Literacy

Literacy

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Strong literacy skills are passports to academic and career success. Across the U.S., EDC helps early childhood, K–12, out-of-school time, community college, and adult basic education programs ensure learners of all socio-economic backgrounds gain the skills concepts, and background knowledge they need to gain high levels of literacy. Our Read Right Now! Program improves the literacy of children and youth around the world.

Susan Washburn

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Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Photo: 

Susan Washburn

First name: 

Susan

Last name: 

Washburn

Bio: 

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

Impact of the Thinking Reader Software Program on Grade 6 Reading Vocabulary, Comprehension, Strategies, and Motivation

Mon, 04/04/2011

Author(s): 

Kathryn Drummond, Marjorie Chinen, Teresa Garcia Duncan, H. Ray Miller, Lindsay Fryer, Courtney Zmach, American Institutes for Research; Katherine McMillan Culp, Education Development Center, Inc.

The Thinking Reader® software is designed to improve middle school students’ reading vocabulary and comprehension. This report describes findings from a randomized controlled trial that AIR and EDC researchers conducted to determine the effect of the software on students' reading achievement.

Impact of the Thinking Reader Software Program

Length: 

170pp

Publication Type: 

Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

Jacqueline Bourassa

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Descriptors (Bodies of Work): 

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Jacqueline Bourassa

First name: 

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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