phone or on your computer. You can utilize code 16328817. It's right up here on the screen.
And just in one or two words, we wanted to hear from you all in the field: What does this month mean to you? What does Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you? We're just going to take a minute to get some feedback from the field. And there is also the link in the chat as well. If you're not able to access the link directly you can also use the address. I'm just going to take a minute to see what pops up here on the screen. I'm seeing learning is front and center, learning and heritage and culture is front and center.
Martha: There's a couple of comments in the chat of empowerment and culture.
Laura: Yes. If you're having difficulty accessing the menti, feel free to put your response in the chat as well. Strength, I see strength. Respect. Family is growing bigger. Celebration. Let me see. This word cloud is moving fast and furious. Pride. Unity, I see unity showing up there. I see the statement, “I am important.” I think that's something that we all need to acknowledge is, we all deserve to feel heard, feel seen. We are important, no matter what your background is. I see better understanding in the chat. Diversity. Family, also front and center.
Martha: Like culture, acknowledgement, and learning.
Laura: Remembrance, I see that also. Tradition. Tradition showed up a few times. This is wonderful. I also see aloha. I also saw that there were some – I saw that we have some friends from Hawaii, so aloha to you. Also, I think we want to talk about celebrating uniqueness. I see celebration here. We talked about acknowledgement, importance, uniqueness, culture, respect. This is wonderful, everybody.
Laura: OK. We're actually hopefully going to have this word cloud available after when we send out our follow-up email. But I did want to take a moment just to turn this back over to Martha. She's going to share some expectations around the presentation and also share some information about question and answer, which will be coming towards the end of the presentation. But again, we just want to thank you all for being here today. We really appreciate. This is a conversation. Please feel free to continue putting your thoughts in the chat, and we'll be responding to any questions that come up toward the end of the presentation. I'm going to turn it back over to Martha. Thank you all.
Martha: We thought it was really important to draw attention to this month, obviously it's our backgrounds. And this definition came before the President's proclamation which renamed this month to specifically call out Native Hawaiians, so we do apologize for that. But this [Inaudible], it's very vast. It's not just – not just the the continent of Asia, it is the Pacific Islands, and they list them all here. And it is from the asianpacificheritage.gov, which is from the Library of Congress. And we thought that was really important that we are only touching a little bit on the vast diversity that is included in this month today, but it is a beginning conversation, hopefully.
The other thing I wanted to mention in what Laura had said and Dr. Futrell had said earlier, were hear from three different programs today. After the presentations, we'll have a Q&A. If you could put your – any questions, comments. If you have some best practices in the programs that – in your own program, feel free to share, or we can wait until the end, and you can come off mute. We appreciate that. Next slide. And our wonderful panelists that agreed to help us out today: We have Peggy. We're going to start – we're going to actually go from right to left. We're going to start with Peggy Ng, who is with the Chinese Community Concerns Corporation in Chinatown, in New York City. And then we'll move to the Midwest with Thanh Bui-Duquette. And then we'll move to the West Coast in San Francisco, Jerry Yang with Kai Ming Head Start. I will turn this over to Peggy. Are you ready?
Peggy Ng: Yes, I am. [Inaudible]. I'm from the East Coast. Hi. My name is Peggy Ng. I'm the Education Director of Chinatown Head Start, located at 180 Mott Street. It's the low Eastside of Manhattan, and it's very central located. OK. Next. This is the front door of our school. And then we have two teenager that came and draw the pictures for us, painted this door. It's wonderful to have children to see all the animals. There's learning at the front entrance door. They already start learning already.
Chinatown Head Start is a nonprofit, tuition-free and a full-day program. Serves children aged 3 to 5; look at the front door, age 3 to 5. We are providing learning and nurturing environment for children and parents to learn at the same time. Most of our parents are new immigrants, they just came from different ways. They newly immigrant, they don't speak much or even a word of English. Having staff who are able to speak different dialects because in Chinese, there are many different dialects. We have staff able to speak two or sometimes three dialects. Will empower the communications building support among the parents and the staff. They're building trust relationship because of language. Move on. Next.
Chinatown Head Start, working with the community. China Head Start collaborate with NYU College of Dentistry for dental screening. The team will come into our program to screen children. Next. And they will do workshops to the children. They have little puppets and then big teeth, and they're brushing teeth for the dinosaur, and they were having a ball. They have a good time. The team come over yearly to do that, before the pandemic, right, this is before pandemic. Next. Beside the workshop to the children, they also do workshop for the parents as well: dental hygiene; how many grams of sugar equivalent to table spoon so the parents are aware of the sugar intake. This, they all learn that from the NYU College of Dentistry. We thank them for participating with them. Next.
We also work with New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital for health-related workshops. This is Dr. Marin Lee. When she came to our school to do workshops, she have all the parents do exercise first to relax and then can sit down and prepare for the workshops. Next. And beside training the parents, they also conducting first a workshop to the staff as well; so how hard you have to pinch when you have a nose bleed, how far your head had to be tilted up. The Chinese family, they usually tilt the head down, but the doctor said, "No, no, no, you have to tilt it up front." We have demo to the teachers as well to the parents. And she did it to me, it was hard. She pinched me; I go “ouch!” like that. Right. We had to feel it. This is the workshop that they did to the parents and to the teachers. Next.
