PALS and Explorers programs can help kids learn about APIDA identities

Seeking a supportive learning community for your child to grow in their Asian, Pacific Islander or Desi American (APIDA) identities?

Check out the PALS and Explore programs this fall. Both are valuable opportunities to learn about APIDA cultures while building transformative relationships. 

The programs are part of CSU’s Asian Pacific American Cultural Center’s student-led, non-profit community outreach efforts and is free for children to participate. Each program pairs local students with a Colorado State University student volunteer, providing them the opportunity to develop their understanding of their APIDA cultures and identities together. Each volunteer has passed a background check conducted through the school district.

PALS (Participation, Awareness, Learning, and Sharing) supports kindergarten through 3rd-grade students’ understanding of their own cultural experiences and helps build personal pride. The Big Pals and Little Pals learn about APIDA culture through social activities and games that nurture a sense of community and friendship.

Explore enriches 4th through 6th-grade students’ sense of cultural and personal identity. By taking on the difficult subject matter through a sensitive and humanistic approach, the program allows “Explorers” to develop greater confidence in who they are. Past topics have included microaggressions, common stereotypes, and representations of APIDA people in the media. The goal is to get the conversation started and foster ongoing curiosity.

Each session runs from 10 a.m. until noon on Sundays throughout the 2018-19 school year, approximately every other weekend on campus.

If you would like your child(ren) participate as a Little Pal or as an Explorer, email or, the application form is on the website: The deadline for applying is Sept. 21.