John Hilliard and I joined forces in March 2014 to form a start-up educational consulting firm called Paridad Education Consulting. Although we always knew our company would have a positive impact on our field, we were surprised by how quickly our colleagues embraced and championed our efforts. We are both very proud of our continued work with and commitment to the Illinois Resource Center (IRC). The IRC has served the Illinois community of language learners for over 40 years. We created Paridad as a means to extend that passion and amplify those services beyond our home state and into national and international arenas.
Paridad is engaged in professional development/technical assistance/consultation work, pursues product development and sales, responds to copywriting requests, and facilitates participatory action research. We also offer international language and culture institutes—Oaxaca, anyone?
We have signed on a group of highly skilled and talented individuals as Paridad associates. Patricia Chamberlain, Maggie Essig, Jack Fields, Jeanette Gordon, Piedad Kaye, Lauren Keppler, Lucia Morales, Olivia Mulcahy, Cristina Sánchez-López, Laima Schnell, and Michele Yanong are the crème de la crème of practitioners in the field of language and culture learning— just take a look at their bios! This is a group that values the exchange of ideas and truly believes that two heads are better than one. We know that, as a collaborating team of experts, we can achieve great things for our clients.
Paridad doesn't just rely solely on our associates, our highly agile and efficient operations team, Graham Gottlieb and Eddie Kheneiser, handle all of our financial transactions and logistics. They are our “go-to” colleagues for all matters related to registration, invoicing, budgeting, accounting, travel arrangements, venue and catering contracts, book orders, mailings, supplies, and materials.
Our initial launch has brought us a variety of wonderful opportunities. We offered a statewide institute in Nevadaon the topic of curriculum design and alignment of English language development (ELD) and Spanish language development (SLD) standards to college and career readiness standards. Dr. Margo Gottlieb was a guest presenter at this event that was well received by teachers from all over the state. A regional workshop in Pennsylvania followed on the topic of English learners and Response to Intervention (RtI) that made use of video conferencing to reach the far corners of the state. The WIDA Consortium reached out to Paridad for assistance on three projects: providing copywriting for their Focus Bulletin Series on the topic of SLIFE students, managing the logistics of the WIDA Academic Language Video Contest and conducting reviews of submitted entries, and developing the Early Childhood Spanish Language Developmental Matrices and Resource Guide.
In the summer of 2016, Paridad will be taking a group of educators to Oaxaca, Mexico for a nine-day language and cultural institute that is designed to strengthen standards-based arts education in the visual arts, dance, music, theater, and digital media. Eleven direct field experiences are scheduled including the Mexican mural tradition, folkloric dance, and regional folk arts. These field experiences will be amplified, documented, and shared with the aid of social media and through the use of hand-held technologies. Please check out our events page for further information and registration forms.
The launch of our website provides interested parties with the opportunity to connect with us, follow our blog, and arrange opportunities to work with us. On the horizon, we foresee many more occasions to assist schools, districts, and state agencies with their needs that revolve around language learners.
We express heartfelt appreciation to those in our community who have joined us on our journey, to those we learn from, and to those we teach. We continue to learn, grow, and strive to pay our good deeds forward. Utilizing an assets-based perspective coupled with the experience and expertise of well-regarded associates, we believe we can realize our goals and help you achieve yours. The potential for incremental or transformative change is present for everyone; engage Paridad to shift the paradigm in your situation to just where you need it to be for your language learners.