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The Corner CAFE Podcast: MELLFIN

The Corner CAFE Podcast: MELLFIN(Episode #104)

March 2024 | 36:41

In this episode of The Corner CAFE Podcast, Young-chan Han joins Nikevia and Jessica to discuss effective strategies for increasing family engagement, focusing on equitable practices and support for English learners in Maryland and Pennsylvania communities.


Young-chan Han
Young-chan Han is the president of the Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN).

Nikevia Thomas
Nikevia Thomas is co-host of The Corner CAFE Podcast, and a Senior Education Equity Specialist at MAEC.

Jessica Webster
Jessica Webster is co-host of The Corner CAFE Podcast, and a Senior Family Engagement Specialist at MAEC.

Show Notes:

MAEC is committed to the sharing of information regarding issues of equity in education. The contents of this podcast were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program. However, the contents of this podcast do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Department of Education or federal government, generally.

Full Transcript:

Nikevia Thomas: Hello everybody, this is Nikevia and Jessica from MAEC's CAFE, and you're listening to the Corner CAFE Podcast.

Families, schools, and communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania are looking for strategies to increase family engagement. On this show, we sit down with family engagement experts to discuss the ideas, best practices, and strategies that they use so that the rest of us can do the same. So let's get started.

Welcome back to another episode of the Co...

Nikevia Thomas: Hello everybody, this is Nikevia and Jessica from MAEC's CAFE, and you're listening to the Corner CAFE Podcast.

Families, schools, and communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania are looking for strategies to increase family engagement. On this show, we sit down with family engagement experts to discuss the ideas, best practices, and strategies that they use so that the rest of us can do the same. So let's get started.

Welcome back to another episode of the Corner CAFE Podcast. Today, we have a true trailblazer in the realm of family engagement. Joining us is Young-chan Han, president of MELLFIN, which stands for the Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network. Young-chan immigrated to the United States from Korea in 1973 and has over 25 years of experience in language access, family engagement, and leadership development.

She has worked tirelessly to empower and equip immigrant families and English learners and advocates for linguistically and economically challenged families. Formerly Young-chan was on the team at MAEC where she was lead author for the publications “Lessons Learned: A Resource Guide to Support AAPI Students” and “Building Leaders: An Educator's Guide to Family Leadership.”

We are so, so happy to have you here with us. Young-chan, welcome.

Young-chan Han: Thank you for having me. For the first time I heard that my name now is, what is it? Trailer?

Nikevia Thomas: Trailblazer.

Young-chan Han: Wow, I'm really impressed.

Nikevia Thomas: Your reputation precedes you, especially here at, uh, at CAFE. Your reputation really precedes you.

Jessica Webster: Absolutely. Um, it's an honor to have you on the show.

Your journey in family engagement and equity is truly compelling. So can you share a bit about what led you to your decision? Passion for focusing on equity and equitable family engagement and how these ideas relate to you.

Young-chan Han: Yes. Thank you for that question. Um, my story is a story of many immigrants in the U.S. I was 12 years old when we migrated to the U.S. from South Korea.

When our family first arrived, my mom enrolled me as a sixth grade student. The next time she came to school was for my high school graduation. She cared deeply about our education and future. But her involvement in our education was limited to ensuring that we had food to eat, a place to sleep, and that we attended school regularly, which we did.

My mom never attended school events or parent teacher conferences, as she worked 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. She signed many forms and papers the school sent, but never knew what they were. Never questioned what she was signing. My mom was a limited English speaking immigrant until she passed away.

She never had the opportunity to learn. She was what I call a cultural survivor.

Jessica Webster: Mm hmm.

Young-chan Han: From a young age, I wanted to help people around me who did not have a voice, like my mom. Seeing my mom working hard to provide the best opportunities for us, led to my passion for equity and equitable family engagement in education.

So, equitable family engagement is a key to education equity. Equity means all families can access the resources and support they need that meet their specific needs. Equitable family engagement to me is an ongoing positive relationship between school staff and families where family engagement practices are tailored to meet the specific needs of a diverse population. Language access, interpreters, and translated documents is provided for all school related meetings. Technology, transportation, and childcare for families in need are also provided.

Nikevia Thomas: Wow. Wow. Young-chan. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Um, can we talk a little bit more about, uh, a publication of yours, uh, in 2012, you authored “Stages of Immigrant Parent Involvement: Survivors to Leaders Framework”, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education's Newcomer Toolkit. Could you guide us through the stages of immigrant family parent involvement in education?

