Start Early. Start well.

May 10, 2016

Family Partnerships Will Be Focus of Professional Development Institute

Omaha, Neb. — Key research and strategies for building strong family partnerships in order to fully support children’s learning will be the focus of the third and final institute of the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan “Professional Development for All” series for 2015-16.

Nearly 200 teachers, caregivers, and other early childhood professionals in the metro area are expected for Friday’s institute, entitled “Family Partnerships for Whole Child Development and Learning.” The event runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Scott Conference Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha campus, 6450 Pine Street.

Developed by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska and funded by the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, the professional development series is designed to introduce leading-edge research and innovative practices to those who work with young children and families, and give early childhood professionals the chance to come together and learn from each other.

“This PD for All reinforces one of the key aspects of the Superintendents’ Plan, which is embracing the central role families play in their children’s healthy development and learning,” said Chris Maxwell, director of program development at the Buffett Institute. “Participants will examine strategies for developing personalized, reciprocal relationships with children’s families.”

Featured speakers at the event include Portia Kennel, a senior advisor to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund who previously served as senior vice president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund and as executive director of the Educare Learning Network; Mariana Osoria, vice president of centers at Family Focus, Inc., in Chicago; Anne O’Hara, director of the Learning Community Center of South Omaha, with staff and parent participants from the center; Abbey Sualy, school psychologist at Westside Community Schools; and Dr. Jane Fleming, co-founder and director of KIDS LIKE US, a Chicago nonprofit group.

About the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan

The Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan provides a blueprint for a comprehensive approach to serving vulnerable young children, birth through Grade 3, in the 11 school districts of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The goal is to reduce or eliminate learning and achievement gaps in the Omaha area.

The Superintendents’ Plan was mandated by the Nebraska Legislature, funded through the Learning Community, developed by the superintendents and district representatives in conjunction with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, and endorsed unanimously by the 11 superintendents of the Learning Community. The Buffett Institute continues to provide leadership for the implementation of the plan.