And the same team from the hospital, they came over with the nurse and train the children of the nutrition value. They teaching other food: what's a healthy food versus not healthy food; when do you get to get; what is it good to get; what's good for the children. The team come over and they shopping in Head Start. Next. See. They're also different. Of course it's not real food, right, it's just toys food. They go shopping and then they would tell them what's a good balanced meal to shop. They're having a ball. They have a fun time. Our children received – the parents received all this training with the presenter. Next. And also, we work with Family Harmony. Chris Chan, he would do parenting to the parents and also do individual parenting if needed. He works with the parents when they need to have a talk to a professional. That's very helpful. Next. Next, too. This is also one of the parent.
Now, beside the parents learning, children, of course. Head Start is a hands-on experience, right, most important. The children, we go to visit, we take the children to the fire station to visit the nearby community fire station. I schedule them. They go visit. And they're having a ball. They went around the fire truck. The firemen put them on the truck, and they turned the wheels. I mean, like a little end behind the truck because the truck is big. They're having a ball. And then the firemen tell them you have to eat healthy. What you're looking for when there's a fire, you had to stop, drop, and roll. They did all that with children. We had a wonderful time.
Next. Beside the firemen, we also invite the police officer to come to our school to talk about the safety. When you're outside, when you're not alone, of course, some of the safety tips we have to be aware of. When people ask you or a stranger ask you, what do you need to do. All the police officers will talk to these children. The children are like – the children are very excited. At the end, they're able to touch some of the tools of the police officer have; especially the bell and all that. They have a wonderful time. Next.
Beside the firemen and the police officer, we are very fortunate to collaborate with the local library. The librarian will come to read the story to the children once a week. This at the end of summer, when summer close. At the end of the school year, we gave them a thank you card. We took this picture to thank to the librarian to read story to the children. We also took a lot of parents to the library to get a library card. They could borrow books from there, they don't have to buy. Buying book is costly, so they could go to the library and get some books. We started the library card with them. Next.
During the pandemic it is hard, last year. I mean, from 2020, it's hard. But the reading library didn't stop there. Our librarians are very faithful and working with community, with me, saying, "Peggy, we're going to do virtual reading to the children." It was wonderful. They come faithfully once a week and talk and meet with the children virtually. And I took a picture of it, just to remember to thank them. You can see the librarian on the right, right, the two teachers on the left. They were reading books, even virtually, didn't stop during pandemic. There you go. Thank you. Next.
Beside the Christmas, we cannot afford to hire … We cannot send the letter to the North Pole to ask Santa to come, so we have the MTA police officer to come over dressed up like Santa Claus to celebrate this Western culture to our parents. Some of the parent is the first time to celebrate Christmas, they don't know. They're not exposed to that. This team, MTA police officer come yearly. He will call me, "Peggy, when do you want me to come over? I'm going to schedule [Inaudible]." This is the respect. We have a good relationship with the community. He will call me instead I call him, to schedule to come. And then the little middle person, the man in the middle, he also from Verizon. And he will come over to my – call me, "Do you want to come over?" He make balloons. He make tricks. Our children having a ball, having a fun time. To celebrate something new festival, they never been before. Next. And we are very fortunate to work with the Lions Club. Our parents invited to nearby public school high school to have this Christmas celebration. Thanks. Next.
Verizon company donate books to our children. We have a table there, like a book sale, but it's not for sale just to pick. The children will line up, pick their own favorite book, and they will go back. They will take that book home. This is from Verizon, donate books to our school. Thank you. Next. The same thing. This is the police. This is the Verizon staff. He dressed up like a bunny to celebrate Easter with us. He's the one who celebrate Easter with us and also a farewell party. He will dress up and have a balloon party with the children. He also volunteer his time for us. Thank you. Next.
Now, our China Head Start provide … I'm not sure you familiarize with Cool Culture card. China Head Start provides Cool Culture card to parents. Cool Culture card is a pass for family to visit local museums, parks, and zoos for free. Admission fee is expensive in New York City, so they got this card, this Cool Culture card for free to visit different museum. We encourage our parents to group them together, two or three parents together, to go visit. They have that relationship because they're new immigrants. They don't have friends. They build the relationship starting from the Cool Culture card. Yhey go out together. You see three families there. They go out, they took pictures, and sent it back us.
And next. When they visit the place, the teacher prepares some activity sheets for them to look for; when you go there, what are you looking for? Usually the trips that we ask them to encourage to go is corelated with the theme in school. Teaching this classroom theme so that – let's say transportation. They will go encourage them to visit the museum, a transit museum, so that they will cooperate and they really have … They study in class, and they actually have the Cool culture card and go out and see, “Oh, this is what the train are about” or “This was an old train.” This cooperate with that. Thank you. Next.