Young-chan Han: Sure. You know, the stages of immigrant parent involvement is not time sensitive. I think what happened 10, 20, 30 years ago of how we supported our immigrants is the same using the stages of immigrant parent involvement.

So, stages of immigrant parent involvement, it illustrates the progression of learning and its adaptive capacity to navigate American schools. And there are four stages. Survivors, Learner, Connector, and Leader. Understanding the stages can help schools develop effective strategies and support for immigrant families.

Cultural Survivors have little or no knowledge about American education or services and resources available. Survivors may be recently arrived immigrants. Many will be concerned about securing food and shelter and may not have much time to learn about and navigate the U.S. school system. The next stage is Cultural Learners.

Cultural Learners are more comfortable than Cultural Survivors with the new school culture and school system and learn about school resources and support such as before or after school tutoring programs, language support, how to read report card, parent teacher conferences.

The next stage, Cultural Connectors, have a better understanding of how schools operate and can navigate schools comfortably. They are aware of the resources and support available for students and families and become familiar with educational terminology, policies, and procedures. Cultural Connectors help Survivors and Learners to connect with resources and opportunities.

Finally, Cultural Leaders. They actively engage in school and community. They possess knowledge and skills to the level of advocacy and become the voice of parents in other stages. Not everyone goes through these stages. Some parents remain at the Cultural Survivor and Learner stage if their exposure to American schools and culture is minimal due to working long hours, having multiple jobs, and no opportunities to learn English.

We cannot assume that an immigrant parent who has lived in the U.S. for 10, 20, or 30 years can speak English and can navigate the American school system.

Jessica Webster: And I wonder then, too, if the reverse is true for that. So, if we have families that are coming over, they might come and not be in a survivor mode, correct? They may be somewhere else on the, on the chart.

Young-chan Han: Absolutely. Right. Yeah.

But I guess when they first arrived though, we, unless they are so familiar with American ways of doing things, they are survival moments. Sure. So, I mean, I can speak English, but when I come, the school system is so different and I would not know what to do, so at that moment, I feel like I am surviving this new, new world, new, new education system. So, but good point, Jessica.

Jessica Webster: That makes perfect sense. How, how can schools leverage this knowledge and understanding of that experience to better serve and support their families?

Young-chan Han: Good question. The stages provide insights into the lives of immigrant families and help tailor school practices and services to meet the unique needs of immigrant families.

The stages affirm that one size does not fit all, and parents in different stages need differentiated support. For Cultural Survivors and Learners, completing the many school forms on the first day of school is daunting task, right? This is the first week of school, so I can just imagine how all of our families are feeling.

In one school with a high Hispanic population, the family liaison invited Hispanic families to bring their forms to school during the first two days of school. With the district's support, many Spanish speaking interpreters supported the initiative, so all 39 Hispanic families brought their blank forms, and as the parents share their information interpreters completed the forms. And all papers were submitted that day.

Jessica Webster: Oh, amazing. Yes. It's like a principal's dream.

Young-chan Han: Yeah, it's absolutely. The form filling initiative was the beginning of the annual form filling days, and today, in the online world, the same support is provided by using computers to complete the forms in person. So, this elementary school tailored. It's outreach to meet the basic needs of immigrant families. When we understand the stages, we can more specifically identify families needs and be intentional about how we reach families to meet their needs.

Jessica Webster: Yeah, that's a wonderful example.

Nikevia Thomas: That's great. That's wonderful. Sounds like, you know, adaptability all around and adaptability is needed in creating effective family school partnerships. One of the ideas we promote through CAFE is that family engagement is more than communication about what is happening in school.

And in order to engage families of English Learners, we really have to think of ways to build the capacity of families to gain the knowledge and skills to navigate the U.S. school system. So, how can schools support families in order to build their capacity and agency in our communities?

Young-chan Han: Good question.

Long question, but good question.

To support families of English Learners and help them gain knowledge, skills, and confidence, engagement practices can focus on meeting the needs of families in different stages. I go back to the stages. I want to share an exemplary equitable family engagement practice at a middle school that provided intentional outreach to support English learner families.

