In Defense of Childhood


Nikolai Pizarro

Raising Readers

Nikolai and Cyn have been IG friends for the last 2 years and what a beautiful ride it has been. Cynthia has learned so much about centering the home with love and connection through Nikolai’s work and her example in friendship. This is a friendly conversation that is impactful and expansive. Nikolai gives her favorite tips for centering connection with your child this summer. 

For almost 15 years, Nikolai has worked to empower predominantly Black and Brown parents and caregivers, particularly segments further marginalized by socioeconomic factors, with science based frameworks of early brain development, literacy instruction, non-violent discipline, and self-directed education. Her book, Ring the Alarm, has been used by programs sponsored by Brooklyn Kindergarten Society and the Department of Health. She has facilitated workshops at hundreds of preschools and private early childhood centers, including over 300 Early Start and Head Start Centers.

Since 2014, she has additionally equipped hundreds of educators and parents with tools to facilitate foundational literacy instruction and developed an early literacy program and framework built on the Science of Reading. 

Over the past 8 years, as her own self-directed education journey with her children unfolded, her work has increasingly included private and small group coaching and collaboration with families looking to transition from conventional schooling to self-directed models and just as importantly, a commitment to reconnect with our assignment to children rather than the school system, curriculum, values, and metrics. “This work is bigger than where and how children do school. This work is in defense of childhood and our divine assignment to center humanity and belonging ” she shares. 

Her framework Decentering School at home to Center Humanity (trademark pending) invites all families to create a home culture that centers humanity.

In 2022-23, she has embarked on a new assignment: Decentering Schooling at School, with now two schools engaging with the work. 

Nikolai’s work is listed as an anti-racism and resilience resource by Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership

Support  Nikolai’s work on IG: @raisingreaders

Picture of Cynthia Alonzo Perez

Cynthia Alonzo Perez

Hi, I'm Cynthia Perez, your official Inner Child Hype Woman the founder of Rooted in Reflection. With over 15 years in social work, I’ve dedicated my career to helping people heal from intergenerational trauma and find joy through culturally sensitive healing spaces. I'm passionate about empowering the Latinx community and fostering creative healing for those often overlooked in traditional wellness programs. Whether you're joining a workshop, a wellness talk, or a retreat, my goal is to create a community-centered space where you can feel seen, heard, and healed.
Cynthia Alonzo Perez

Inner Child Hype Woman

Cynthia Perez, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of Rooted in Reflection. She’s an expert in intergenerational trauma and bilingual, culturally sensitive therapy, offering transformative workshops and retreats.

Subscribe for Updates

More Episodes