Omaha, Neb. — A Spanish-language extension of the final institute in the 2017-18 Professional Development for All Series will be presented this week in Omaha. The focus is on sparking children’s curiosity and passion for reading at a very early age, while also helping them build knowledge about the world.
The event, entitled “Children as Researchers: Reading to Learn Can Start Early,” will be hosted by the Buffett Institute and the Learning Community Center of South Omaha on Wednesday, May 30, and Thursday, May 31. The two-day institute will provide educators with high-quality reading experiences that support children in constructing knowledge and comprehending written information at high levels.
The institute, open to all Spanish-speaking early childhood professionals in the Omaha metro area, will run from 9 a.m. to noon both days at the Learning Community Center of South Omaha, 2302 M St. Over the two days, child care providers, teachers, and other professionals who work with children from birth – Grade 3 will explore new research-based ideas about children’s learning, as well as educational practices that engage young children and their families.
This is the first entirely Spanish-language institute to be offered in the PD for All series, though Spanish interpreters and some Spanish-language breakout sessions have been available before.
“We are excited to work with our partners at the Learning Community Center to offer this learning opportunity for Spanish-speaking professionals,” said Janette Merkel, program specialist at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. “This week’s PD for All institute is a continuation of our efforts to work with this community.”
Merkel will be one of the featured presenters at the two-day institute. Others include Mirta Bustos, home visitor at Liberty Elementary School (OPS); Teresa Cisneros, family facilitator at Gomez Heritage Elementary School (OPS); Molly Colling, program specialist at the Buffett Institute; Julie Humphrey, youth and family services manager at the Omaha Public Library; Leah Latenser, home visitor at Ralston Public Schools; Herendira Moreno Padilla, family facilitator at Liberty Elementary School; and Itzeni Nayeli Lopez, family learning manager at the Learning Community Center of South Omaha.
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 third 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.