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The Para los niños program, created by The Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH), increases the capacity of libraries and their community-based partners to serve parents whose first language is Spanish. Using Para los niños curricula and strategies, participating libraries, museums and other organizations can provide monolingual Spanish speaking parents with increased access to resources, strategies and activities that improve their ability to serve as the “first teachers” of their children ages birth through seven.
CMH has been providing bilingual programming for many years, in order to meet the learning needs of our diverse audiences. Para los niños is the first program developed by CMH that is dedicated to a Spanish language curriculum. The program is intended to help parents who speak Spanish become more successful in supporting their children and has proven to also be beneficial for parents of all cultures.
In 1996, the Museum began developing parent education curricula and implementing it locally through the Museum, schools, childcare centers, libraries and other community centers. Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in October 2003, has enabled us to 1) take this existing parent education curricula and adapt it for specific use with parent audiences who are monolingual in Spanish; and 2) package the curricula and strategies so that libraries and other organizations throughout the U.S. can adopt the program for use in their communities.
Para los niños programming was piloted in 2004 and the first five months of 2005, when the curricula was tested and refined in the Houston market with 14 Houston Public Library Branches. The program served 4,728 parents and children in Houston Public Libraries and community centers in the greater Houston area.
For more information about the program contact:
Para los niños Coordinator