Our parent develop healthy relationship among other parents during the Cool Culture card and also with classes. They come in. They do education classes such as English class. Next. They have yoga class, something that you don't have to pay for, just join in and then they have yoga class. Next. And they have Tai Chi class, right. You know Tai Chi. I learned Tai Chi with 24 style. Took me many months to learn. And we have a parent volunteer. This father volunteer to do Tai Chi to other parents. Once they learn the Tai Chi style, they perform it on the stage for Chinese New Year's celebration for our Chinese culture. Celebration New Year is a big thing for us. It's a big festival, a year to welcome to chase the evil spirits away and to welcome the new year with the lion dance right in front of you.
On the right-hand side is a traditional store board lion head. You can tell the difference. On the left, on my left at least, it's a square box lion head; it's the end product of the children activity from the classroom. The children make that with the teachers help, of course, and they draw pictures on it. At the celebration day, both team – the store board team and the team that edit the product from the classroom – will do lion dance together to celebrate this Chinese reunion together with the family. Next. Of course, this is very common Chinese outfit. I believe these are 3 year old, 3. They just started school about few months. They were able to go on stage without mommy and daddy. I mean, they all different. Some sing, but they're all there without mommy and daddy is just a plus. They sing song. They're happy. No one cry. I haven't seen a crying kid, so it's awesome. That they learn, appreciate the Asian culture, and then they have a chance to just sing a song to kind of show off.
This is the lion dance, takes the teamwork for the children. It looks easy. It's not easy. I tried it. Right. The children learn through the culture with the team, and the parents also dance for our Chinese New Year too. Next. Chinese New Year didn't stop, we just no in-person. These children celebrated New Year during virtual last year. The children are making lion head, the children making dragon. They celebrate, didn't stop but continue. We just celebrate differently. Thank you. See. When the child have the lion at home they celebrated. They dance the lion head at home. Thank you. Next. Our parents move on from Chinese year exposed to Western culture; Halloween, something that is totally new to them. And the trick or treating, to say you're going trick or treating with the children. You can see, this is last year with the mask on. Thank you. That's awesome. Here you go. Next.
And during the good time, before the pandemic, we take the family to visit Green Meadow Farm as a family trip with the children. They pet the animals. They picked the pumpkin. Next. Right. And Thanksgiving, my kids wear this. This is me. I pushed a pumpkin to the front. They go, “Wow, so big.” They have fun. Next. The children enjoying it, measure the size. Next. They're having fun with the turkey. Mother's Day coming around. We just celebrated Mother’s Day. This is an in-class celebration. Next. And we celebrated Mother's Day last year too, virtually, didn't stop. Yes, didn't stop. Right there. This year we do differently, we did outdoor celebration. This is our play roof, where the children play when it's sunny day.
We're having Mother's Day outdoor on the rooftop. We are on the rooftop, and mommy taking a picture. We have to set up each area so that we're not congested because the COVID. Next. And this is a couple years ago, the Father's Day celebration. We have fathers coming into our program to celebrate Father’s Day. This is Father's Day. Hopefully this year – we did it virtually last year and hopefully this year, next, we are able to do on the rooftop like the Mother's Day, so we be fair.
Two years at Head Start, our children graduating from China Head Start, and they move on to a public school to kindergarten. They will sing song. They will sing the Pledge of Allegiance, sing National Anthem, and they sing songs to celebrate what they have learned from China Head Start. This is last year. We celebrated graduation on the rooftop. It was awesome. It was awesome. Mommy stand on assigned spot, and they will celebrate even COVID. COVID didn't stop us. And just a couple years ago, we have family to end the journey, end their journey. Thank you. Next.
Deciding the Chinese food – fried rice, that's what's really common to eat in China. And they were exposed to different food too, like Western food. Next. Different types of food, you could go on. Next. Like steamed rice and then have a meatloaf, steamed egg, and then chicken wing. Next. Thank you. More so at the end, I'm closing up, is we are asking the parents, an alumni, to come back to visit us at the end of the school year share the story. The little girls were dancing is a graduate from a program. She came back and shared the story. The three girls on the stage are graduates, and they will prepare our children to transfer to different school. Our children, our parents, with the Head Start experience they will better future. Next. That's it. Finished. Thank you. This is an old one, old slide. This is an old slide. This is an old slide. You can cut off now.
Martha: Thank you, Peggy. The pictures are absolutely wonderful, it's fantastic. Next, we are moving. I have the absolute pleasure of working with Thanh Bui-Duquette from the Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council in West Central Wisconsin. Thanh, you can take it over.
Thanh Bui-Duquette: Well, hello Head Start, what a privilege and honor to be able to be your panel today. And my name is Thanh Bui-Duquette. I am the Head Start Director for Western Dairyland Community Action Agency. We are a community action agency in Wisconsin. Very different than what New York Head Start will be providing. We are in Northwestern Wisconsin neighboring with Minnesota. Buffalo County is right across to Minnesota. We have both Head Start and Early Head Start program with a total 489 student total. And we are very relatively rural, 3,100 square miles across all four different counties with maybe one metropolitan area. We have a total of nine Head Start centers across our four counties, eight of them are full-day and one of them is half-day. And then our Early Head Start is a home visiting program. We have three or four centers that actually is a collaboration with the school district, so our centers are inside the school. And then we also have one delegate agency which is pretty unique in term of – it is a local school district that has been our delegate agency since the '60s, so since the beginning of Head Start.
