With children across the United States heading back to school, many South Asian parents are looking for ways to make the transition as smooth as possible for their kids.

According to research conducted by Punita C. Rice, more than 8 out of ten South Asian American students report feeling that their K-12 teachers knew more about the backgrounds of their peers than their own. Rice, who is currently writing a book titled “Brown Voices: South Asian American Experiences in Schools,” is also the founder of ISAASE.org, an online resource for educators.

“South Asian American students, like all other students, need socioemotional support, support in building executive functioning skills, and academic support,” wrote Rice on the organization’s website. “Like all students, these kids deserve the best education experience they can get.”

ISAASE, which stands for Improving South Asian American Students’ Experiences, provides teachers and other school administrators with guidelines, tips and even a name pronunciation guide.

The organization’s Teacher Cultural Proficiency Initiative in particular focuses on improving cultural proficiency with the goal of improving “the overall experiences of all students, including (but not limited to) South Asian American students.”

Another of the group’s goals is to work with teachers to diversify school reading lists and curriculum. A list of recommended books was created by the group’s Brown Books Project.

Teachers and educations can also access ISAASE’s free online toolkit here.


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