Start Early. Start well.

Professional Development for All

PD for All is a groundbreaking series of free professional development workshops open to all early childhood professionals who serve young children, birth through Grade 3, in the Omaha metro area. 

Professional Development for All introduces leading-edge research and innovative practices that can make a difference in the lives of young children and families. The series also gives early childhood professionals the opportunity to come together and learn from one another. Watch our highlight video to learn why school leaders, teachers, child care providers, home visitors, family engagement specialists, and others are participating.  

upcoming institutes

Professional Development for All is a critical piece of the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan, one of the nation's most innovative, comprehensive approaches to reducing achievement gaps. It was developed by the Buffett Institute and is funded by the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Planning is underway for the 2019-20 series. Check back for more information.

2018-19 SERIES
The theme for 2018-19 is Harnessing the Power of Language and Communication to Build Children’s Literacy Success. The full-day institutes will be presented in English, with Spanish-language support as needed. 

Nearly 200 early childhood professionals attended the first institute, held Sept. 20 at the Kroc Center Omaha. The keynote speaker was Nell Duke, professor in the School of Education at University of Michigan and a nationally recognized education consultant. Other featured speakers included Jonathan Fribley, an advocate, consultant, coach, mentor, and trainer; Cristina Gillanders, an associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Colorado; Anne Karabon, an associate professor of early childhood education and STEM at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; and Debora Wisneski, an associate professor of early childhood education at UNO who currently serves as president of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

About 180 early childhood professionals attended the second institute, held Jan. 24 at the Scott Conference Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The keynote speaker was Sharon Ritchie, senior research scientist and principal investigator of the FirstSchool initiative at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, which is located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other featured speakers included Liesel Carlson, iCollaborate project coordinator for the Lansing (Michigan) School District; Juliana Harris, assistant principal at Beaufort County Schools in Washington, North Carolina; and Leslie Barden Smith, a third grade teacher in the Novato (California) Unified School District and adjunct professor in the Department of Education at Dominican University of California.

More than 100 early childhood professionals attended the third institute, held April 6 at Joslyn Art Museum. The event—co-sponsored by the Buffett Institute and Joslyn—focused on the important role authentic art experiences play in helping young children develop language and communication skills. A collaborative partnership with Joslyn allowed this event to be held at the museum and gave attendees the opportunity to explore permanent galleries, special exhibits, and educational offerings for children, families, and schools. In the keynote address and closing session, nationally recognized experts Jill Englebright Fox, professor and director of assessment at the University of Houston-Victoria, and Laurel Bongiorno, dean of the Division of Education & Human Studies at Champlain College, shared strategies for facilitating age-appropriate art activities and discussions with children. Breakout sessions featured an interactive panel with local teaching artists Carey Hernandez, an art educator at Joslyn and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School; CaSandra Johnson, a visual arts teacher at Gross Catholic High School; and Ariel Shearer, a second grade teacher at Prairie Lane Elementary School. Therese Straseski, an art instructor at Joslyn, and Tom Simons, Youth & Families Program manager at Joslyn, shared the many ways people can access the museum's educational resources.

 

PRESENTATION ARCHIVE

Presentations, videos, and resources from the first three years of Professional Development for All institutes are available for download.

2018-19 SERIES

April 6, 2019, "Children as Expressive Artists"

Jan. 24, 2019, "The Art of Communication in Classrooms: Helping Children Find, Develop, and Use Their Voices for Learning"

  • Keynote, Perpetuating Equity: One Minute at a Time, Sharon Ritchie
    Presentation slides | Video
  • Infants and Toddlers, BabySnap: Examining the Minute-by-Minute Experiences and Opportunities for Infants and Toddlers to Develop Their Capacity for Language and Communication, Sharon Ritchie
    Presentation slides
  • Kindergarten-Grade 3, Cultural Responsiveness and English Learners: Supporting English Language Learners in Developing Their Voices for Learning in the K-3 Classroom, Leslie Barden Smith
    Presentation slides
  • Preschool and Kindergarten, Building on Common Ground: Supporting Children Through the Transition From PreK to Kindergarten, Juliana Harris
    Presentation slides
  • Grades 1-3, Increasing Student Voice and Voices in Learning in the Primary Grades, Liesel Carlson
    Presentation slides

