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Engaging Families as Partners in Learning and Development

At-home learning can and should be accessible for all families. This session will offer a candid conversation with experts and in-the-field practitioners on best practices that demonstrate the value of high-quality care by helping families understand what's happening in the classroom, why it's important and how they can support learning with simple steps at home.

July 18th, 2024

Thu 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

BEST PRACTICES & INSIGHTS
IN THE CLASSROOM
FREE CEUs
OWNERS & DIRECTORS
TEACHERS
Session Speakers

Heather Wiederstein

Chief Product Officer @ Lillio

Heather Wiederstein is the Chief Product Officer at Lillio, with extensive expertise in both the education market landscape and instructional design principles. She has successfully launched award-winning PreK-12 educational solutions for companies such as Pearson, Teaching Strategies, and Learning Ally. Heather was formerly a certified classroom practitioner holding licensure in Pennsylvania and is now a coach and advisor for several ed tech companies. Her core values for designing, delivering, and scaling products in the education market are to put students first, to build good stuff, and to stay curious.

Heather Wiederstein is the Chief Product Officer at Lillio, with extensive expertise in both the education market landscape and instructional design principles. She has successfully launched award-winning PreK-12 educational solutions for companies such as Pearson, Teaching Strategies, and Learning Ally. Heather was formerly a certified classroom practitioner holding licensure in Pennsylvania and is now a coach and advisor for several ed tech companies. Her core values for designing, delivering, and scaling products in the education market are to put students first, to build good stuff, and to stay curious.

Tirusha Dave

Founder/Owner @ Ellies Academy

Tirusha Dave is the visionary founder and owner of @elliesacademy, a premier early childhood education center. With over 12 years of dedicated experience in the field, Tirusha has established herself as a leading expert in early childhood education. Her unwavering passion for nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning is evident in every aspect of her work.

As a seasoned educator and advocate for early childhood education, Tirusha continues to inspire and lead initiatives that prioritize the well-being and growth of children. Her dedication to excellence and her impactful contributions to the field make her a highly respected and influential figure in early childhood education. You can follow her on Instagram via @theearlyedentrepreneur.

Tirusha Dave is the visionary founder and owner of @elliesacademy, a premier early childhood education center. With over 12 years of dedicated experience in the field, Tirusha has established herself as a leading expert in early childhood education. Her unwavering passion for nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning is evident in every aspect of her work.

As a seasoned educator and advocate for early childhood education, Tirusha continues to inspire and lead initiatives that prioritize the well-being and growth of children. Her dedication to excellence and her impactful contributions to the field make her a highly respected and influential figure in early childhood education. You can follow her on Instagram via @theearlyedentrepreneur.

Dr. Kenneth Kunz

Founder/Director @ For the Love of Literacy

Dr. Kenneth Kunz is the Founder and Director at For the Love of Literacy. Dr. Kunz received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from Kean University and holds a master’s degree in Reading Specialization and a doctorate in Teacher Leadership from Rutgers University. In 2007, Dr. Kunz received recognition as an outstanding teacher through the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Program. In 2014, Dr. Kunz received the Edward Fry Endowed Fellowship in Literacy at Rutgers University. He is a Past President of the International Literacy Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the NJ Literacy Association. He has presented professional development centered on literacy instruction in classrooms across New Jersey and at both state and national conferences and is co-author of Breaking through the Language Arts Block: Organizing and Managing an Exemplary Literacy Day and Literacy Changemakers: Bringing the Joy of Reading and Writing Into Focus for Students and Teachers. Dr. Kunz also actively contributes to initiatives around curriculum as evidenced by his creation of “Bienvenidos Book Club,” a K-3 literacy program for immigrant students and their families, and his work to develop NJ’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive set of curriculum resources for ELA.

