In the scope of the Early Childhood Crisis, the major pitfalls for children of color overwhelmingly stem from a lack of cultural understanding and responsiveness in early childhood learning. That is largely because trainers in the early childhood education space are typically white or English speaking, and so the models of early learning provided to Early Childhood Educators are not explored through diverse cultural practices. Those whose first language is something other than English often have to interact with the knowledge base through an interpreter or second language. They face financial, transportation, linguistic, cultural and other logistical barriers that prevent them from providing high-quality care. We believe that our Partnership has not only the capability, but the capacity to help guide and address this issue of getting the right tools into the right hands.
In April of this year, SVP invested $25,000 in the Early Childhood Funders Learning Circle (ECFLC) with the intention of bringing together philanthropic groups from Oregon to fund a project at the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education (OCCD). The goal of the Master Trainers program is to increase the number of master trainers from communities of color, linguistically diverse communities, and rural Oregon. Master trainers are individuals who provide training to the early learning workforce.
Since April, we’ve collectively made impressive progress. The ECFLC’s investment committee formed and established decision-making protocols, and invited 13 organizations to join the community council. The first Community Council workshop was facilitated by a new SVP Partner, Erin Stevanus. The objective was to build a creative collaborative, clarify the current state of the Master Trainer program, and to align the Community Council’s purpose within the Growing Master Trainers project. Soon, the Community Council will identify Mentor Master trainers, who will serve as mentors for Emerging Master trainers. These Emerging Master Trainers will provide culturally and linguistically appropriate training to early childhood educators. The collaborative has engaged Dr. Beth Green and Lorelei Mitchell of Portland State University to evaluate the project, draft research questions and begin collecting data.
It’s been an incredibly fast moving investment and we have completely exceeded expectations by enabling the organization to collectively raise $1.3 million to date from SVP leveraged funding sources to fund the three-year project. This is impressive evidence of our leveraged impact, and we are incredibly thankful for our Partners and their dedication to taking systems change from concept to reality. SVP lead Partner, Christyn Dundorf,” said it best: “It is well established that highly trained and educated practitioners are more likely to provide the care and education that changes outcomes. This project has the potential to build a model for change that will increase accessibility to training and education for the entire early learning workforce.”
If you’d like to get involved and help us boost our impact, contact Rebecca Brown Schroeder!