In This Chapter

Family Literacy Programs for Latino Families in the United States

Authored by: Dina C. Castro , Julia Mendez , Sandra Garcia , Diana Westerberg

Handbook of Family Literacy

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415884570
eBook ISBN: 9780203841495
Adobe ISBN: 9781136899126


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The diversity among children enrolling in early childhood programs has increased steadily over the last 15 years, a trend that is expected to continue. The rapid growth of the Latino population in the United States is a factor contributing to this demographic shift. According to the 2010 Census, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States reaching 50 million (16.3%), with Latino children presently comprising 23% of the nation’s population younger than 18 years of age (Passel, Cohn, & Lopez, 2011). Data from 2007 indicate that just over half of all Latino children are “second generation,” meaning their parents were the first generation to immigrate to the United States (Fry & Passel, 2009). Latinos in the United States originate from over 20 different countries, with the largest percentage of Latinos being of Mexican origin or descent (63%), from nations in the Caribbean (15.5%), in Central America (8%), and South America (5.5%) (Ennis, Rios-Vargas, & Albert, 2011). Immigrants from Latin American countries constitute over 50% of all immigrants in the United States. Although a large percentage (62%) of children from immigrant families are residents of five states (California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas), children of immigrants account for at least 10% of children in 26 states (Hernandez, Denton, & Macartney, 2008).

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