So, at the beginning of the school year, I have a lot of beginning of the school year examples, schools traditionally host a back to school night. Parents are invited to school and meet with children's teachers. So, at the back to school night, there were 10 Korean parents who needed language support, and all 10 parents were paired with an interpreter for the evening.

This was important since in middle school, parents are moving from classroom to classroom. So having an interpreter assigned to each parent meant that ESL parents would understand the information shared by all teachers. Following the back to school event, the principal stayed and met with these families separately and explained school rules and regulations.

She was an amazing principal. This one time, Back to School meeting led to other engagement opportunities for English Learning families to participate and learn about topics such as grade promotion, parent teacher conferences, and more. So, families started to feel more comfortable, they experienced the school's intentional outreach to engage English Learning families.

School leaders and teachers were no longer strangers to families, and they had established themselves as people that families could trust. The school's intentional outreach to English Learning families built families confidence to advocate and speak up for their children's success. So you can imagine for the rest of the school year, there, there were a lot of interactions, um, taking place between school and homes of our immigrant families.

Jessica Webster: Yeah, so the first message you're hearing is ‘I see you, we value you, we want to hear from you, we want you to be part of our community.’ That sets the foundation for all to come, just from right from that first meeting.

Young-chan Han: Yeah. I see you, I hear you, I know you. Yes.

Jessica Webster: Yeah. That's so powerful. That's amazing. Yeah.

And you're right about that ability then to have confidence, that agency to participate then, right? That really does lend a confidence.

Nikevia Thomas: Mhm

Young-chan Han: Yeah.

Jessica Webster: So, you played a pivotal role in creating MAEC publication called “Building Leaders: An Educators Guide to Family Leadership,” which highlights family leadership focusing on building relationships, knowledge and skills, building confidence and advocacy.

Can you give us some insights into how schools can successfully create and sustain these elements?

Young-chan Han: Sure. Yes, that was one of my favorite project and loved every minute working with over 40 publication contributors.

Jessica Webster: Wow.

Young-chan Han: Representing educators, community leaders and parents and my hat is off to you, to MAEC, for publishing this essential guide to building family leaders.

So this publication outlines specific actions that schools and districts can take to include four essential components in their equitable family engagement practices. I will highlight four actions that schools or districts can use to successfully create and sustain these elements. First action, schools or districts should carefully consider who key stakeholders are, and bring these key stakeholders together to identify student and family needs.

Stakeholders should include school staff, representing diverse areas of expertise, family members, students, and community members. Second, make equitable family engagement a priority in the school improvement plan. If your school has parent liaisons involve them in decision making. Involve cultural connectors and leaders to be part of the decision making process too. That's ‘confidence’ and ‘advocacy’ from our publication.

Third, ask parents for input on the best time to meet, preferred meeting locations, child care and language support. A survey, maybe a short survey in multiple languages. Using their feedback, invite parents to school events at a time that is convenient for them and host an event where families feel comfortable.

That's building relationships and sharing knowledge. So, fourth, provide language access. Trained interpreters and translated documents are essential support for families with limited English. Without the language support, there really is no two way communication. You can read more in the Building Leaders publication on the MAEC website.

It's free to download at

Nikevia Thomas: Thank you. Thank you so much, Young Chan, for sharing. So, uh, applying those elements can really create a strong foundation for family engagement. But while relationship building and skill development are widely understood by, by school built schools, building family advocacy might seem daunting.

So, can you offer advice for integrating advocacy into family engagement practices?

Young-chan Han: Yeah, this, this really made me think about what that means. You know, and taking to the next level of, you know, advocacy can be a challenge. I guess foremost, from the initial planning of the family engagement practices family voices representing diverse populations must be an integral part of the planning process. Provide a space for families to advocate for how schools can engage all families.

I have a few suggestions that elevate family voices in school practices. Invite parents representing a diverse populations to teachers meetings, faculty meetings, and ask parents to share their culture with educators so the educators can learn about diverse cultures represented in school community.

Invite families to school improvement team meetings to share about families needs and aspirations. This builds the capacity of educators to better understand students and families. And school improvement team must include parents as a member of a school improvement team. That sounded a little weird. Always have a parent voice.

Uh, and so I have 1 more when planning family engagement practices both educators and families are involved in planning. And to learn more, check out MAEC's Educator's Guide to Family Leadership, which includes 12 examples of family leadership program profiles that integrate all four essential components, including advocacy.

