Michelle López, Literacy Partners
(631) 338-4918, [email protected]
Sara Horowitz, Clinton Foundation
Literacy Partners, Univision, Too Small to Fail, and Abriendo Puertas launch La Fuerza de Familias Latinas
Free Videos, Read-Alouds, and Virtual Workshops Seek to Strengthen Early Learning and Literacy, and Mitigate the Impact of Pandemic-Era Learning Loss on Young Children
March 24, 2021––Today, Literacy Partners, in partnership with Univision, Too Small to Fail, the Clinton Foundation’s early childhood initiative, and Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) launched a new digital campaign – La Fuerza de Familias Latinas – that provides parents and caregivers with dynamic video resources, virtual workshops, read-alouds, and other tools to strengthen early learning and literacy. The campaign was launched during a virtual Town Hall for community leaders and partners, hosted by Univision Anchor Ilia Calderon, popular journalist and co-host of Noticiero Univision and Gaby Rivero, best remembered for portraying Maestra Jimena on the popular Univision telenovela Carrusel.
This programming is especially important for Hispanic families, a group that’s been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanics are more than 3.2 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than white Americans, and more than twice as likely to die from the disease. Meanwhile, Hispanics represent a disproportionate share of “essential workers” who are required to work outside the home, putting themselves at greater risk for infection and taking them away from other important activities, like supporting at-home learning for their children.
In an effort to support Hispanic parents and mitigate the impact of pandemic-related early learning loss on their young children, La Fuerza de Familias Latinas provides resources and programming to help parents engage children in early learning and literacy activities. The campaign’s digital hub, which is fully available in both Spanish and English, includes:
- “Juntas En Casa” (“Together at Home”): A series of 5-minute talk show “webisodes,” hosted by celebrated actress Gaby Rivero, in conversation with Hispanic parents and caregivers. These webisodes feature short discussions, video clips, and tips on a range of early learning topics, like reading together, following your child’s lead, and building your child’s self-esteem.
- Momentos de Conexión (“Moments of Connection”): A series of 1-minute “quick hits” on early childhood development topics, featuring clips of parents and children engaging in early learning and literacy activities together. These are intended to model language-rich parent-child interactions and offer simple tips to parents who are looking for creative ways to support their child’s early development.
- Read Alouds: A series of popular bilingual children’s books, read aloud on video to help parents engage their young children in storytime.
- Virtual Parenting Workshops: A series of interactive workshops, hosted by Literacy Partners staff and other experts, to help parents learn more about ways to engage their families and their communities in early language and literacy development.
The campaign builds on Univision’s long-standing work to support Hispanic parents and improve educational outcomes for Hispanic children. Together with Too Small to Fail, Univision has reached millions of parents with news and entertainment programming to help them prepare their young children for success in kindergarten and beyond. In 2019, Univision, Too Small to Fail, and Literacy Partners produced a five-hour telenovela miniseries, La Fuerza de Creer, that embedded early childhood messages in a popular format that reached millions of viewers. In that show, Gaby Rivero portrayed Berenice, one of the lead characters.
La Fuerza de Familias Latinas builds on this work by curating short videos, digital talk show episodes, read alouds, and parenting workshops that provide tips, tools, and training to support parents with young children. These new resources are being distributed by Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors), a leading non-profit organization that serves over 80,000 Hispanic families across a network of more than 500 local organizations nationwide. In addition, the campaign is being featured on Univision’s network morning show, Despierta America, and distributed to more than 52,000 families who subscribe to Univision and Too Small to Fail’s Spanish-language text message program for parents. Literacy Partners will also distribute free monthly campaign toolkits, with sample social media posts, tools, and other content to help community partners share La Fuerza de Familias Latinas with families across the country.
“As a mother, I firmly believe that education is essential and important for the development of our children,” said Ilia Calderón. “Support and guidance from parents, teachers, and the school system will make a difference in the access to higher education that will be the foundation for work opportunities in the future.”
“Being together with your family and raising your children can be one of the best experiences in life if you have the support you need,” said Gaby Rivero. “I’m so happy to be part of this effort to help Spanish-speaking families. It was real pleasure to interview parents and learn from how they love their children and work so hard to help them learn and get ready for school.”
“Latina mothers and Latino fathers have the future of this country in their hands,” said Anthony Tassi, CEO of Literacy Partners. “We are honored to amplify their voices and share their success stories with the broader community through the La Fuerza de Familias Latinas campaign. Families together are resilient in the face of this long pandemic and will move our communities forward as we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“At Too Small to Fail, we believe every child deserves a strong start in life, ready to succeed in kindergarten and beyond,” said Patti Miller, CEO. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with Univision, Literacy Partners, and Abriendo Puertas to support Spanish-speaking families with tips and tools to encourage early learning. Our goal is to meet parents where they are and help them create a foundation for learning that will last a lifetime.”
“Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors is honored to be a partner of the La Fuerza de Familias Latinas initiative aimed at supporting parents as their child’s first teachers,” said Sandra Gutierrez, founder and executive director. “We are excited to bring the educational media tools to families and communities with the goal of boosting early reading, social-emotional growth, and school readiness. Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors has been investing in parent leadership for over a decade with local partners in 40 states including Puerto Rico, and we know that the La Fuerza de Familias Latinas initiative will contribute to the important work of preparing children for success and life.”
Parents, caregivers, and community organizations can access all of the campaign’s free tools, resources, and events at https://www.lafuerzadefamilias.org
About Too Small to Fail
Too Small to Fail, the early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation, promotes early brain and language development by supporting parents and caregivers with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language and reading skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community-based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician's office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere. Learn more at www.toosmall.org
About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.
As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.
We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.