The first decade of a child’s life is the most opportune time to influence learning paths and ensure the very best outcomes for all children. These years are crucial to building the foundation for lifelong learning and success. That’s why we are proud to partner with the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Early Childhood to design and translate educational materials for parents and caregivers.
WHO IS THE COLORADO OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD?
The Colorado Office of Early Childhood (OEC) provides “collaborative leadership to align resources for children, families, and early childhood professionals to best prepare Coloradoans for future success, through access to coordinated and quality early childhood programs and family supports.” They partner with educators and leaders to create seamless high-quality early learning environments for children from birth through age eight. They provide resources for all children, families, caregivers, and early care and education providers. This includes non-native English speakers to best prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.
WHAT WAS THE WORK?
We were happy to use our language and design expertise to make these materials more accessible to families from diverse backgrounds. To fully engage with non-native English audiences, it’s important to localize both the written content and the visual elements. (Which is what we’re all about.)
The work so far has included:
- Multilingual translation of educational tools handouts for parents of specific age groups (0-8 months, 9-18 months, 19-36 months, 3-5 years).
- Translation of an immunization learning course into Spanish.
- Development and translation of healthy food program materials into Spanish and Arabic.
- Design, copyediting, and translation into Spanish of an Interactive PLAYbook targeted to parents and caregivers about how to help children in their growth development and learning. The content in this book is a companion resource to the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines, which offer practical tips to ensure children are valued, healthy, and thriving. The Guidelines are based on research and widely accepted strategies, offering tips on learning, health, and physical development; social and emotional development; language, literacy, numeracy, logic, and reasoning; and other subject-specific learning. The PLAYbook showcases activities that support healthy child development using play at home. These fun ideas set children up for a lifelong love of learning.
- Creative development and translation of the National School lunch program into Spanish and Arabic (to be completed Fall 2021).
WHY WE WANTED TO HELP
As a certified B Corp, Wordbank strives to give back to our communities in meaningful ways and to help break down language barriers to important information. Our work was meaningful because it had an immediate impact on early childhood education.
Wordbankers believe that language matters and that people respond best to materials in their native language. We were able to help families feel supported to set children up for success. We seek out opportunities to work with organizations who share our view of creating better access to information in other languages. (It’s why we sponsor Translators Without Borders.) So this was a perfect fit for us.
We were also excited to work on the design and copyediting elements of the work. This more fully supported the OEC’s goal of driving engagement and inspiring action from parents and caregivers. The visual elements and user experience become even more important when you’re trying to engage people in action. And adapting relevant assets for specific audiences requires design skill from in-language experts. Their expertise maintains branding and messaging goals, while creating a relatable visual experience. The PLAYbook shows how visuals + translation make a difference in creating engaging, accessible content.
The OEC’s work is all about increasing accessibility to information, fostering inclusion, and providing support to all families. No matter their background or language. It’s about connecting people together. We’re grateful for this opportunity to contribute what we do best for what we value most: people, planet, and business as a force for good.