And I just want to give a little bit of background because Wisconsin, rural Midwest areas. The history of Asian American in Wisconsin. As you can see, the majority of the Asian population in Wisconsin are refugees that come to Wisconsin after the Vietnam War. According to the 2020 census, we have about 3% of the total population are Asians, and the Hmong population would be the third largest. And you can see in the map, all the different blue area is where the refugees settle: majority of the refugees among Asian, Indian, and Chinese. Between 1975 through the 1990s, that's when we saw a huge increase especially in the Hmong refugees in Wisconsin and that is mainly the Asian population that we serve.
In Western Dairyland, specifically within our service area, we serve a total of … 10% of the family we serve are Asian Americans, majority of them are Hmong Americans. And when you think about it, it's been – they've settled here in the '70s. We've served generations of Hmong family and the partnership and relationship has started since the '70s. It's very common that we have the three generational approach in supporting our families, that we don't just support the children and the family, but very common that we also are working closely with the grandparents who are caregivers who basically are staying home with the kids while maybe the parents are out working and going back to school. It's a unique approach where our staff work closely with the parents and the grandparents to help support the tide.
And the approach – it's a systematic approach. It's not just one thing that we do in supporting our Asian American families within our program. As you can see in this graph, let's start with. One of the things that's unique about the Hmong culture is that it is a spoken language. Most generation cannot read Hmong, but they speak Hmong fluently. We always have to make sure that we have adequate staffing to be able to talk to the families that we serve with. In the centers that we have a large population of Hmong families, we always have to make sure that our family services staff and our teaching staff are also able to speak Hmong. We also make sure that our environment … And because only 10% of our families are Asian American, how we support them is very different. It's really how we set up the environments and make sure that we include all the different materials within the Hmong culture, specifically in our classrooms with pictures. We have dresses. We have different specific traditional toys, musical instruments in our classrooms.
And the thing is we don't … Because it's a spoken language, there's not really any books. We always have to make sure that … That's why it's important to have staff in our classroom because they typically then translate the regular books that we have into the Hmong language for the children that are in our classroom. We also want to make sure that parents – the child's most important teachers – making sure that we engage the family and invite them into the classroom so that they can teach us and help us on how support the children when they are in our centers. As well as because there's a large population of Hmong refugee in one of our service area, there is a Hmong cultural center. We refer to it as ECAHMAA, and we partner with them for ongoing professional development and any events that they might have to partner with them.
And then most importantly, we've had a partnership with the Literacy Chippewa Valley because many of this family when they first came here are refugees, so they are starting over. And we partner with the Literacy of Chippewa Valley to actually the parent can go to school. While the parent are going to school for their GED and their citizenship classes, the children can then attend the Head Start Centre during that time. It's the partnership that benefit both Head Start, but also the literacy organization as well; where by the end of the year, they would be able to finish their GED class as well as will be ready to take their citizenship test.
We also have … With the same organization we partner with them so that they are also … Once they get their GED, then they can go ahead and go through their CNA. Their CNA class, that at least by the time they graduate from the CNA program then they can start looking for jobs. And there's ESL courses at the same time. There's many different classes that's offered by the Literacy Volunteer of Chippewa Valleys, that as a partnership with Head Start, all the parents or caregiver attend those courses and then the children attend Head Start while the parents are in classes. Those are important partnership because one of the things we learn is that those partnership is extremely important in supporting families and that has been one of the reasons why we've seen multigeneration. It's Hmong culture, they come from a very big family, so it's very common for us to have all seven children that gone through our program. And one of the benefit of that is that we have developed extremely strong partnership and relationship with families where we are their main support system, but also their connection to different community resources out there.
And we also … One of the way – and this is my last slide – is one of the way that we … Education is really important, like Dr. Futrell said earlier. Making sure that we promote and increase awareness in the community about different culture and different groups is really important. And that's what we do within Head Start is that we organize – we call it multi-cultural night, where we invite … Because in the center with majority of them is Hmong refugees. We invite them to come in and share with us their culture. But we also invite community partners as well as other Head Start family to come in to really help build and bridge that relationship so that both different cultures are integrated into the community.
This is one of the activities that's really popular. Family get to try different very, very colorful Hmong outfit as well as trying different food as well. And that's one of the things that we do within our program is instead of introducing family to Western food, we actually introduce our kids to different type of traditional Hmong food. Not only that it's familiar with the Hmong children, but also, we want to encourage children from other culture to try out the amazing variety of foods at the Hmong culture. We have … Our chef always make sure that they make specific traditional Hmong foods such as the noodle soup, such as egg rolls and rice, and that’s also is incorporated into our culture night as well. That is how within our program in Northwest Wisconsin help kind of create different system to help support our Asian American families. Thank you for having me be part of your panel.
