PEPS recently had the opportunity to facilitate a parent support group in Spanish. Maria Alejandra Gomez, community connector on staff at PEPS helped organize and facilitate the group meetings with the new moms. “It was a great opportunity to provide support to new moms, and it was the first time I had led a PEPS Group in Spanish,” Maria said.
Maria is a frequent PEPS Group leader, and also participated in PEPS when she became a parent. Maria has worked with the Girl Scouts of America in community outreach and now is a staff member at PEPS doing work in the community with parents and organizations that serve families.
“I had a plan for 12 weeks for this new group, and although I could facilitate in Spanish, it was important that PEPS also have materials translated,” Maria said.
To prepare for this group, PEPS started with the translation of the curriculum basics – all the information about the program and its background, the foundation in Strengthening Families and the structure of how each meeting works, as well as core topics delivered at every PEPS Group, including Emotional Challenges and Changes and Arrival Stories.
“It was important for us to have the Leader Guide translated first to ensure that the background information about being a leader and how to facilitate a group was accessible. Once the those materials were translated, we moved to the topic guides and any handouts that would be used in the group Maria led. The idea was to translate the the materials that were to be used first in this PEPS group, then move on from there to translate the rest of the topic guides,” says Kintea Bryant, program director at PEPS.
The PEPS curriculum is made up of parenting topics, currently numbering 46, and each is structured to help a facilitator introduce the topic and encourage parents to talk about their experiences.
Translator Katja Petersen has been working on the Spanish translation for PEPS. “Translating the PEPS material made me realize that even though the parenting journey is different for every parent, the difficulties we face are almost the same in both Latin American and US cultures.”
Katja is also an experienced educator who participated in a PEPS Group with her first child. She has since led both evening and daytime groups in English. “Translating the material has helped me get a deeper understanding of the topics, allowing me to be a better, more empathetic and helpful Group Leader.”
PEPS continually updates the curriculum with current information and adds topics that are important to parents today. Those updates will also be translated into Spanish. Kintea says, “We hope that with having our curriculum in both Spanish and English, we will be able to serve more parents and recruit more leaders who speak both languages. Starting with translating our curriculum into Spanish is hopefully just the beginning of future translations into other languages spoken in the Seattle-area.
PEPS will share this Spanish-language curriculum with our Network Partners, both in WA and those in other cities around the US.
Jessica Lawmaster, executive director at PEPS, says “Parents deserve to find support in a language with which they are the most comfortable. As we strive to increase access to PEPS groups, translating our materials into Spanish is a meaningful first step forward.”
For questions about PEPS or this work in translating the PEPS curriculum, please contact Kintea Bryant, Program Director at PEPS.