Jessica Webster: Yeah so I keep hearing the word planning together, right? The co-creation, like not doing it for people, doing it with together. We do it with each other. Yeah, that's valuable advice for making advocacy an integral part of family engagement. So let's shift our focus to a critical topic if we don't mind, mental health and wellness.

So Asian American and Pacific Islanders have one of the lowest help seeking rates for mental health services of any racial or ethnic group, and we're working with some schools that are are seeing similar patterns emerging. Has this been something you've seen in your work, and what advice would you have for practitioners who want to partner with AAPI families in order to support students mental health and well being?

Young-chan Han: Yeah, that's a really good question. You know, the AAPI community represents so many different cultures.

Jessica Webster: Yes.

Young-chan Han: Many languages and many voices. My advice for practitioners seeking to partner with AAPI families to support mental health and wellness, I thought about a couple things. First, learn about the AAPI community.

How well do you know your AAPI families, and have you participated in AAPI community activities in your district or state, or connected with AAPI families and leaders to build relationships? Visit where AAPI families congregate, including places of worship, worship language schools and community events, and meet the families.

Also, examine your organization's leadership. How diverse is your leadership team? Does your team represent the families you support or you want to support? If your organization wants to support AAPI families, your staff and decision makers should include AAPI members. A good example, my daughter volunteered at a Head Start preschool years ago, and there was one little Asian girl who had hardly said anything before she met my daughter.

When they met, this little girl came up to my daughter. And with a smile on her face said, ‘you look like me.’ She loved to talk after then. She just needed someone who looked like her to feel comfortable in her space. Does your organization, staff, and leaders reflect the population you want to support?

Another advice, this is, should be a fairly easy one, but a lot of times we forget to do, which is do community mapping of AAPI organizations that support student mental health and wellness. This can include your immediate community, your district, bordering states, or throughout the country. Learn about others work and make connections with the organization's leaders and staff so you can learn about AAPI families needs and available resources to support the families.

Nikevia Thomas: Wow. Thank you for that, Young-chan.

Young-chan Han: I'll never forget the story about the little girl.

Nikevia Thomas: Yeah, I don't think we will either. Well, those are some great ways to break down barriers to mental health support. And I really appreciate you sharing that with us. And I would like to move on to your work with MELLFIN.

As the board president of MELLFIN, which again stands for the Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network, can you tell us the history of MELLFIN and some of the work you all are doing to support English Language Learning family engagement?

Young-chan Han: Sure. This is a question that I was so excited to respond.

So a brief history. In 2001, a group of seven like minded, passionate educators from seven local school systems in Maryland, um, came together to discuss the need for a collaborative body that could share effective strategies, to meet the needs of Maryland's at the time, increasingly diverse and growing immigrant population.

The seven founding members represented district title III coordinators, ESOL family outreach specialist, and an equity specialist, and I was one of them. Together the group established a nonprofit networking organization, MELLFIN, that shares information and resources to support immigrant families. MELLFIN equip and empower educators and community members by providing platforms and networking opportunities, including MELLFIN’s annual conference and virtual workshops for family facing professionals.

These opportunities bring educators, families, community leaders, and students to learn from each other and share culturally responsive learning experiences. equitable family engagement practices that can be incorporated into school districts and schools. MELLFIN is planning a statewide immigrant parent leadership program.

I'll say that again. MELLFIN is planning a statewide immigrant parent leadership program to build a community of immigrant leaders to gain knowledge and skills and advocate for our students and families. As we reach out to school districts, we look forward to engaging educators, community members, and families in this initiative.

As participants, presenters and facilitators, I might call on you guys to also

also for schools and districts, MELLFIN provides our tailored training and workshops to build the capacity of educators to serve. Support equitable family engagement practices. I also want to highlight our student interns work. This really excites me. MELLFIN is on Instagram thanks to MELLFIN interns.

Created by students for students. MELLFIN interns are spearheading video projects to support students and educators, and we welcome students to join us for our internship opportunities. I'll share a little more about that for the next time at our last meeting with interns. One of the interns asked if she can start a MELLFIN club at her school.

Nikevia Thomas: Oh wow.

Young-chan Han: I know. It warmed my heart. I'm getting teary. And we plan to follow up. What an amazing idea. Can you, I mean, I'm getting goosebumps. So anyway, these are some of the work we are doing to support English Learners and immigrant families.

