Cultural Community Ambassadors
Albemarle County Community Partnership
Cultural Community Ambassadors (CCA) is a 2012 Albemarle County initiative with the Office of Community Engagement that works to increase positive visibility of minority role models. Ambassadors from the community will model the sheer importance of reading and metacognitive thinking during the read-aloud process. Every student should have the opportunity to see someone of the same ethnicity fostering a love for literacy. This is equally important for students who are not minorities as they develop a multidimensional perspective of other cultural groups.
The goal is to establish this program in every elementary school. Currently, Agnor-Hurt, Cale, Stone Robinson, Hollymead and Woodbrook schools are piloting a year round program where 2-4 community ambassadors are adopted by a classroom for a year-long commitment.
The Division’s life-long learning standards, culturally responsive characteristics, mission, vision and goals are addressed:
· This program will open doors of real life experiences for students to connect with minorities from the community.
· This program approach reinforces strategies to encourage students to use their cultural knowledge and prior experiences to make learning more appropriate and effective for them.
· The program allows teachers will show how they recognize and value the cultures represented by the students in their classrooms, school and community.
· The program encourages teachers to value sensitivity and cultural context of the various cultures represented by the students in their classrooms, school and community.
· The program establishes opportunities for teachers to prepare all students to succeed as members of a global community and in a global economy by their awareness of attitudes needed to succeed in the multi-cultural, fast-changing global community.” (These skills include cultural competency and multicultural awareness. CCA works to expose children to diverse representations of success.)
o Seek, recognize and understand systems, patterns, themes, and interactions. (Students will develop a more in-depth understanding of various cultural norms and analyze important cultural contributions).
o Demonstrate ethical behavior and respect for diversity through daily actions and decision-making. (As students gain new knowledge about different cultures, they will cultivate a greater sense of respect for the cultural plight of others).
o Through these presentations, students will develop a deeper understanding of societal structures while fully participating in civic life.
“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author…. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books… When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part. Our classrooms need to be places where all the children from all the cultures that make up the salad bowl of American society can find their mirrors.” ~Rudine Sims Bishop
We have chosen a set of African American books for the upper elementary Ambassadors and a focus on the Hispanic Heritage for the lower elementary readers.
African American Read Aloud Set
- Ron's Big Mission by Corinne Naden
- Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
- Sit-In (How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down) by Andrea Davis Pinkney
- The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
- Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
- The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
Hispanic Heritage Set
- Yum Mmmm Que'Rico America's Sproutings by Pat Mora
- Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales
- The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora
- Confetti by Pat Mora
- A Birthday Basket for Tia by Pat Mora
- Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
- Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley
- Book Fiesta by Pat Mora
||Jorge and GloriaTeran
Also check out the CCA Blog!