807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600

Cultural & Family Connections

Welcome to Cultural & Family Connections

Mission

 

Our mission is to educate, support, and engage our staff, families, and students on topics and issues of culture, race, and social justice. We strive to provide on-going programs that focus on academic success, students/staff development, advocacy, and community outreach.

 

The Cultural Liaison Program is designed…

…to support families and students of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds

…to serve staff and administrators through conversations and presentations on racially and ethnically diverse topics that will enhance the understanding of all

…to be engaged with various cultural initiatives and programming within the La Crosse Community

Areas of Focus:

 

Families and Students

  1. Connect and build relationships with racially and ethnically diverse families to increase their involvement in Schools
  2. Promote academic success and leadership among racially and ethnically diverse students
  3. Promote strategies for resolving conflict and for addressing the dynamics of difference with all students
  4. Provide programming to support racially and ethnically diverse students and families

 

District/School

  1. Provide district-wide presentations and conversations on various racially diverse topics to enhance understanding of racially diverse populations.
  2. Examine and develop district wide diversity and inclusion policies  
    • …Increase cultural awareness for district leadership and staff
    • …Support other culture related initiatives in the district
    • …Provide input on district initiatives and policies
  3. Collaborate with selected schools and assist with culturally responsive systems implementation
  4. Act as a resource and provide advocacy for the district relative to cultural and race issues

 

Community Engagement  

  1. Encourage students to be active members in their school and community
  2. Support and collaborate with community organizations that enhance and promote racially and ethnically diverse populations
  3. Develop relationships with the different racially diverse communities in the area

Key Concepts of Culturally

Responsive Systems

 

  • Culture is the lens through which we view the world.  It is the context within which we operate and make sense of the world and it influences how we process learning, solve problems, and teach.  Cultures are dynamic, complex and ever-changing.
  • A number of studies suggest that low school performance may be linked, in part, to the lack of congruence between the cultures of the students’ families and communities and the cultural norms embedded in the expectations, policies, procedures, and practices of schools.
  • Every child needs opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for living in a multicultural society. Some of these include…
    • Inclusiveness – represents a broad range of experiences, people, and understandings and the interdependence of groups
    • Diverse perspectives – recognizes multiple constituencies and competing constructions of understanding
    • Self­knowledge – Fosters a sense in students of how their own identities have been constructed by the complex interplay of historical, social, political, economic and even geographic factors
    • Social justice – emphasizes constitutional rights, the development of critical understanding of actions and decisions, and the promotion of social action
  • Helping all staff to become culturally responsive is an on­going process that evolves as staff learns more about themselves, their work and their own cultures.  It involves staff looking at their own cultural background and upbringing, analyzing how their own “cultural view” influences the way they see the world and then striving to understand how their cultural view influences the way we understand our students and families.
  • It takes a safe and secure space to explore meaningful questions and to share answers.
  • Students need opportunities to explore and to connect with others within their own culture.  They also need opportunities to explore and to connect with students from various cultural backgrounds.
  • Students need opportunities to work together to make their community in and out of school what they want it to be.
  • Culturally knowledgeable students are able to actively participate in various cultural environments.
  • It is the responsibility of all staff to nurture culturally healthy youth.
  • There is a positive and convincing relationship between family involvement and benefits for students, including improved academic achievement, higher grade point averages and scores on standardized tests, enrollment in more challenging courses, more classes passed and credits earned, better attendance, improved behavior both at home and at school, better social skills and adaptation to school holding across families of all economic, racial/ethnic, and educational background and for students of all ages.
  • Instruction that is provided in a context meaningful to the student and in a way that values their culture, knowledge and experiences fosters students’ motivation and engagement.

September 20, 2018
6:00 PM
3 Rivers House
724 Main Street

December 5, 2018
6:00 PM
3 Rivers House
724 Main Street

March 6, 2019
6:00 PM
3 Rivers House
724 Main Street

Annual Parent Meeting
May 1, 2019
6:00PM
3 Rivers House
724 Main Street

Here are some Hmong websites which may be of interest to Hmong students and families:

Here are some African American websites and book titles which may be of interest to African American students and families:

Clint Smith: How to raise a black son in America

Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?

Bella Online

-Between the World and Me

Cultural Liaison Staff

Melissa Murray
Supervisor of Cultural & Family Connections
(608) 789-7780
mmurray@lacrossesd.org

 

Shaundel Spivey
Cultural Liaison
(608) 789-6620
sspivey@lacrossesd.org

 

NaoHoua Tony Yang
Cultural Liaison
(608) 789-6664
nyang@lacrossesd.org

 

Henry Greengrass
Youth Services Program Director – Ho-Chunk Nation, La Crosse
(608) 796-1550henry.greengrass@ho-chunk.com