Start Early. Start well.

September 20, 2018

Educators, Child Care Providers to Focus on Harnessing Power of Language to Support Literacy

Omaha, Neb. — Research-based practices that support children’s emerging literacy by prioritizing language and communication starting at birth will be the focus of the 2018-19 Professional Development for All series.

The series, which kicks off Thursday, Sept. 20, will examine practices including vocabulary development, productive communication during play and literacy instruction, and embracing children’s home language and culture as strengths.

More than 200 administrators, teachers, caregivers, and other professionals who serve young children from birth through Grade 3 in the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties are expected at the PD for All institute, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y Street in Omaha.

Nell Duke, a nationally recognized expert on early literacy, will deliver the keynote, "High-Utility Practices for Developing Language, Promoting Literacy, and Achieving Equity." Duke is professor of literacy, language, and culture at the University of Michigan.

“We are so excited that educators from Douglas and Sarpy are coming together to hear from Nell Duke, who is a leading national voice on early literacy,” said Chris Maxwell, director of program development at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. “We have a really strong lineup of national and local speakers, including our University of Nebraska at Omaha colleagues Anne Karabon and Debora Wisneski.” Karabon’s talk is entitled “The Vocabulary of Math and Science;” Wisneski’s is “The Story of Me, You, and Us: Storytelling and Storyacting in Early Childhood Education.”

Other featured speakers include Jonathan Fribley, an early childhood consultant, coach, mentor, and trainer, who will focus on parents and families; and Cristina Gillanders, an associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Colorado, who will talk about vocabulary and linguistically diverse learners.

Developed by the Buffett Institute and funded by the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, the free professional development series is now in its fourth year. “PD for All” is designed to introduce leading-edge research and innovative practices to those who work with young children and their families. Additionally, the institutes give early childhood professionals the chance to come together and learn from each other.

News Release (download PDF)

Scroll to top