Summer Pre-K Institute at Jefferson Middle School

(L to R): Dr. Tamar Jacobson, Professor, Rider University and Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.
(L to R): Dr. Tamar Jacobson, Professor, Rider University and Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.
(L to R): Dr. Tamar Jacobson, Professor, Rider University and Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.

Article Contributed by
The Resource Center

Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition, Jamestown Public Schools, Chautauqua County Education Coalition, and the Chautauqua County Association for the Education of Young Children are pleased to announce the 1st Annual Summer Pre-K Institute.

Held at Jefferson Middle School, the Summer Pre-K Institute is a 3-day learning opportunity for all Chautauqua County Pre-K teachers (public school, private school and center based) about innovative and evidence-based perspectives on early childhood approaches in education. The Institute will also include special sessions for Chautauqua County Pre-K leaders (principals, CPSE chairs & center directors).

“This ultimate form of collaboration in Chautauqua County is truly an amazing opportunity to build a positive, consistent and beneficial set of procedures and best practice to serve our youngest students” states Patrick Smeraldo, Independent Service Coordinator, Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition.

The Summer Pre-K Institute features keynote speakers with international, regional, and national experience. Highlighting this year’s event will be Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, and Dr. Tamar Jacobson, Professor, Rider University. Both will be their unique perspectives on early childhood education to the event’s attendees.

Sherry Cleary
Ms. Cleary is the Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, which is housed at the City University of New York. She leads the work of a dynamic, intelligent, and passionate team dedicated to building essential systems to insure a highly effective early childhood workforce for the state of New York, to guarantee that young children have access to excellence.

Some hallmarks of the vision and leadership that Sherry has brought to New York include collaborative efforts to create New York Works for Children (New York’s early childhood workforce development system), a new competency-based Core Body of Knowledge, Early Learning Guidelines (Birth to Age 5), the completion of the NYS Trainer Credential, ASPIRE – NYS’ workforce registry, and oversight for the implementation of New York’s quality rating and improvement system, QUALITYstarsNY. She co-chairs the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, for the state of New York, and co-chairs its Work Force Work Group. She is also the President of the New York State Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NYSAECTE) and has presided over the group in the past.

Most recently, Sherry was named to Mayor de Blasio’s 6-member Early Childhood Working Group, initially charged with building the model to be used for a Universal Pre-kindergarten implementation in New York City.

Ms. Cleary’s presentation will focus on the 5 domains of development and the importance of approaches to learning and play for young children.

Dr. Tamar Jacobson
Dr. Jacobson was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and traveled to Israel where she became a preschool teacher with the Israeli Ministry of Education. Dr. Jacobson completed a BA, masters, and doctorate in early childhood education at the University at Buffalo (UB). As Director of the University at Buffalo Child Care Center (UBCCC), she created a training site for early childhood students from area colleges including UB.

Currently, Dr. Jacobson is a Professor at Rider University, New Jersey. She was Recipient of the 2013 National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award, participated on the Consulting Editors Panel for NAEYC, and is a former Fellow in the Child Trauma Academy.

Dr. Jacobson presents at International, National, State and Regional levels. She is author of: Confronting Our Discomfort: Clearing the Way For Anti-Bias (Heinemann, 2003), Don’t Get So Upset! Help Young Children Manage Their Feelings By Understanding Your Own (Redleaf Press, 2008), and edited: Perspectives on Gender in Early Childhood (Redleaf Press, 2010), a collection of academic essays from a diverse group of scholars from around the United States and Europe.

Dr. Jacobson’s presentation will focus on three key areas. 1). The quality of adult relationships with children is key to the learning environment physically and emotionally; 2). Reflective practice is crucial for teachers to understand how their relationships affect children emotionally and cognitively; and 3). Teachers treat children the way they were treated.

Summer Pre-K Institute Details
Day 1: Foundations of Early Childhood
Using the New York State publications (Early Learning Guidelines, Core Body of Knowledge, and the Pre-Kindergarten Foundation for the Common Core), we will emphasize the importance of understanding CHILD DEVELOPMENT when working in early childhood programs. The 5 domains of development addressed in these publications will be explored, highlighting the importance of APPROACHES TO LEARNING and PLAY for young children.

We will define, explore and emphasize Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP), with a focus on the WHOLE CHILD, families, and culture.

Day 2: Early Childhood Environment, Routines and Relationships
We will address the critical role of a well-prepared environment in early childhood programs, with a focus on a common understanding of CENTERS, CHOICE, ROUTINES and RELATIONSHIPS in early childhood programs. We will work with participants to recognize the many learning opportunities (in all the domains of development) young children have through making choices in play in a well-designed environment. (We also want participants to consider how the daily routine addresses small group and large group times.)

Day 3: Using Data to Inform Instruction: Planning Your Teaching Based on What You Learn About Children

We will emphasize the importance of individualizing planning and instruction in early childhood programs, i.e. differentiating instruction. In order for programs to be most effective, we will emphasize the importance of building relationships with the families of the children, to learn and incorporate the cultures of the children and community and to practice anti-bias education. We will explore how we can best plan for learning in an early childhood program? We will include a focus on the documentation of children’s learning and development and focus on how to make learning through active engagement and play visible to others.

Patrick Smeraldo, Independent Service Coordinator, Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition, says “With the combination of the 2 expert presenters and facilitators overseeing the breakout sessions this training is a can’t miss opportunity to improve services for children in Chautauqua County.”

Total cost to attend the Summer Institutes is $60. This includes lunch for all three days. The morning keynote sessions (8:30am – 9:30am) are open to all interested community members for just $5 at the door!

To learn more and register online for the Summer Pre-K Institute, please visit the following web site, or call Patrick Smeraldo, Independent Service Coordinator, Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition at 716.499.4065.