Martha: Thank you, Thanh. Laura.
Laura: Wonderful. Thank you again, Thanh. We're going to move West. This is much quicker than a flight from East to West. I'm honored to introduce Executive Director of Kai Ming, Jerry Yang, located here in San Francisco. Take it away, Jerry.
Jerry Yang: Hi. Good morning and good afternoon, everyone. Hi Dr. Futrell, and hi everyone. My name is Jerry Yang with Kai Ming Head Start, found in San Francisco. Kai Ming in Chinese means inspiration and enlightenment. And I'm very thankful for this opportunity to share some perspectives from San Francisco. First of all, let me put on my content into San Francisco local context. We have three Head Start organizations in the city. And San Francisco is a small city, like seven by seven miles around 815,000 population. And we have about 36% of Asian and more than 30% are Chinese Americans and also there are some other cultures such as: Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Mongolian, and many other cultures from central Asia countries. It's a very diverse city. At Kai Ming, we serve 370 Head Start, Early Head Start, and non-Head Start kids across nine locations. 85% of the families are Chinese. And we have about the same ratio, 85% of the staff are Chinese.
Just like any program in our Head Start community, providing culturally sensitive support is just essential in education and inclusion area. The most fundamental principles we hold is being inclusive and anti-bias. We have dual language practices going on across all the classroom and in some classrooms, we even have Chinese, Spanish, and English – three languages. And we respect the family's home culture a lot. We emphasize curricular education, and we also partner with local programs to provide English and Chinese mental health support.
In our family and health nutrition service areas, of course, the language support is essential again. Many, many workshops, and the Parent Café we provide are in dual languages, Chinese and English. The contents are culturally sensitive. And we also provide PPP, positive parenting program, and we also add on our agency character education element into the curriculum. We emphasize on respect, kindness, truthfulness, and we found these are the three characteristics that are pretty universal in all cultures. For food services, certainly we provide multicultural foods, but at the same time, we also make more Asian foods available for the kids. And we have been partnering with San Francisco State University Nursing School to have their students do community works not only providing the bilingual services, but also addressing some Asian specific health issues such as hepatitis B. That's a big concern in Asian community. We are partnering with all kind of people, all kind of program, to provide this kind of multicultural service for our families.
We position ourselves as a part of these more tiny networks. We are receiving strong support from OHS region nine office, of course, and also in different layers of Head Start associations. The city also provides lots of quality improvement and the culture support. Oh, and by the way, for programs that receive city funding, the city just made the EC teacher minimum wage as $28, which is fantastic. And locally in San Francisco, we have an API council, Asian Pacific Islander Council, and we have 54 non-profit agencies members working on different areas.
Here's some pictures: On the left-hand side, that is Lunar New Year calligraphy activities; and on the right-hand side, that is a Cultural Day, Multicultural Day. You can see there are African masks shared by a parent, and also in the background, you see those small masks, those are Chinese masks. Culture Day is not just about Chinese culture, it's about really multi-culture. Even though we have 85% of families are Chinese, but we really value multi-cultures. And this slide: On the left-hand side, just a picture about a celebration of multi-month healthy Chinese cooking workshops. We have many parents participated in that, and the teachers volunteer as well, is a partnership with Chinatown Public Health Center. Those are few pictures I share here.
The next, I want to share some internal survey. To prepare this presentation, we really want to get more insights from our parents, from our staff: What do you think? In the survey, we conducted last week, I got 215 responses. The first question was that: “Are you concerned about your child losing their bilingual and the multicultural support after they enter kindergarten?” I'm not so sure where in the screen you can see that button, because on my screen I see this menu. OK. Just let …
Laura: We can see your slide, Jerry.
Jerry: Oh, you do. OK. Good. Good. Thank you. OK. A total of 202 responses, including 123 parents and 79 staff. In San Francisco, parents do have choices to go to Chinese emerging kindergarten in the city, but the slots are limited. This might explain like almost equally distributed some have concern and some don't. The next question is about, “Do you believe that AAPI children will receive equal opportunities in order to thrive in the US education system for the long-term?” I put this side by side. It's very, very interesting to see that. On the left-hand side, 123 parents, AAPI parents, about 77% they believe that, yes, my kids will have equal opportunities in the future. On the right-hand side, staff 79, it dropped to 58%, they have that belief. That's a very interesting, I think that can trigger some reflection about the education system in the U.S.
The next … “How much of a role does family play into a child's care and education, and how much of a role does the school have?” I put this side by side. On the left-hand side, it's AAPI and the right-hand side is non-AAPI. Even though the simple number is very low, only 13, but you do see the pattern. It has exactly the same pattern. Like over 80% of everybody, they believe that the responsibility between school and the families are having health. And I believe when people answer this question, in their mind is not just about the school readiness of kindergarten, in their mind they were thinking about raising a responsible and successful child for the future. The last question is: “There had been some hate crime targeting AAPI people in recent years, what is your opinion on that?” And you can see that on the left-hand side, about 20% think that's individual cases like crazy people, about almost 19% think that is a systematic racism against AAPI, and over 60% think that is both.