Sept. 20, 2018, "Harnessing the Power of Language and Communication to Build Children's Literacy Success"

  • Ages 3 – 5, Vocabulary and Linguistically Diverse Learners, Cristina Gillanders
    Presentation slides | Video 
  • Ages 0 – 8, Focus on Parents and Families, Jonathan Fribley
    Presentation slides 
  • Ages 3 – 5 and 5 – 8, The Story of Me, You, and Us: Storytelling and Storyacting in Early Childhood, Debora Wisneski
    Presentation slides
  • Ages 0 – 8, The Vocabulary of Math and Science, Anne Karabon
    Presentation slides

2017-18 SERIES

March 1 and 3, 2018, "Children as Researchers: Reading to Learn Can Start Early"

  • Institute recap
  • Keynote, Growing Knowing: Building Children's World Knowledge Through Family Partnerships and Meaningful Engagement With Informational Text, Susan Bennett-Armistead
    Presentation slides | Video (part 1) Video (part 2)
  • Birth – Age 3, Can We Talk? Babies, Books, and Building World Knowledge, Susan Bennett-Armistead
    Presentation slides
  • Ages 3 – 5, Building World Knowledge and Comprehension: Authentic Ways to Use Informational Texts That Engage the Curiosity of Young Children, Mary Carey
    Presentation slides
  • Ages 5 – 8, Linking Content-Area Learning and Authentic Reading Experiences by Using High-Quality Nonfiction Text in Grades K – 3, Hannah Schneewind
    Presentation slides
  • Family Literacy, Bringing Informational Books to Life for Children and Families, Julie Humphrey
    Presentation slides

Jan. 25 and 27, 2018, "Children as Mathematicians: Early Math That Matters the Most"

Nov. 30, 2017, "Children as Authors: Guiding Children on Pathways Toward Strong Writing"

Oct. 5 and 7, 2017, "Children as Scientists: Scientific Inquiry for Every Child"

  • Institute recap
  • Keynote – Not Too Early but Just Right: Why Early Science Education Is Key to Building a Foundation for High-Quality Teaching and Lifelong Learning, Dr. Daryl B. Greenfield
    Presentation slides | Video
  • Science Is Everywhere! Learning With Infants and Toddlers, Maegan Heimes
    Presentation slides
  • Science Through the Eyes and Hands of a Preschooler, Kelly Jones and Michelle Sullivan
    Presentation slides
  • Connecting Research to Practice: Connecting Science and Engineering Practices to Early Childhood Education, Wendy Badders, Heather Dreibus, Katherine Holt, Dan Sitzman, and Laura Strubbe
    Presentation slides
  • Using Inquiry-Based Learning as a Means for Teaching Science in Children Ages 5-8, Dr. Anne Karabon
    Presentation slides
  • Readiness Through Integrative Science and Engineering, Dr. Christine M. McWayne
    Presentation slides

2017 LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

June 20, 2017, "School as Hub for Birth – Grade 3"

  • Keynote – Getting Intentional About the Primary Years (Vincent Costanza)
    Presentation slides
  • Home Visiting 101: The Core Ingredients of the Superintendents' Plan Home Visiting Program (Molly Colling, Meghan McCormack, Rocio Silva, Jennifer Sanchez, Helen Evans)
    Presentation slides
  • Project-Based Learning in the Primary Grades (Mary Beth Pistillo, Katey Reynolds, Becky Weiss)
    Presentation slides
  • “Getting to Know You” Conferences: Positive Grade-to-Grade Transitions for Students, Families, and Staff (Nikki Schubauer, Kelsea Lambert, Pam Helmick, Leslie Holston)
    Presentation slides
  • Mirrors and Windows: Expanding Diversity Through Family Engagement and in Classroom Libraries (Janette Merkel, Herendira Moreno, Mirta Bustos)
    Presentation slides
  • Mirrors and Windows: Diversifying Classroom Libraries (Lizzie Grimm, Danielle Paulson, Darcy Heath)
    Presentation slides
  • District Leadership for the Birth – Grade 3 Continuum and School as Hub: Our Journey and Lessons Learned (Andy DeFreece, Jean Ubbelhode, Melissa Poloncic, Duane Krusemark)
    Presentation slides
  • Connecting Our School and Community: Neighborhood Walks, Community Maps, Barbershops and Books, and More! (Teresa Lopez Tovar, Matthew Williams, Keshia Partridge, Nicole Crumbly, Tierra Stennis, Arthur Lyle, Damion Sayers, Anthony Kellogg, Dalhia Lloyd)
    Presentation slides
  • Welcoming Families in Our Schools (Kristi Reinsch, Tierra Stennis, Mary Ellyn Dunn)
    Presentation slides
  • Preschool to Kindergarten Transitions: Ready, Set, K! (Jessie Wymore, April Jordening, Cama Charlet)
    Presentation slides
  • School as Hub Leadership Team: Our Journey and Lessons Learned (Dawn Marten, Helen Evans, Eileen Cabrera, Bastian Derichs, Darcy Heath)
    Presentation slides
  • Expanding the Social-Emotional Learning and the Pyramid Model From Preschool into the Primary Grades (Violet Glasshoff, Lindsey Voegele)
    Presentation slides

