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Wake Up and Smell the Demographics

by Luis Hernandez
November/December 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/wake-up-and-smell-the-demographics/5019006/

Leadership is vision and action

We hear different languages at the supermarket. We notice the multi-ethnic workforce at the local hospital. New members at church are from different parts of the world. The first family from Asia has moved to the neighborhood. The children at the center are now more diverse from five years ago.

New people, new languages, and new cultures are now part of most American cities, suburbs, and towns. It is a demographic change impacting the country in ways we have not experienced in generations. It is about the dynamic of change and the forces of new immigration in our classrooms, communities, and ­nation. And, as is often noted, if you want to see the future face of America, visit a preschool classroom today.

Early childhood centers are likely the places of first impressions and contact between us and ‘them,’ between what is familiar, regular, and comfortable, and the different languages and cultures new immigrants bring to communities. This initial exchange is about discovering differences and similarities, and it is about the dynamics of change. In response to these changes, leaders in ECE settings build an awareness, understanding, and intentional action about how one center or ...

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