Way before those headline news about physical attacks targeting Asian seniors in New York and San Francisco, many, many of us AAPI members, including myself, were already experiencing verbal abuse on the street such as compared to China, something like that. When those physical attacks happened, the AAPI community response was like, “enough is enough,” so people went to the street. And on the picture, that's our staff and parents, we went on the street. Within our program, we try to be present to everyone and give people emotional support, legal support, talk about equity and justice, educate everyone to understand not to hurt back. And we provide personal protective devices such as alarm and some have the pepper spray thing for the parents. That is about how we respond to the Stop Asian Hate rallies.
The last portion, this is the last slide. I want to talk about this. We are experiencing a rapid changing world: The virus is still around, the weather is going extreme, and there are violence from verbal abuse to physical attacks, shooting on innocent people even including kids and there are worse going on against each other. Raising the kids is not easy; raising a multicultural kid is even harder. As a Head Start people, I think we all believe that we don't just consider our job is done once the kids go to the kindergarten. We also care and consider what the kids will be facing in the future. As a Head Start community, we have done a lot already. We should be proud of ourselves. However, we still have so much to do.
The page … It does stress my suggestion. We need to find the balance between equitable supports and equal opportunities. I believe you all agree with me in that, typically, people want to be successful rather than be in low income. When people have the needs for support in their life and we are here to help them. A true equitable support first come with a neutral understanding. They are always more than one way to understand the theme or do the business or get the job done. Understand how people feel, both cognitively and emotionally. I think that's the number one thing we have to do, and we need to strengthen that, and I believe that's what most people of colors need. Don't always judge me and tell me what I need to improve. Listen to me. Understand what I think cognitively and emotionally.
The second green bubble from the left. Another example I suggest we can work on is we really need a research-based Asian culture curriculum. When you search the DLL curriculum, you can find a lot of Spanish, English DLL curriculum, but besides that, nothing else, unfortunately. Our teachers, when they want to teach the culture thing, they have to find resource on YouTube, on Google. It's not enough. Asia is big with many, many different languages. We can find some creative way to develop Asian culture curriculum to highlight different Asian cultures. Through our home cultures, we need to have a new life in America. Just example: I'm from Taiwan. Of course, I love authentic Chinese food from my hometown, but I still love American-style Chinese food here. And then my kids, they can interpret English menu better than Chinese menu. Our culture really needs a new life in the America. AAPI, those really – those kids, they deserve a research-based curriculum to make sense of their home culture in this social context. And in turn, they can contribute to the ongoing construction of American culture with confidence.
Moving to the right-hand side: equal opportunities. I believe that life is an ongoing trial and error journey, especially for low-income families. When parents and kids, when they are receiving support from us, they are also trying to be self-sufficient and independent. Some may succeed in five years; some may take a longer time; it's really a dynamic process. But there's a very important element that the outside system need to be stable so the families and the kids, they can set their achievable goals. It can be going to school getting an A degree for kids, trying to be – to work hard and work smart, study hard. They need a system, a promise from the system, so they can set their achievable goals. Maintaining a stable system, protecting equal opportunities, I think this is very important to help families in poverty to break the cycle through education.
Yes. That concludes my presentation. And thank you so much for listening to my presentation. And this is my email. Feel free to contact me to exchange ideas for better a Head Start community. Thank you.
Martha: Thank you so much, Jerry. You've received a lot of love in the chat. I don't know if you could keep an eye on that, but there was a lot of love there. And thank you for doing the survey, that was something above and beyond that we did not expect when we planned this. What I am going to do right now – we have a few minutes. I know people are dropping off because of the – at the hour, but we do have a few more minutes. I'm going to put you, our panelists, all three of you on the spot a little bit. I don't think we have any questions in the chat. Elizabeth, did we miss any questions? OK.
Elizabeth: Nothing came up. Nothing came up in the chat, just a lot of comments particularly on your scale, Jerry. Thought-provoking, important recommendations.
Martha: Thanks, Elizabeth. What I'm going to do again, I'm going to put you on the spot a little bit because I really want to hear some of your personal reflections. What are some of your personal reflections that you have on this month on AANHPI, I think it's the whole [Inaudible] name? What are some thoughts personally? And because I know you Thanh, I'm putting you on the spot first.
Thanh: I think it's been amazing to actually set a month aside to celebrate Asian Americans, specifically AAPI communities. And obviously, I am Asian, but I also work in Wisconsin, which is primarily white. My perspective is very unique and different than all the other panelists. I went to school here. And for me, I think, specifically the community I serve, because Wisconsin is not a diverse state, I think having a smaller Asian community has been actually beneficial for the families that we serve and has been helpful in terms of building those relationships because the community want to include – to include the AAPI into the conversation and are continuously to look to. And Head Start is one of those entity to invite us to the table because they are looking for ways to diversify the community. Just having one whole month to celebrate this, and I hope this continue to grow, is one of the ways to continue to promote and increase awareness. Not just individual, state, and community, but also in the whole country.
Martha: Thank you, Thanh. Jerry, Peggy, do you have any thoughts?
