Literacy

Christina Silvi

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Christina Silvi

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Christina

Last name: 

Silvi

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Christina Silvi brings expertise in early literacy, child development, evidence based practices and research, and technology based professional development. She designs and provides accessible, research based professional learning that aligns with state and national standards and quality improvement initiatives for the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals co-led by EDC. She also collaborates with program administrators through technical assistance to strengthen program quality, increase access to resources, and build systems for continuous quality improvement.

Previously, Silvi led the development and delivery of high-quality professional development sessions, funded through the Rhode Island Department of Education, that helped PreK teachers translate the CLASS and ECERS research measures into classroom practice. In addition to her training and technical assistance work, Silvi has managed quantitative and qualitative data collection efforts for several Early Reading First research projects.

Silvi is the developer of several Web-based curricula and online resources, including early childhood online courses for the E-Learning for Educators initiative, and the content for Bookfinder, a searchable database of over 700 children’s books on the PBS Parents Web site. She is the co-author of several articles and reports, including: “Why Wordless Books?” (Early Childhood News) and Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Pilot: Final Evaluation Report.

As a curriculum developer, Silvi contributed to Steps to Success, a four-unit multimedia training package for Head Start mentor-coaches nationwide. The instructional design prepares mentor-coaches to guide Head Start teachers in adopting research-based practices that foster young children’s language and literacy development.

Silvi began her career as a preschool teacher, working in mixed-aged classrooms with children and families from a broad range of backgrounds, languages, and special needs in both rural and urban settings.

She received her BA from the University of Vermont in early childhood development and an MA in child development from Tufts University.

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Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1285

Naomi Hupert

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Naomi

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Hupert

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Naomi Hupert leads initiatives that seek to close opportunity gaps for students who struggle to meet grade-level academic benchmarks and to identify supports required to provide all students with engaging and challenging academic instruction. Her research and development (R&D) and program evaluation work has a special focus on the use of technology to support teachers and students (read Hupert’s blog post on universal design for learning).

Hupert is a co-Principal Investigator of EDC's long-term investigation of the influence of the Ready To Learn initiative on the early learning and school readiness of young children in high-need communities. In this capacity, she has co-led a series of studies, including a randomized controlled trial study that measured the benefits to children from low-income families of a media-rich early math curriculum supplement. In an earlier phase of this work, she was the project director of Ready To Learn research that focused on literacy and is included in the What Works Clearinghouse. In 2016, she contributed to three widely-distributed publications that shared findings from her Ready To Learn research: the report Reflections on the Ready to Learn Initiative 2010 to 2015; an article in Journal of Children and Media (Dramatic Change, Persistent Challenges: A Five-Year View of Children's Educational Media as Resources for Equity); and the EDC white paper Early STEM Learning and the Roles of Technologies.

Over the years, Hupert has led a wide variety of formative and summative evaluations that have guided program designers in improving delivery and content to enhance children’s and youth’s learning. She has examined the impact of Sesame Workshop’s programming on children and teachers in early learning settings, and has worked to evaluate Lawrence Hall of Science's development of multimedia educative curriculum materials (MECMs) to support middle school science teachers in teaching scientific argumentation. Recently, she concluded a small classroom implementation study of StarWalk Writer, a cloud-based platform that creates a collaborative environment for upper elementary and middle school reading, writing, and research. For seven years, she led formative and summative evaluations of New Mexico’s K–3 Reading First program implementation.

Previously, Hupert served as the literacy content developer for the PowerUp What Works professional development resource developed by EDC, AIR and CAST. Her findings appear in periodicals such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly (“Supplementing Literacy Instruction with a Media-Rich Intervention: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial”), Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, and Journal of Research on Technology in Education. She is the lead author of the chapters “Using Technology-Assisted Progress Monitoring to Drive Improved Student Outcomes” and “Results in the Palms of Their Hands: Using Handheld Computers for Data-Driven Decision Making in the Classroom, and has co-authored numerous reports (Five States’ Efforts to Improve Adolescent Literacy).

Hupert regularly presents her findings at the annual conferences of such organizations as Games+Learning+Society (GLS), National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Head Start Association, International Society for Technology in Education, American Educational Research Association, Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, and Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. She has served as a proposal reviewer for the American Educational Research Association and the National Reading Conference.

Hupert holds a BA in American and British Literature from Scripps College and an MS in Education, with a specialization in literacy and language-related learning disabilities, from Bank Street College of Education.

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Job title: 

Research Scientist

Program: 

Center for Children and Technology

Mailing Address: 

96 Morton Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Telephone: 

707-829-8532

Louisa Anastasopoulos

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Louisa Anastasopoulos

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Louisa

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Anastasopoulos

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Louisa Anastasopoulos has expertise in research and evaluation project management across grade levels and content areas, including the development of data quality control systems, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods analysis, and formative feedback. She has extensive knowledge of early language and literacy development and early childhood programs.

Currently, Anastasopoulos is part of a team evaluating the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s District Level Systems Change Initiative, which is focused on student-centered learning in a number of high schools throughout New England. In addition to qualitative and quantitative analysis, she also contributes to the development of observation and interview protocols and data management systems, and conducts site visits, focus groups and interviews.

