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2020 P-3 Summer Institute - Virtual Thursdays

Each Thursday during the month of August 2020, the Office of Early Learning and its partnering agencies presented new Professional Learning Opportunities for Administrators, Teachers and Parents. They are available now with links here on this page. Registration is no longer required.


No Small Matter

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The Office of Early Learning and its partnering agencies are pleased to present a full length, free screening of the film No Small Matter beginning Thursday, August 27th. From Executive Producer Alfre Woodard, No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for change in America today: early childhood education. Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country.



Equity and Social Justice in Early Childhood Education

by Principal Baruti Kafele, Ph.D.

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Milken National Educator, international-renowned speaker and best-selling author, Principal Baruti Kafele has excelled in the capacity of teacher and principal. As a teacher in NJ, he was selected as the district and county teacher of the year, and as a principal, he led the turnaround of four different New Jersey urban public schools, including Newark Tech, which was three times recognized by U.S. News and World Report Magazine as one of America's best high schools. Principal Kafele is the author of eleven books including his newly released Amazon best-seller, The Assistant Principal 50: Critical Questions for Meaningful Leadership and Professional Growth.



Meeting All Children’s Developmental Needs Through Anti-Bias Education

by Dana M. Benzo

Director of Elementary Programs (Pre-K-6)

Rome City School District

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Dana Benzo has spent twenty-seven years working in early childhood education with children, families, and educators.  She is currently the Director of Elementary Programs for the Rome City School District where she oversees the District’s PreK Programs including 3PK, UPK and 4410 as well as the curriculum and instruction for Kindergarten - Grade 6.    Prior to joining the Rome City School District in 2017, Dana worked at the NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI) of CUNY and Bank Street College of Education.  During her tenure she coordinated multiple quality improvement initiatives serving the birth – Grade 3 population in both childcare and public-school sectors, as well as numerous projects for the city and state of New York dedicated to professional development initiatives related to teacher training, leadership, and workforce development. 


Trauma Responsive Approaches for School Professionals

by Tim Hathaway and Tamaé Memole

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Tim Hathaway is the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY), the only statewide organization that works solely to enhance state- and community-based initiatives to build strong families. PCANY training and technical assistance efforts are geared to provide professionals and communities with knowledge, tools, and resources that increase use of the Protective Factors to help prevent child maltreatment. Their policy and advocacy work drives initiatives both at a state and local level designed to change systems that impact child maltreatment. Tim has over thirty years of experience working with children and families and the systems that serve them. For the past nine years he has been a part of Prevent Child Abuse network both in NY as well as North Dakota. Prior to this he was a part of the Federal Head Start Technical Assistance team, and directed Head Start, Early Head Start and Child Care programs in various states.

Tamaé Memole brings more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit and government sectors to her work as the Director of Program Development with Prevent Child Abuse New York. She is a nationally certified trainer for the Protective Factors Framework. She has trained more than 4,000 cross-sector professionals across the State of New York, and nationally, in an effort to build skills that result in service delivery change that increases family engagement in support services.

High-Quality Teaching in the Primary Grades

by Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ph.D.

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Primary teachers are well-positioned to provide engaging and playful experiences, child-directed learning, and opportunities for children to collaborate that are critical for student growth in all domains. Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ph.D., presents a video session recorded in November 2019 that will use data to paint the picture of the current state of instruction in kindergarten through third grade and identify opportunities for shifts in teaching to more effectively meet the needs of young learners. The practices shared will demonstrate academic rigor using developmentally appropriate practices. Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer at The Nicholson Foundation, has been working in early childhood education for her entire career of more than 20 years. She has extensive and varied experience in the early childhood field, spanning from the classroom, to the New Jersey State Department of Education, to national systems improvement. She holds an M.Ed. in Language and Literacy and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Inspiring Culturally Sustainable Environments

by Miriam Beloglovsky

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How do you prepare children for an unknown future? Miriam Beloglovsky's engaging video presentation, recorded in November 2019, unpacks the dispositions and conditions that children need to be successful in life. It will review how intellectual learning happens within the context of open-ended exploration with “loose parts” and how they support the development of children’s full potential. Miriam Beloglovsky is a keynote speaker and presents numerous workshops on child development, Loose Parts, play, and early learning. She leads community building and leadership training for non-profit organizations and community agencies. She is co-author of the Loose Parts series, including Loose Parts 3: Inspiring Culturally Sustainable Environments.




The NYS Council on Children and Families (CCF) is thrilled to be partnering with the NYS Education Department, Office of Early Learning to convene the annual P-3 Summer Institute.  The Institute is supported by the NYSB5 Grant awarded to the CCF by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care.   The NYSB5 project seeks to strengthen partnerships, coordinate services, expand parent choice and increase quality to ensure that all children in NYS receive equitable and comprehensive services to ensure lifelong success.

This project was made possible by grant number 90TP0059.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.