The Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program will hold an open day on Wednesday

“The Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program really helps Hmong students find out who they are and where they come from and learn about their language and culture,” said Institute CEO Peng Her. Hmong, in Madison365. “This is called ‘culturally linguistically relevant teaching’. The idea is that if a child is grounded in their mother tongue, they know who they are… they have positive self-esteem, they have confidence in themselves and are proud of themselves because they know their culture. And they will do better in school.

On Wednesday, July 21, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, she invites the greater Madison community to come meet and have lunch with the students, learn about some of the activities they have done as part of the language enrichment program and Hmong culture at the annual Hmong conference. Language and Culture Open House at Life Center Madison on the east side.

Home Life Style Peng Her with his wife, Mai Zong view

“The best part is really talking to students and seeing how this program has impacted them as a student and as a person. It’s important to show these kids that they have lots of Hmong peers like them and have a whole group of friends they can keep in touch with,” Her says. “This event is a great opportunity to get to know students, staff and volunteers.

She and her wife, Mai Zong Vue, co-founded the Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program in 2013. For nine years, the Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program has been building self-esteem young people, develops strong cultural identities and creates a safe environment. and a supportive learning environment for students to enhance their academic skills. The hope is that it will help close the academic achievement gap and shape the next generation of leaders.

She remembers when he and his wife first came to America and the peer pressure they faced to ignore ancient Hmong customs and assimilate to American customs.

“I think that peer pressure is less today. When we first came there was this big importance of assimilating, learning English and making American friends, doing well in school and almost kind of forgetting your culture because people didn’t recognize the positive side of it back then,” she recalls. “Now, in 2021, parents are starting to realize that not knowing who you really are is impacting and influencing us and causing you to not do as well as school.

“Secondly, Hmong parents find that the Hmong language is being lost and the Hmong culture is being lost because we westernize ourselves so much that we lose part of our identity,” he adds.

The Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program (HLCEP) is an intensive six-week summer cultural education program that prepares young Madison Hmong elementary and middle school students for college and their career by learning their mother tongue and culture.

“This year, because of COVID, we had to reduce the size of our class. In the past we have had up to 64 students. This year, we have reduced it to 30 – each class has 10 students,” says Her.

Students of the Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program
(Photo provided)

“Parents have seen a lack of knowledge about the Hmong heritage and culture in the younger generation and they really want them to have that so that they can have more confidence in themselves and have more self-esteem and self-esteem. pride in themselves,” she says.

The 9th annual open day of the Hmong language and culture enrichment program will be an opportunity to visit the different classrooms, meet the students, participate in fun learning activities with the students, talk to the teachers of the program and have a Hmong lunch with the students.

“People are encouraged to stay for lunch because sometimes sitting down with a student at their lunch table is a much more organic conversation than in a classroom where you have to raise your hand and a teacher calls you with questions to students,” Sa said. “Students are a bit nervous trying to answer in front of a big team. When you’re seated at a table and have the chance to talk to them and get to know them better, it’s always more organic and rewarding.

The 9th Annual Hmong Language and Culture Open House on Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m. at the Life Center Madison, 4402 Femrite Dr. (across from Genesis Painting). Email Peng Her at [email protected] to let him know you are coming.

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