2016-17 SERIES

March 2 and 4, 2017, "Young Children as Active Learners and Thinkers: Integrated Learning Matters"

  • Integrated Learning Experiences, Ages 5 – 8, Amy Blessing, Susan Choplin, and Andi Green
    Presentation slides
  • Integrated Learning Experiences, Ages 0 – 8 (Espanol), Janette Merkel, Ed.S.
    Presentation slides

Jan. 19 and 21, 2017, "It's More Than Words: Young Children's Language, Thinking, and Learning"

  • Oral Language Birth to Age 8: Implications of the Multiple Contexts of Development: Home, Community, and School, Dr. Luisiana Melendez
    Presentation slides | Video
  • Language as a Foundation for Children's Thinking and Learning, Ages 0 – 5, Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers
    Presentation slides
  • Language as a Foundation for Children's Thinking and Learning, Ages 5 – 8, Nancy Powers, M.S., and Jenna O'Farrell, M.Ed.
    Presentation slides
  • Language as a Foundation for Children's Thinking and Learning, Ages 0 – 8 (Espanol), Dr. Luisiana Melendez and Janette Merkel, Ed.S.
    Presentation slides

Dec. 1 and 2, 2016, "Engaging and Nurturing Young Children as Active Thinkers"

  • Teaching Active Learners: The Real Rocket Science, Dr. Jerlean Daniel
    Video
  • Parenting Matters: Unlocking the Possibilities for Authentic Partnerships With Families, Portia Kennel
    Presentation slides 
    Video
  • Engaging Children as Active Learners, K – 3, Bonnie Reyes and Stephanie Reid
    Presentation slides

2015-16 SERIES

May 13, 2016, "Family Partnerships for Whole Child Development and Learning"

  • Indispensable Allies: Understanding Family Members' Unique Contributions to Children's Early Literacy and What We Can Do to Support Them, Dr. Jane Fleming
    Presentation slides Handout
  • Strategies for Family Partnerships, Ages 3 – 5, Staff and Parent Participants From the Learning Community Center of South Omaha
    Presentation slides

March 2, 2016, "Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness for Whole Child Development and Learning"

  • Why Culture Matters: Culturally Responsive Education That Nurtures the Whole Child, Dr. Tonia Durden
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, Ages 0 – 3, Nicky Clark and Beth Sechrest
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, Ages 3 – 5, Dr. Tonia Durden 
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, Ages 5 – 8, Melissa Wolken and Janette Merkel
    Presentation slides
  • Mirrors Matter: Using Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Literature to Support Language and Literacy Development, Dr. Jane Fleming
    Presentation slides 
    Book list

Dec. 4, 2015, "Social and Emotional Foundations for Whole Child Development and Learning"

  • Strategies for Social and Emotional Development and Learning, Ages 0 – 3, Traci Penrod-McCormick
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Social and Emotional Development and Learning, Ages 3 – 5, Dr. Michelle Rupiper
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Social and Emotional Development and Learning, Ages 5 – 8, Dr. Marisha Humphries
    Presentation slides
  • Strategies for Social and Emotional Development and Learning, Leadership, Dr. Sharon Ritchie
    Presentation slides

 For more information about Professional Development for All, please contact Machaela Cavanaugh at mcavanaugh@nebraska.edu.

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