Jerry: OK. I can go first. I'm thankful for this month as an Asian Heritage Month, and I do feel it's been valued as a Asian. And the support we provide for our parents, for our staff, many times of course, we need to be culturally sensitive. But on the other hand, sometimes, we can put our skin color away. We are just human being. Treat each other as simply as human being, that's also another perspective. This is a great month. I think we learned. And following, like in February, the Black History Month, we have something to learn all the time. And this is a great culture here. We just need to learn how to tolerate, how to understand each other better. Thank you.
Martha: Peggy, do you have any additional thoughts?
Peggy: The location that we are right now in New York City because … Especially our program located is very, the population of the Chinese people is a lot. Having the AAPI is just awesome so that we could celebrate, this is our month. It meant a lot to them because it's a dedicated month to celebrate. Being here as a new immigrants, they left the home nation, the hometown, and they come into a new place. They have the language difficulty. They have so much to need to support by. It's good to have AAPI. I'm working with these people a long time. I see parents at the end. I just ran into a parent like we taught like 20 years ago and just saw me and, "Hi Mrs. Ng. Give me a hug. How are the children?" That is what Head Start is all about. I mean, I bumped on the street. I bump into parents all the time. That hug and just recognize each other, continue with the spirit of working together is awesome. Thank you.
Martha: Thank you, Peggy.
Elizabeth: We do have a question. Is there a program like this that is culturally specific to Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander community, here in Washington state? Unfortunately, I'm not sure if region …
Martha: Is anybody from …
Elizabeth: Yeah. I was going to say, if anyone from region 10 is on, perhaps they can answer that question. I was looking through the participant’s list to see if there was anyone from region 10 on. Please speak up if you're on or Laura, do you know? I know that's asking you a big question. Unfortunately, they are – I don't see anyone from region 10 on this.
Laura: Yeah. I can't speak specifically to region 10 only, what I know about my programs in a [Inaudible].
Elizabeth: I do know that they serve a certain group of people, but I don't know within this area. But I don't know that if it's Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or whether it's Asian Americans or who it is.
Laura: The only thing I would say, I mean, like I said I can't speak specifically to region 10. But I mean, I think like with any … I mean, a lot of our West Coast communities, we do have pockets of Pacific Islander communities or Native Hawaiian, so there may be maybe neighborhoods or parts of cities or parts of Washington state that do have pockets. But I personally couldn't speak to that because I don't serve in those, or I don't work with those communities.
Martha: I would recommend talking to your program specialist with Office of Head Start or if you're another agency, to talk with your contact – region 10 from Seattle.
Elizabeth: That was …
Elizabeth: Yeah. I'm not sure who you're with, but it's Moana. And I'm not sure how to say your last name Moana, but I agree with Martha. And Martha, I'm sorry for speaking over you. But assuming you're in Washington state. But we do have another question. If you wanted to go, seems like we have a couple of other things. We now have things coming into the chat, and I wanted to get onto another question, if that's OK with you guys. Sandy Baba, if I said that right, I hope I did. She said, “How do you support your AANHPI staff's emotional health as they may be worried about their own safety amid the continued surge of hate crimes across the U.S. while caring for the children in their classroom? What resources might you need?”
Martha: Does anybody want to start that one or have any recommendations?
Thanh: I can go. For our program specifically, what we've done is we really work really hard. There is a cultural aspect of not asking, like mental health is still a taboo within Asian culture, so it takes a lot of time to even build a relationship with a mental health consultant. Our mental health consultant has spent every year … At the beginning of the year, it's always focusing on getting to know the staff, getting to know different style and what their needs are and what support looks like. It start with building that relationship with our mental health consultant and then slowly building into because a lot of time, it all come down to colleagues. Maybe it's a colleague that who recognized that one of our staff might need additional support. Kind of that team approach in term of encouragement.
And our mental health consultant also have office hours, ongoing office hours, that staff can automatically walk in using a confidential link so that it's – for some of our staff, it's easier, especially if it's … With the pandemic, everybody's been very used to having virtual meeting. That's been how setting up regular system in place so that staff know what resources are available to them. And we've seen a huge increase in our number of staff who are utilizing the office hours from our mental health consultant that we've decided to continuing on that system moving forward.
Martha: Yeah. I think mental health consultation is one of the key components of that whole piece, so I love the idea. And I've told you this before, the office hours are – I'm a big fan. Jerry or Peggy, do you have any recommendations or resources or any thoughts, additional thoughts?
Peggy: For China Head Start, we collaborate with Family Harmony. He work with the parents and also work with staff if they need schedule to … We share the resources, we share the contact link so they can contact him individually if they want to talk. And we also conduct meeting weekly with the teachers, just teachers alone. And sometimes, I will have a small group meeting, like individual class meeting. This opportunity they could have this chance to just share their happy moment or a moment that they really need support, they need some extra support. I'll be right there, so you can count on me, anything confidential we will share. And if they need to schedule someone to talk to, not coming to me is fine too. We have coach too in our school. The coaching also play important role. Thank you.
