Children playing in a Kindergarten

Call for participation: “Voices: Escucha!”

Professor Anita Pandey (Morgan State University), has forwarded me a call for participation in a remarkable project she is facilitating, which looks into students’ voices. She notes that:

At the upcoming National Association for Bilingual Education conference, we will showcase migrant, immigrant, rural, urban, and other children’s stories in children’s own voices, illustrated by children and/or young adults. To that end, we invite you to help us reach children, young adults, and families everywhere to encourage them to submit single-language and code-mixed and/or bi/multilingual entries by 3 October 2014. We are also accepting submissions on a rolling basis via multimedia outlets, including You-Tube links, e-mail (languagebuildingblocks[at]gmail.com), and postal entries mailed to 3709 Grosvenor Dr., Ellicott City, MD 21042. Ask yourselves, “how much more authentic can children’s literature get?”

To that end, students’ thoughts (in the form of annotated journals or other assignments) are invited on topics such as:

  • concerns they have about the school and how they would recommend addressing them;
  • language use at home and school;
  • schooling routines in the US and elsewhere;
  • US school culture
  • School snacks and lunches
  • Testing, Grading and assessment
  • Living situations and out-of-class interactions
  • Languages they would like to learn and why
  • Subjects offered at school and their thoughts on the time allocated to each, plus
    content they like, dislike and/or would replace.
  • Their assessment of one or more teachers and school administrators
  • The layout of the school and decorations, the playground and surrounding school premises, and what they
    might change, and why
  • Supplemental events offered at school, as well as before- and after-school activities
  • Play and/or recess
  • Strangers (Who do they perceive as outsiders vs. trustworthy individuals?)
  • Debate and drama (Would they like to role-play? How and why?
  • International movies (Would they like to watch movies that focus on children and
    young adults in other countries? Have they seen any, or would they recommend
    showcasing one or more, and why?)
  • What a happy home and family looks like
  • Their vision of the ideal school, the ideal school day, or the ideal community

The project team are in the process of identifying a suitable publisher for a multi-volume publication, different parts of which could focus on the challenge-sharing and problem solving strategies of migrant children and their families; “undocumented voices”; different geographical regions etc.

The full text of the Call for Participation can be accessed here.


Featured Image: Emran Kassim @ Wikipedia [CC BY]

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