Technical Assistance

Leading in Times of Transition or How to Dance During an Earthquake

Teaser: 

Jana Martella is the Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)-sponsored comprehensive technical assistance Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes that is co-led by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In her 30 years of experience in the field of education, Jana has worked on multiple initiatives designed to improve the quality of early childhood programs, services, and systems. She has also served as a state education agency legislative liaison, coordinator for federal programs, school administrator, and classroom teacher. Throughout her career, a central part of her focus has been on education system and program improvement through standards-based reform. In this post, originally published on NIEER's Preschool Matters blog, Jana shares her insights on how to successfully navigate times of transition and work effectively to improve outcomes for young children and their families.

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Why Does Investing in Young Children Matter?

In this feature article, four of EDC's early childhood experts--Jana Martella, Rachel Christina, Mary Mackrain, and David Jacobson--discuss the key role that early childhood programs play in setting the stage for young children's successful lifelong learning and good health. In the U.S., early childhood programs have been proven to provide a return on investment of $7 in long-term benefits for every $1 invested--including in strengthening the future workforce by ensuring all children enter school ready to learn and succeed--and the return on investment is even greater in impoverished communities around the world.

Source: 

EDC Newsroom

Publication Date: 

Mon, 01/23/2017

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh

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Bickerstaff

Bio: 

Ashleigh Bickerstaff applies her experience as an early childhood teacher to her role as a trainer and coach for educators working with children from birth to eight years old.  She is committed to improving the early care and education experience of young children.

Bickerstaff is on the staff of The Center for Early Learning Professionals, where she provides technical assistance and professional development services to Rhode Island’s early childhood care and education programs. In this role, she also works with the state’s pre-kindergarten programs, supporting classroom implementation of high-quality programming for the state’s four- and five-year-olds.

Before joining EDC, Bickerstaff was a professional development specialist for Ready to Learn Providence and a literacy coach in an Early Reading First project, providing professional development and classroom support for teachers. Bickerstaff began her career as a kindergarten teacher, gaining experience in providing high-quality curriculum and instruction to young learners.

Bickerstaff received a BS in Early Childhood Education from Salve Regina University and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-736-1284

Setting Young Children Up for Success

In this feature, EDC experts Kim Netter and Mary Mackrain talk about how mental health consultants can help strengthen programs, services, and systems to better support children's social and emotional growth, well-being, and school readiness and success. Kim Netter says: "Research suggests that an early onset of mental health issues is linked to environmental factors, such as poverty, exposure to violence, and physical or emotional neglect. However, prevention work can be done and supports can be put in place early on when a mental health consultant is in the mix promoting healthy development and growth, so children can thrive in school and in life." Mary Mackrain notes: "Early childhood mental health consultation teams mental health professionals with early childhood professionals to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children in child care and early education programs. The mental health consultant offers skilled observations, individualized strategies, and early identification of children with challenging behaviors that places them at risk for expulsion. The key is that services must be provided by mental health experts who have worked with children under age five."

Source: 

EDC Newsroom

Publication Date: 

Mon, 01/23/2017

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Meeting Children’s Unmet Needs through Strategic Partnerships

Teaser: 

Jessica Auerbach specializes in strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation of early childhood comprehensive systems that coordinate all child- and family-serving programs to strengthen services and improve outcomes. As a member of the Home Visiting Impact Improvement Center Team (HV-ImpACT), Jessica is providing technical assistance to Federal Home Visiting Program awardees as they implement evidence-based home visiting models to support families and enhance young children’s health, well-being, and school readiness. Previously, as the Senior Program Manager for Young Child Wellness at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Jessica received technical assistance from Education Development Center (EDC), Zero to Three, AIR, and Georgetown University through Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health). With five other Project LAUNCH grantees, Jessica has co-authored a new e-book that shares the impacts of Project LAUNCH in these communities. In this post, Jessica reflects on the important role that strategic partnerships play both in her current work as an EDC technical assistance provider and in her prior work in the Project LAUNCH initiative.

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EDC Develops Special Issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology

Journal of Science Education and Technology

The new issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology, “Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers,” Caroline Parkerspotlights findings from the trailblazing STEM education and workforce development efforts of National Science Foundation-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) projects.

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Maria Velasquez

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Maria Velasquez

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Maria

Last name: 

Velasquez

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María Velásquez has a wealth of experience in the fields of early childhood education, K-12 education, and health, along with expertise in providing innovative, effective, and responsive training and professional development. Driven by her deep commitment to improve the quality of early childhood programs, she brings extensive knowledge of effective assessment, evaluation, research, use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, program management, and policy reform to all of her early childhood development work at EDC.

Velásquez is advancing the goals of EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals in Rhode Island. She specializes is providing bilingual, bi-literate (Spanish/English) professional development and technical assistance to early education programs that are interested in improving their services for children and families and progressing along RI’s quality continuum. In this capacity, she works closely with EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals team, as well as the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the RI Department of Human Services, the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families, BrightStars, and Rhode Island's early childhood care and education programs.

Previously, Velásquez was a State of Rhode Island Programming Services Officer/Contract Manager, in which capacity she served as the state's liaison to EDC on the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge contract of $17.5M. For nine years, she was the Director of Education Services for WSBE-RI PBS. She introduced video-streamed technology and online curriculum in RI’s classrooms increasing teacher capacity of classroom virtual learning, technology use, and knowledge of curriculum standards. She also participated in the development of the National Digital Library funded by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She began her career as a Program Manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, where she had an early start in programming and quality management operations.

Velásquez earned a BS in Psychology from Rhode Island College, an MA in Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI  02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1292

EDC Team is Awarded 100Kin10 Fellowship

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EDC is one of nine 100Kin10 partner organizations that have been awarded 100Kin10 Fellowships. A team including Eden Badertscher and Uma MacDowell was selected from a large pool of applicants—there are over 280 100Kin10 partners—to receive the Fellowship for their work on EDC’s National Science Foundation-funded project, Designing for Equity by Thinking In and About Mathematics (DEbT-M).

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Contextualized Curriculum for Adult Learners

Wed, 11/02/2016

Author(s): 

Education Development Center

EDC is working with developmental education and adult basic education faculty, instructors, program leaders and industry advisors from across Massachusetts through a grant from the MCCWDTA to provide and share contextualized curriculum modules that can be flexibly integrated into a range of developmental, adult basic education and industry-specific programs. This website includes curriculum modules targeting core topics in mathematics and literacy contextualized to three key MCCWDTA industries: healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

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Keeping It Real: Building Bridges Between Employers and Schools

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Jessica Juliuson supports districts and schools in making systemic changes to ensure youth acquire the skills and knowledge they need to become productive members of the workforce. To this work, she brings over 20 years of experience in advancing innovations in instructional design and teacher development that enhance learning, promote civic engagement, and improve academic achievement—with an emphasis on equitable expectations, resources, and opportunities for all youth. As a member of an EDC team that has played a lead role in the design and implementation of the Ford Next Generation (NGL) initiative, she manages professional development for a wide network of STEM academies, while coordinating team externships that strengthen collaboration among schools, local communities, and industries. On November 9, Jessica and her colleague Ilene Kantrov will present this work at the 20th Annual National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Conference. In this post, Jessica shares some insights on the pivotal role that close collaborations between employers and schools plays in supporting college and career success. 

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