URI to host summer institute
on successful transitions for children
KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 23, 2000 -- The Sixth Rhode Island Early Childhood
Summer Institute on early literacy will be held in June at the University
of Rhode Island's Quinn Hall on the Kingston Campus.
The five-day program will start Wednesday, June 21 and end Tuesday, June
27. The fee for the program entitled, "Early Literacy: A Key to Establishing
Successful Transitions for Children Birth to Age 8," is $150.
It covers tuition and books.
"The overarching goal of the institute is to blend theory, research
findings, and practical applications in order to develop common understandings
about and strategies for using the power of early literacy as a vehicle
for positive transitions for children," said Diane Horm-Wingerd, URI
professor and chairman of the Department of Human Development and Family
Studies, in announcing the institute.
"We are very excited about this community collaborative effort between
the University of Rhode Island, and the state Departments of Health, Human
Services, and Education," said Ruth Schennum, Part C coordinator of
the Department of Health's Early Intervention Program.
According to Linda Bryan, parent and staff member of the Parent Support
Network, "the collaboration between service providers and parents is
a very important feature of this 5-day program."
Kathleen Cross, director of the Eastern Region Early Intervention Program,
has attended previous institutes. She noted that the chance to collaborate
on a community team project ensures that families will receive quality services
to meet the needs of their family members.
Community-based teams will work on establishing and maintaining successful
transitions among and between early care and education for all children
birth to age 8 in their community. At least one member of the
team must be a school district administrator (principals, central office
administrators, and superintendents). Charlotte Diffendale, Early Childhood
and Even Start Family Literacy coordinator for the Department of Education
explained: "A team might include an early intervention provider, a
Head Start coordinator, a kindergarten teacher, a parent and a school principal.
This would be the ideal community team."
Community teams will engage in large and small group discussions. Morning
sessions will focus on research and theoretical models while the afternoons
will highlight local practitioners who exemplify best practices. Teams
will begin to create their transition plans for their community during the
five-day institute. Five follow-up sessions will be held between September
and June of the following academic year to provide additional information
and support to the community teams as they work to implement their transition
"We are hoping that several communities throughout Rhode Island
take advantage of this opportunity to work on early literacy and transition
issues for the children of Rhode Island," said Amy Cohen, preschool
grant coordinator and childhood specialist for the Department of Education.
For further information, please call Beverly O'Keefe, URI Family Resource
Partnership director at (401) 277-5244.
For Information: Beverly O'Keefe 401-277-5244, Dave Lavallee