Cultural Competence

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How can neighborhoods have a direct impact on adolescents’ mental health?

Always something interesting to read on culturaldevelopment:

A recent study conducted by Hurd, Stoddard, & Zimmerman (2013) with 571 urban African American adolescents found that higher neighborhood poverty and unemployment -via lower social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion- predicted higher rates of depressive symptoms. Can we promote mental health without tackling poverty?

For the full article click here:

Filed under cultural competence culture education neighborhoods child development cultural development

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School officials vote against renewing Nahuatl-themed charter

The LA Times reported today that supporters of a high-profile charter school with a focus on Nahuatl culture wept after the Los Angeles Board of Education voted to close its high school campus. The school is familiar with controversy  and in the past has been accused of promoting the Aztec Revolution.

The article states that, “School board president Monica Garcia cast the lone dissenting vote, saying the school offered a unique and valuable cultural alternative that should be available to families.” Garcia goes on to say that the school provides its students with “something that we can’t measure because we don’t understand it,” said Garcia. “I understand it.”

What are your views on charter schools? Language/Culture based charter schools? Should the decision to keep doors open be based solely on test scores? Or is Garica spot on tin the fact that not all positive aspects and successes that occur within schools can be measured?

Filed under Education

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A new and exciting NYPL exhibition,The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter opens, tomorrow, June 21st in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building! This exhibition examines why children’s books are important, what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them. It features more than 200 items from the Library’s collections including: Where the Wild Things Are, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, and many others.  Be sure to visit The ABC Of It and see some of your favorite children’s books! Visit the NYPL site for more details. 

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Ecuador Professional Preparation Program: A Cultural Journey

Check out a new article I helped publish on the NASP Cultural Competence Resource page along side the wonderful Angelina Nortey, Meroudjie Denis, Anton R.Berzins, and Tara C. Raines. In the article we ask and provide an option as to how graduate students and professionals can acquire knowledge of various cultures and gain real world skills needed to serve the diverse student and family population in United States Schools.

Filed under Education Psychology school psychology National Association of School Psychologists Culture Cultural Competence

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Homework in the dark?

Doing homework in candlelight?  This is still not a thing of the past. “7 out of 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity” according to

In regards to education…  90 million sub-Saharan students attend school without electric power. At home, children are forced to do their homework at night with just a candle or a flashlight.

Sign’s pledge (click on the tile link) and energize the fight against extreme poverty today.

Filed under poverty education school africa global international

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Over the past month a group of 12 graduate students in the field of Educational Psychology from various universities throughout the United States came together in Quito, Ecuador to partake in the Ecuadorian Professional Preparation Program.  The following is a culturally competent pregnancy video/slideshow that was created for the patients at a free clinic located in Quito, Ecuador (Subcentro de Salud Santa Clara de San Millan).


Special thanks to the E Triple-P, Angelina Nortey, Meroudjie Denis, Misty Dawn, Anton Berzins, and the Subcentro medical team and Staff.

To learn more about this amazing program please visit:

Filed under Pregnancy Culutral competence bilingual Spanish Ecuador Psychology