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Education Initiatives—Spring Quarter Updates

Here are the latest updates from the Forum’s education team.

Abriendo Puertas:  Congratulations to Metropolitan Family Services Child Parent Centers and their 10 Parent Resource Teachers for completing the Forum’s Abriendo Puertas Facilitator Institute, February 17 to 19. Abriendo Puertas is the nation’s first evidence-based, popular education, parent leadership training program developed in Spanish by and for Latino parents with children 0-5 years of age.

The participants spend three days learning about the parent engagement curriculum and how to implement it using the Popular Education methodology.

ECE Day: Now more than ever your support for early learning services is needed to restore the state's investment in early childhood education. Families and communities are hurting and vital programs such as early intervention; home visiting; child care assistance; and preschool are at risk. Save the date and join the Forum April 20, for its 7th annual ECE Advocacy Day. For more information and to register click here.

Understanding Common Core: The Forum has reached more than 1,500 immigrant parents since October through workshops that discuss the implications of recently heightened academic standards and their aligned assessment system. Commonly known as Common Core, the workshops have been conducted by the Forum’s senior policy analyst Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro. Thanks to a collaboration with Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative, Rebecca has also provided parents a deeper look into the new mathematical standards and how  parents can build math knowledge with young learners. She recently discussed her work with WGN’s Lourdes Duarte on the show Adelante.

ED team notes:

  • The Forum is pleased to welcome Karen Garibay-Mulattieri as its Education Manager. She brings more than 30 years of experience as an educator and administrator. She's worked with students from many countries and cultures, from the standpoint that creating welcoming environments with culturally relevant curriculum is important in ensuring student success. She has also advocated for dual language education beginning with early childhood, additive bilingual education, cross cultural studies and the State Seal of Biliteracy. Read her full bio here. The Forum also extends a warm thank you to Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who served as the Forum's Education Director for three years and now joins Erikson Institute as its Director of Policy. 

  • Emphasizing the importance of kindergarten transitions and readiness, the Forum’s Early Childhood Education Policy Analyst Christine Nicpon presented to more than 100 educators at the 35th Annual Illinois Statewide Conference for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Educators hosted by theIllinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, March 3.

  • Congratulations to the Forum’s Senior Policy Analyst Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro for her appointment to theIllinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education. The Council works to advise the State Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education on issues related to the educational needs of English language learners. The council is comprised of 17 members including the Chairperson. Members hold office for a term of three years and are appointed by the State Superintendent.

  • Rebecca also provided an in-depth workshop to school teachers and administrators about the growing English Learner population in Illinois at the Superintendents Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity held on January 28 in the south suburbs.

  • Missed the January 20 ECE Acuerdo meeting? Held at Concordia Place, members met with Diego Giraldo, Sam Aignor-Treworgy, Chris Rosean to discuss changes and receive feedback from the Acuerdo  to inform a more responsive early childhood education enrollment system. Contact Christine Nicpon for more information.

Photo: Forum Staff
Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , Preschool, K-3, Parent Engagement