Jessica Webster: Well, I know, I, I always say there's no better endorsement than when a student says, ‘can we do this again?’or ‘can, can I bring this’ or ‘can I share it? It's so amazing. I want to share it with others.’ And you know, you've, you know, you're doing something good, you know?

Young-chan Han: Yeah. And to hear, to imagine if all these schools have MELLFIN Club.

Jessica Webster: Yeah!

Young-chan Han: Oh, we are together. Okay, we'll work on that together.


Jessica Webster: This is amazing. So if, as an educator or a family, how can I find out more about the organization and become involved in it?

Young-chan Han: Yeah, MELLFIN, you know, yes, definitely students we just talked about. MELLFIN welcomes educators, families, students, and community members to support our initiatives. Those who are interested in being involved in MELLFIN should also attend our annual conference. This May, we hosted our 18th annual conference, brought together over 500 educators, community leaders, and parents for professional learning and networking opportunities.

Just a reminder, our very first annual conference, we had 70 people. So, you don't, yeah, you don't want to miss the 19th annual conference in May 2024. So, to prepare for the conference, we have conference planning committees where educators, community members, families, and students can be involved. So, serving as a committee member is a great way to learn about MELLFIN work and network with people.

People passionate about English Learners and immigrant family engagement. More information about volunteering opportunities will be shared at our website as we get closer to the end of this year. Also, every year since 2014, MELLFIN has awarded annual scholarships and to date we have awarded to over 50 students who are current or former ESOL students.

We need educators and community leaders to share the scholarship information and encourage current or former ESL students to apply for the scholarship information will also be available on our website. I guess I could say And as part of the interns project, we are collecting videos

from former ESOL students and educators to share their advice to students to prepare for college or post secondary opportunities and also advice to educators to better connect with ESOL students and immigrant families. So educators and former ESOL students can submit a 60 second or less video to MELLFIN, giving response to these advices that we raised in a question, their message can empower and equip students and educators.

And these videos will be shared on MELLFIN social media. Currently, we receive five videos and we look forward to more. Um, yeah, finally, keep up with MELLFIN on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or visit the MELLFIN  website for resources, announcements, and upcoming events.

Jessica Webster: And I'm assuming it would be okay for educators that are not just from Maryland to participate in the work that you're doing.

Young-chan Han: Oh, absolutely. Yes. I have a, um, assistant principal from Virginia wanting to do that, she attended our conference and I sent it to a lot of people and she was one of them says, ‘oh, yeah, I want to do that. I can do that.’ And we received, like, from counselors and, and two students I, you know, we're waiting for more students to give their feedback, their videos, what advice that they have for students for preparing for college. Those are just gold mine. You know, I, I'm looking forward to what our interns are going to do with all those videos. Stay tuned.

Jessica Webster: Yeah.

Nikevia Thomas: I can't wait to see it lovely, a lovely tapestry. It's going to be wonderful. I can see it. Thank you so much Young-chan. As, as we wrap up, I have a, we have a final question and this is a question that we ask all our guests.

If a school wanted to adapt its current practices to engage and empower families as true partners at the table. What should they--where should they--begin and what's one thing that people can do today to start building relationships of trust between families and educators?

Young-chan Han: I had to read that question many times, but thanks for saying that, uh, it, you know, it almost sounds like the answer to the second question, or the second question is the answer to the first question.

Nikevia Thomas: Something.

Yeah. So, but this is what I have. So, where should the school begin and what can people do to building relationships of trust? Um, I want to pull out an excerpt from the Building Leaders guide, which provides an answer to the question. In quote, “fostering trusting relationships with families is the foundation of all family engagement practices.” Am I done with this question?


Jessica Webster: Hard stop, that’s it.


Young-chan Han: Okay, I can go on. I'll just say a couple things, okay? Where should the school begin, right? The foundation. Building trusting relationships with families. So strong positive relationships between families and educators are necessary for home-school partnerships that yield true partners at the table.

I'll just share one example. Each year, a kindergarten teacher starts the school year with home visits to introduce himself to the families and to get to know the families better. That's a strong home-school relationship that's established at the beginning of the school year and continues for the school year. If the kindergarten teachers’ approach is not an exception, but a norm, that can become a lifeline of continued trusting relationships between families and educators. Yes, it takes time and it takes energy, but it yields true partnership. Following the kindergarten teacher's footsteps is one thing that people can do today to begin building relationships of trust between families and educators.