Recently, Anastasopoulos examined how the use of a curriculum is related to changes in instructional practice. In addition to collaborating on the development and refinement of observation and survey instruments, the project employed mixed-methods analyses to capture and explain variation in instruction in classrooms.  She was also part of two teams that conducted formative and summative evaluations of Early Reading First programs in Worcester and Springfield, Massachusetts. In addition, she was a senior analyst for an early childhood research project using secondary data provided by the state of Ohio.

As Associate Project Director for a research project for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, she compared the effects of a literacy intervention using traditional and distance learning methods. She was the Research Coordinator for the New England Quality Research Center for Head Start (NEQRC), one of four national centers designed to examine the impact of classroom quality on child outcomes.

Anastasopoulos is coauthor of the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) Pre-K Tool and User’s Guide, published by Brookes Publishing Co., which are used by early childhood programs and researchers to look at the classroom environment and levels of support for children’s language and emerging literacy development. She co-developed and is lead instructor for the ELLCO Pre-K Training of Trainers Institute.

She received her BA from Colby College and master's degree in public policy with a focus on education from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. She is proficient in Spanish and fluent in Greek.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Research Associate

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2117

Susan Washburn

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Susan Washburn

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Susan

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Washburn

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Susan Washburn designs and delivers research-based professional learning that raises the bar for early childhood teachers and positively impacts child outcomes, particularly for young children at-risk for educational failure. She directs two projects in Rhode Island: the Center for Early Learning Professionals, Rhode Island’s training and technical assistance system for early childhood educators, and the State PreK PD/TA Project, the Rhode Island Department of Education’s Preschool Development Grant program. Washburn leads the effort to create a high-quality professional development system that aligns with related state initiatives and enhances educators’ instructional practices, leading to improved outcomes for children.

Previously, Washburn was Director of the Rhode Island and Maine Training and Technical Assistance Projects, part of the Head Start national network. In this role she built the capacities of Head Start, child care, public school pre-K programs, and statewide stakeholder groups in the areas of supervision, professional development, child assessment, and early literacy, including supporting dual language learners. She also served as EDC’s liaison to the Office of Head Start for these projects.

Washburn led three projects for the U.S. Department of Education Early Reading First initiative, implementing comprehensive systems change to support public schools, Head Start, and child care programs to advance their early learning and literacy practices. She is lead curriculum developer for EDC’s research-based, credit-bearing Excellence in Teaching (EIT) professional development program for early childhood teachers and supervisors. She co-developed and teaches EIT’s Literacy Environment Enrichment Program (LEEP) and Supporting Preschoolers with Language Differences (SPLD). She was principal developer of the supervisor strand of LEEP.

Washburn co-developed and teaches the two-credit, online course Foundations of Supervision for Early Childhood Managers, which provides child care, Head Start, and pre-K program directors and supervisors with effective techniques that improve early education.

She is coauthor of “Instructional Coaching: Helping Preschool Teachers Reach Their Full Potential,” a synthesis of effective coaching strategies based on EDC’s experiences in six Early Reading First projects across the country. She is a contributing author of “Supporting English Learners in Preschool Classrooms,” a research article detailing the implementation and evaluation of a professional development intervention designed to build teachers’ capacity to promote the language and literacy development of young English learners.

Before joining EDC, Washburn was a teacher, supervisor, and education manager in local Head Start programs and a consultant for the Region I Administration for Children and Families.

Washburn received her BS in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Rhode Island.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Project Director II

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1286

Jacqueline Bourassa

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Jacqueline Bourassa

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Jacqueline

Last name: 

Bourassa

Bio: 

Jacqueline Bourassa has a special focus on enhancing literacy instruction as a vehicle for school improvement. Currently, she is working to advance the translation of research into practice to help teachers refine instructional practice and administrators implement school reform.

As Project Manager for Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS), a multi-year project funded by the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, Bourassa oversees day-to-day operations and leads school and community outreach by working with foundations, donors, and the project’s Leadership Alliance. She continues to facilitate the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance for the REL Northeast & Islands at EDC. In this capacity, she brings together early childhood stakeholders to create a shared research agenda that will ultimately improve the lives of young children (birth through age 8). For EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals, she oversees the professional development approval process.

Recently, Bourassa facilitated the revision of Rhode Island’s draft Early Learning Standards (birth through age 5) and the development of the state’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan. As the EDC project director for the New York Comprehensive Center, she managed a staff of experts whose mission was to develop the capacity of the New York State Education Department and its networks and agencies to assist districts and schools in improving achievement outcomes for all students.

Bourassa has developed instructional sequences, scripts, participant materials, and a facilitator’s guide for Blended Learning Modules (BLM) for Literacy that are in use internationally. She also co-developed planning guides and materials for Teaching Literacy, Pakistan’s Pre-STEP course for literacy instruction. (Read a blog post by Bourassa about the guides and materials.)

Before joining EDC, Bourassa worked at the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education where she cultivated deep knowledge of both research-based literacy initiatives and the change process that supports successful implementation. As a literacy specialist in the Office of Instruction, she provided leadership and oversight for several reform initiatives and served as State Coordinator for Reading First. She has taught literacy education courses at the University of Rhode Island working with both graduate and undergraduate students preparing to become teachers.

She received a BS and an MEd from Rhode Island College and an EdD from LaSalle University.

Staff: 

Non-Staff Profile

Job title: 

Senior Curriculum/Instructional Design Associate

Program: 

Early Learning and Development

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Telephone: 

617-618-2752
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