Educare Miami-Dade hosts White House summit on dual language learning

National government and nonprofit organizations gathered at the United Way of Miami-Dade Center for Excellence in Early Education, home of Educare Miami-Dade, on June 2 for The White House Regional Summit on Dual Language Learners.

The White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Too Small to Fail, First Five Years Fund, and other organizations met at the school to discuss how to best support the learning and development of young dual language learners in early education settings.

Educare Miami-Dade is dedicated to the implementation of dual language learning. Children at the school learn in both English and Spanish. The school promotes bilingual education for children as a way to help children learn and to form relationships with their Spanish-speaking families.

Gladys Montes, vice president of the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education and Educare Miami-Dade, had the opportunity to share the school’s ideas and experiences with bilingual education at the summit.

The intention that Educare Miami-Dade and United Way Miami-Dade had was to “look at what population lives here in Miami and what are the benefits of educating the children in both languages at the same time,” Montes said. “It’s not about translating everything that we do. It’s about exposing them to the two languages all the time.”

Montes also explained that interacting with parents in their native language helps early learning teachers and staff build trust and strong relationships with the families. Research shows that knowing more than one language also benefits children academically.

“Knowing more than one language is a good thing, not just for [the children’s] own future, but for our collective future as a country,” said Roberto Rodriguez, White House Deputy Assistant for Education. “I could not think of a better place…to come and really showcase the potential and high-quality programming that can serve our dual-language learners and help them succeed,” Rodriguez said of United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education and Educare Miami-Dade.

At the event, the White House released a policy statement on dual language learners and new research on the subject was also presented.

Read more about the event from the White House and the Miami Herald. Learn more about supporting dual language learners in early childhood programs.

Watch videos of the event on Univsion Contigo’s Facebook page, in English and in Spanish.