In case you missed it, we wanted to share this Chicago Tribune OpEd about the importance of family engagement, especially with regard to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and families. It was penned by Citadel Securities CEO Peng Zhao, founding board member of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), and TalkingPoints founder and CEO Heejae Lim.
Highlights from the OpEd:
- “One of the contributing factors to the lack of attention to the needs of AAPI communities are the ways in which these students are perceived. Their experiences tend to get wrapped up as part of a stereotype or misplaced narrative about AAPI academic and economic success, or the Model Minority Myth. These limited perceptions ignore the tremendous diversity of experiences within our communities, including the fact that there is a wide chasm in educational attainment between the highest and lowest achieving AAPI ethnic groups.”
- “Across the U.S., there are more than 100 languages spoken at home in the AAPI student community. And one-fifth of Asian American families are considered to be “linguistically isolated” with no adults at home speaking English proficiently. This means hundreds of thousands of AAPI families are unable to communicate with educators, and students suffer as a result.”
AAPI families make up TalkingPoints’ fastest-growing segment. These families, their teachers, and their schools benefit from our platform’s two-way translation in 145 languages, including Chinese (traditional and simplified), Tagalog, Vietnamese, Burmese, Korean, Japanese, Dari, and Urdu, among others. TAAF’s recent million-dollar gift to TalkingPoints will help us grow the network of TalkingPoints users to 500,000 by 2024 while scaling AAPI-focused product development to make it more culturally responsive.
Talking Points has already helped nearly four million teachers, families, and students communicate in 145 languages in all 50 states. With additional resources, exposure, and recognition, we will be able to reach our goal of changing the trajectory of tens of millions of students by unleashing the potential of family engagement in driving positive outcomes.