Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children
Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

A new regional training series starts this month. It’s called “New Start: Supporting Multilingual Children and Immigrant & Refugee Families.”

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants and by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the training series looks at “early learning for these children and meaningful engagement of their parents and communities…” according to an event flier.

The need is considerable. “More than 1 in 4 children in Massachusetts under age 6 live in households that speak a language other than English,” the flier notes.

Presented in partnership with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the series “will equip providers, stakeholders, and other professionals with knowledge on immigration policy, cultural competency, and child development and educational principles in the context of multilingual homes and multicultural environments.” 

Each full-day session includes the following information:

• ABC’s of Immigration Law and Policy

• Immigration Status and Access to Benefits

• Working with Dual Language Learner Children and Families

• Cultural Competency and Family Engagement

• Being a Resource for Immigrant and Refugee Families

The schedule for the training sessions is:

Friday, March 27, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EEC Office, Taunton

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Worcester Public Library

Friday, May 29, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Middlesex Community College, Lowell

Friday, June 12, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield

The sessions are free, but registration is required. Each session will include 45 minutes for lunch. But bring a sandwich, because food will not be provided.

Funding for these events comes from the state’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant.

If you have questions, contact Jeffrey Gross, MIRA’s director of the New Americans Integration Institute, at or 617-354-5480 x228.