Dr. Kenneth Kunz is the Founder and Director at For the Love of Literacy. Dr. Kunz received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from Kean University and holds a master’s degree in Reading Specialization and a doctorate in Teacher Leadership from Rutgers University. In 2007, Dr. Kunz received recognition as an outstanding teacher through the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Program. In 2014, Dr. Kunz received the Edward Fry Endowed Fellowship in Literacy at Rutgers University. He is a Past President of the International Literacy Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the NJ Literacy Association. He has presented professional development centered on literacy instruction in classrooms across New Jersey and at both state and national conferences and is co-author of Breaking through the Language Arts Block: Organizing and Managing an Exemplary Literacy Day and Literacy Changemakers: Bringing the Joy of Reading and Writing Into Focus for Students and Teachers. Dr. Kunz also actively contributes to initiatives around curriculum as evidenced by his creation of “Bienvenidos Book Club,” a K-3 literacy program for immigrant students and their families, and his work to develop NJ’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive set of curriculum resources for ELA.

Evelyn Cabrera

Content and Delivery Specialist @ LINC

As a Content and Delivery Specialist, Evelyn collaborates with LINC program staff to create content and facilitate literacy workshops that are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate for LINC families.

Evelyn’s innate passion, enthusiasm, and empathy empower parents to gain the knowledge and skills they need to support their children’s literacy development. Evelyn joyfully weaves early learning, adult learning theory, family engagement, social and emotional learning, and literacy concepts into all workshops, and has been a lead facilitator in LINC’s virtual programs. Previously as a member of LINC’s Parent Engagement team in the Bronx, Evelyn recruited countless Fordham families into LINC’s Very Involved Parent (VIP) Academy. Evelyn first encountered LINC during a reading program at her local library and became a VIP herself before joining the LINC staff. Evelyn studied business in the Dominican Republic with a focus on community empowerment, and her role at LINC connects this passion with her love of reading to children. In her free time, Evelyn loves watching family movies and playing with her two sons. Her favorite children’s books are I Like Myself! and the Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob series, because they encourage you to work hard to follow your dreams.

As a Content and Delivery Specialist, Evelyn collaborates with LINC program staff to create content and facilitate literacy workshops that are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate for LINC families.

Evelyn’s innate passion, enthusiasm, and empathy empower parents to gain the knowledge and skills they need to support their children’s literacy development. Evelyn joyfully weaves early learning, adult learning theory, family engagement, social and emotional learning, and literacy concepts into all workshops, and has been a lead facilitator in LINC’s virtual programs. Previously as a member of LINC’s Parent Engagement team in the Bronx, Evelyn recruited countless Fordham families into LINC’s Very Involved Parent (VIP) Academy. Evelyn first encountered LINC during a reading program at her local library and became a VIP herself before joining the LINC staff. Evelyn studied business in the Dominican Republic with a focus on community empowerment, and her role at LINC connects this passion with her love of reading to children. In her free time, Evelyn loves watching family movies and playing with her two sons. Her favorite children’s books are I Like Myself! and the Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob series, because they encourage you to work hard to follow your dreams.

Allie Zambito

Content and Delivery Specialist @ LINC

After graduating college, Allie joined Teach for America and worked as an elementary special education teacher for the past 3 years in Brooklyn, NY. Her favorite part of being an educator was supporting children with learning to read. She feels there is no greater joy than teaching a child to read and seeing the pure happiness and excitement it brings as they are able to unlock so much new information in their world! She also really enjoys working with parents and families. While teaching, she developed close relationships with many parents and families and found that community involvement was a huge contributor to student success.

At LINC, Allie creates and facilitates literacy workshops that are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate for LINC families across New York City. In this capacity, she travels across New York City delivering fun and engaging workshops and helps to create a growing community that values learning and reading together in community. She is really excited to be a part of the LINC community and continue her passion of supporting children and families with developing literacy skills using fun strategies and tips to incorporate in daily routines.

After graduating college, Allie joined Teach for America and worked as an elementary special education teacher for the past 3 years in Brooklyn, NY. Her favorite part of being an educator was supporting children with learning to read. She feels there is no greater joy than teaching a child to read and seeing the pure happiness and excitement it brings as they are able to unlock so much new information in their world! She also really enjoys working with parents and families. While teaching, she developed close relationships with many parents and families and found that community involvement was a huge contributor to student success.

At LINC, Allie creates and facilitates literacy workshops that are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate for LINC families across New York City. In this capacity, she travels across New York City delivering fun and engaging workshops and helps to create a growing community that values learning and reading together in community. She is really excited to be a part of the LINC community and continue her passion of supporting children and families with developing literacy skills using fun strategies and tips to incorporate in daily routines.