Gigliana Melzi and Adina Schick of Steinhardt’s Department of Applied Psychology have been awarded a $191,00 grant from the Brady Foundation. The grant supports a study titled, “Oral Stories in the Classroom: Encouraging Preschool Teachers’ Use of Cultural Funds of Knowledge.”
Working in partnership with a bilingual Head Start Center in New York City, Melzi, an associate professor of applied psychology, and Schick, a research scientist, will create a program that uses a story telling curriculum to build children’s emergent literacy and social-emotional outcomes.
The researchers note that their oral stories projects creates a preschool classroom storytelling curriculum that draws on the rich traditions and practices prevalent in Latino homes. By capitalizing on cultural and communal experiences that low-income Latino children bring with them into the classroom, they plan to devise and implement a classroom oral storytelling curriculum that can build on the literacy and social skills children need to succeed in elementary school.
“All children enter school with a wealth of cultural resources intended to help them participate – and succeed – in the classroom environment,” Melzi said. “Building on these ‘funds of knowledge’ is critical to children’s school success in the preschool years.”
(Photo from left: Adina Schick and Gigliana Melzi.)