Martha: Thank you, Peggy. And unfortunately, we are running out of time. I'm going to let Laura close us out, and we have a special music video to go.
Laura: Thank you so much, Martha. And thank you, thank you, thank you again to all of our panelists, everybody who joined today. This is really our final event for AANHPI month this month, and we really hope that this is something we get to do again as we go throughout the years or as we go throughout the year. It's wonderful hearing from recipients. One of the things I just wanted to mention is that you will be receiving a follow-up email from the Guardians of Honor. There will be a survey as well as some resources. I believe the word cloud will also be emailed out as well. And again, I just want to reiterate the point, I believe this was brought up a few times this session. But we know the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander community is very large, and this was only a sliver of what this month really has to offer. Again, we appreciate your participation.
And we're going to share a video to play us out. IT is called Stop The Hatred. It is by a Chinese American hip hop artist named MC Jin. He was actually inspired. The title of this song was actually inspired by his 8 year old son, who actually shouted the words, “stop the hatred” into a crowd during a Stop the Asian Hate rally in New York City. We felt like this was a very powerful message to send us off with. We're going to share this video right now. And again, we just want to thank you all so much for your participation today. Thank you.
Wyclef Jean: Rain love on me. Rain love on me. Open up your eyes and finally see.
Mc Jin: My grandma passed away at the top of last year. At the funeral drowning because I couldn't hold back tears. But after all that's happened this past year, part of me sees grace in the fact that she's not here. As a grandson, this statement's a fact: No elderly should ever be victim of such a heinous attack. Prey on the weak, only cowards would take advantage of that. No more staying meek, it's time to take a stand and react. A simple trip to the market, thought the streets were safe. Turned targets, I speak up for my people's sake. From this pandemic, I'm hopeful that we'll see escape. Until then, love's the only vaccine for hate. Now when my folks leave the house, it's quite the norm. My mind's flooded with thoughts of what might go wrong. Truthfully, I wish I didn't have to write this song, but it's only right I recite it since this mic is on.
Wyclef: What if we went a little bit out of our way to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Imagine that.
Wyclef: Stop the hatred. What if we took a little time out of our day to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Could it be?
Wyclef: Stop the hatred.
Mc Jin: Rain love on me.
Wyclef: He cold like Antarctica. It don't matter if you black and white, says the man in the mirror. The squad's facing the terror. I'm talking mother, father, sister, brother, grandma, and grandpapa, all doomed 'cause of skin color. Paranoid like my mind playing tricks on this ghetto boy, so I gotta scream for my mama like I'm George Floyd. Now I'm all in linen like John imagining, but he ain't give peace a chance he took eight lives with him. Where the love go still unanswered. Politicians, they be flipping Gabby Douglas. Divide so they can conquer then they chain our ancestors. Come together like the Beatles remastered.
Wyclef: What if we went a little bit out of our way to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Imagine that.
Wyclef: Stop the hatred. What if we took a little time out of our day to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Could it be?
Wyclef: Stop the hatred.
Mc Jin: Rain love on me.
It's new footage every other day, every bit of it hard to watch. I'm talking to my son, he's 8 – listen to your pops. I said don't fall for the bait. The actions of a few don't reflect the nature of an entire race. Maybe the past is full of lessons, but we missed it. History shows, indeed, tension has existed between the two communities. But here's a fact, beyond colors we're humans not just yellow or black. Like Chris Rock, I ain't liberal or conservative inside, I just know the enemy would love to further the divide. Media don't care how the story is told, they're more concerned with how the story is sold. Preconceived notions make it harder to see. Together there's much power, Rush Hour, look at Carter and Lee. Hopefully, through dialogue we'll start to agree. More light for you doesn't make the world darker for me.
Wyclef: What if we went a little bit out of our way to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Imagine that.
Wyclef: Stop the hatred. What if we took a little time out of our day to stop the hatred?
Mc Jin: Could it be?
Wyclef: Stop the hatred.
Mc Jin: Rain love on me.
Wyclef: Rain love on me, rain. Rain love on me. Open up your eyes and finally see. Open up your eyes and finally see. Rain love on me, rain love on me. Rain love on me. Open up your eyes and finally see.
Mc Jin: I want you to say exactly what's on your heart right now, say it.
Chance: Stop the hatred.
Mc Jin: Say it one more time, Chance.
Chance: Stop the hatred.
Elizabeth: Everyone, for attending this event, we appreciate it. And thank you to all of our panelists, Peggy, Thanh, and Jerry, you've been wonderful. Thank you to our moderators, Martha and Laura. And I'm not sure if Dr. Futrell is still on, but we want to thank you for opening for us and for the moment of silence on this very powerful day. Thank you for attending, all of our participants. We know this was a powerful, powerful event, and we hope you will keep your minds open and thinking about all the things you've heard today. Thank you.
Martha: And continue the conversation.Close
This webinar features Head Start programs from Regions II, V, and IX, sharing how they support their local Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Asian violence. Listen to how these programs offer community outreach, individualize culturally competent services to families with similar needs, and celebrate cultural differences.