Nikevia Thomas: Mmm yes.

Jessica Webster: Yes I love that. It's wonderful advice. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us today.

Young-chan Han: Oh, I really enjoyed our time together. You guys had a great questions and, and really I had to reflect on a lot of the, the responses that I wanted to share. Yeah. But you know, I keep getting all these memories, like I, the memories coming back of the work that I did when I first started it.

I knew nothing. So, like, I, I knew nothing. I was a children's ministry director and then I was now at a school doing 12 hours, um, in a family engagement outreach. I'm telling you the next six years, it was the best, best time of my life. I connected with so many immigrant families. I could say that behind me, there are 5,000 immigrant families that I, I worked with and just working with them just was so exhilarating and seeing these families go from survivors to leaders and advocating and it's just, it's just work that I just will always remember. So thank you for helping me unearth all the things that were done. Not all the things, but some of the things. It just came. And I have to admit, some of these activities and things that we did, like, it's really made me teary. Like, ‘Oh, I remember that, I remember that.’

Nikevia Thomas: It's an honor, uh, Young-chan, to speak with you and it's, it's, it's an honor to have this time with you.

And, and I'm sure that our, our listeners are going to find your ideas and insights valuable and they too will think that you're a trailblazer.


Young-chan Han: I have to tell my family. I'm going to have to text my family. ‘Hey, guess what my nickname is?’


Jessica Webster: That's it from here on out.

Young-chan Han: But maybe, you know, I don't know if you want to stop recording, but I do want to share one thing that I didn't add that I wanted to add.

I mean, if you want to record it, it's fine. So when we did the, uh, phone filling night, Um, I actually attended most of them that other schools did. There was one parent that had children, you know, age 3 to 17 but she only brought the information for the elementary school children. But then in conversation with her, she asked, ‘Can my 17 year old go to school?’

I'm like, ‘Absolutely.’ ‘Yeah, but she just had a baby.’ ‘Absolutely, she can go to school because there are schools where they have child care.’ And, you know, so we worked that out right away. I know you can't see my goosebumps, but and then we talk more and she says, ‘Oh, I have a three year old son. Is there a school for him?’

‘Absolutely.’ So we looked at the, um, Head Start programs and, you know, got her in, you know, uh, the application filled out. So she came to do two of her students—her children's form filling and ended up having her older sister attend a school and the three year old also be able to attend preschool. So, you know, you just never know where the support for immigrant families is going to land you.

And, you know, so continue to do what you do to remember that. Our immigrant families are greatest assets, right? And supporting them will support their children, their families. So let's keep on doing what we're doing. But I just wanted to share that with you guys.

Jessica Webster: Thank you for that.

Nikevia Thomas: Oh, thanks so much, Young-chan.

Jessica Webster: It just reminds me too, or reinforces that power of having that conversation because if you don't bring people in organically, those conversations may never happen.

Young-chan Han: Absolutely.

Nikevia Thomas: Yeah.

Jessica Webster: And then you've now just made all these extra connections for someone and provided extra support that you're right, has long lasting impact. Yeah. Yeah.

Young-chan Han: My nickname, my nickname is another nickname is Cultural Connector.

Jessica Webster: Cultural Connector. That's right. That's right. I love it. Oh, thank you. Thank you for that.

Young-chan Han: Oh, you're welcome. I really enjoyed it.

Jessica Webster: Yeah, we did too. And to our listeners, thank you for sharing a cup of conversation with us. And we hope that you've enjoyed the conversation today. Until next time, keep those meaningful relationships with families brewing. And don't forget to follow us on X at CAFE_MAEC. ​

Additional Resources:

Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN)
The Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network was created to share information and resources in support of English language learning families living in Maryland. MELLFIN was founded in 2001, when a group of diverse stakeholders gathered to examine the growing need for a collaborative body that could share effective strategies to effectively meet the needs of Maryland’s increasingly diverse and fast growing English language learning population.

Building Leaders: An Educator’s Guide to Family Leadership
Develop family leadership programs that increase engagement and support for families in positive ways using inclusive and diversity-focused strategies.

Lessons Learned: A Resource Guide to Support AAPI Students
Based on insights gathered from nearly 500 AAPI family responses, this guide offers actionable recommendations and resources for educators to effectively support AAPI students and families as schools reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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