Sanford fit strives to instill sustainable healthy habits in children, families, and communities. Part of that mission is to ensure as many children, families, and communities can access and use the resources on fit’s website as possible, and one of the ways fit is accomplishing that goal is through Spanish and dual-language resources.
We spoke with Sanford Health’s Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Natasha Smith, on the importance of fit’s Spanish and dual-language resources.
“Historically, we know that there is intergenerational mistrust between the medical community and underrepresented groups. At Sanford, we can make an impact on the sentiment that is carried on in racially and ethnically diverse communities. Addressing language needs is an important part of building trust with our communities.”
Not only can fit’s dual-language resources reach more children and communities, but they can also serve as an educational tool in homes and classrooms that may only speak one language. Studies show that children as young as three years old can identify similarities and differences between people. “Cultural development begins the moment we are born,” Natasha says. “The families and environments we are brought into really do shape our worldview and the lens we look through. Young children are uniquely impressionable so developing that cultural diversity early is one way to build a more equitable and educated society that works well together despite the differences we may have.”
Lastly, Smith adds, “Learning a second language is difficult, especially into adulthood. Early exposure is the best opportunity you can provide to empower children in embracing languages other than their own. In addition to using dual-language resources like the ones Sanford fit offers, you can seek out Spanish immersion programs, intentionally seek Spanish speaking caregivers, and use videos and other learning devices for toddlers in another language. You can also seek out community events that honor and celebrate cultures. Ultimately, the exposure to other languages and cultures fosters the empathy and understanding necessary to build a society that works to address language barriers sustainably.”
Are you wanting to get started, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry – it’s simple. To view all our Spanish and dual-language resources, just click below.