Early Childhood Educator of the Year 

Deotina Agustin, Owner/Teacher, Mind Builder Center

Deotina AgustinWe are thrilled to award ECI's Early Educator of the Year for 2021 to Deotina Agustin. Deotina’s work truly reflects a vision of equity, quality, and inclusion in early learning for Santa Clara County. Congratulations and thank you for all that you do for the community! 

Deo’s nominator writes:

Deo is one of the many amazing Family Child Care Educators who continue to provide high quality, essential care for families throughout the pandemic. She is a long time member of FIRST 5 Santa Clara County's QUALITY MATTERS...a STRONG START for kids (QM) Initiative. She runs a large  family child care home, serving children anywhere from 3 months to 12 years old. As a QM participant, Deo is Inclusion endorsed through the Inclusive Classroom Project and serves as a peer coach for the QM Communities of Practice model. She has a strong commitment to not only serving the families in her care, but enriching the learning and lives of the educators around her. In addition, she is also a remarkable community advocate for all Family Child Care Educators. She is on the Essential Workers Council, a collective of diverse professionals who have come together to advocate for the rights, wages, and fair treatment of essential workers both during the pandemic and beyond. She is also a member of SEIU's Contract Action Team(Local 521) specifically under CCPU - Child Care Provider United, and has helped contribute to lobby visits and advocacy work around fair wages for Family Child Care Educators in Santa Clara County.

We appreciate all who submitted a nomination for this award. We would also like to shine a light on our 2021 Honorable Mention runner-ups, who each exemplify dedication to the well-being of the children and families in their care. 

2021 Honorable Mentions

Amarjit Kaur, State Preschool/Inclusion Teacher, Moreland School District

Amarjit Kaur Amarjit epitomizes an early childhood educator who encourages, engages, and dedicates her life to creating a meaningful impact for her preschool program. A participant with the Quality Counts California (QCC) Local Consortia and Partnership grant, Amarjit consistently… [provides an] exemplary foundation to students…as she engages students in social-emotional development, language and literacy, English-language development, science, art, and mathematics. Amarjit…provides [her diverse] students with life-changing skills that create long-term success for each student as they begin their school career. Amarjit also walks the talk of being a lifelong learner, continually striving to learn more by attending professional development opportunities on her own time. She has made so much growth as a teacher due to her willingness to attend workshops and classes that increase her knowledge and skills as an early educator, and her students have reaped the immediate benefits. Always willing to go above and beyond, Amarjit is a teacher who makes an incredible impact on both her students and colleagues. 

Guadalupe Moctezuma, Head Teacher in Head Start Program, Santa Clara County Office of Education

Guadalupe MoctezumaLupe has been an inclusion champion- she welcomes all students to her class with a big smile and open arms everyday. Every morning she sings a welcome song in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. She makes sure every student has a turn to share about how they feel…every morning. She allows students to transition from one activity to next at their own pace, and makes sure everyone has opportunities to make choices. She respects individual differences and adjusts her instructional strategies to meet her students' needs. She used to co-teach with a special ed teacher in her classroom, and she demonstrated her eagerness to learn more about her students' disabilities and embed their learning goals into their daily routine…She celebrates their success every step of the way and encourages them to engage with typical peers through modeling. Lupe is a strong team leader and player and initiates to openly communicate concerns and comments with her team. She is humble, kind, creative, positive and willing to learn...She always has a way to make things work and sees the light at the end of the tunnel. …Lupe has stood out as an outstanding educator who deserves applause and recognition for her over twenty years of work in the field. 

Susie Morales, Preschool Teacher, Moreland School District  

Susie MoralesAs students take that first step into early childhood education away from their home, Susie Morales has been described as “the best first teacher your child could have.” A true advocate for diversity and inclusion, Susie surveys each family before they begin their school year, making sure she has the opportunity to genuinely connect with each student and make them feel comfortable leaving their parents. In the classroom, Susie delivers a developmentally appropriate sequence of skills that focus on the whole child and emphasizes social, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth. Her hands-on, multi-sensory approach to learning is student-centered, positive, play-based, and thoroughly engaging… Families have shared that Susie is a celebrity in their community and they continuously refer neighbors, friends, and families to the Moreland Preschool program. Susie …recognizes that each child develops at their own pace, and provides individualized activities to challenge and stimulate learning….Susie’s compassion for her students and dedication to the Moreland Preschool’s diverse families have helped to create this remarkable community.

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September 2021
June 2021
April 2021
February 2021

September 2021 Newsletter

The Early Childhood Institute (ECI) is excited to launch our third year here at San José State University. We continue to highlight critical areas for advocacy in early learning and care, deepen the training of early educators, offer compelling speakers on trending topics in the field, and delve into research projects that inform and enhance practice. With new federal, state, and local investments, it’s a great time to be working in the field of child development and early education. ECI lauds California’s leadership as we work to promote the health, education, and well-being of every child, right from the start.

There’s a lot going on at ECI! 

First, we are thrilled to introduce our inaugural Advisory Board. Read up on this cutting-edge group of early education professionals and allies. We are grateful for their interest, guidance, and collective impact on our field.

Also, SAVE THE DATE for the launch of our 2021-22 Speaker Series, beginning on OCTOBER 14th (3-4:30pm) with a bold discussion about supporting early language acquisition, bilingualism, and dual language learning in early childhood classrooms, led by our colleagues at SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language). 

And finally, read more in today’s e-newsletter about our latest partnership with San José Public Library. What happened when the pandemic hit and storytime had to be reinvented for children and their adult caregivers? Hear directly about the joys and challenges from an SJPL librarian in our Voices from the Field blog. 

Voices from the Field

Early Literacy Librarian Nari Ferderer oversees Storytime Programming for the San José Public Library. In this post, Nari shares the experience of how her team shifted Storytime to an online format to stay engaged and connected with families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March of 2020, when libraries around the state shut their doors as COVID-19 made its way through the community, we did what most libraries did during those early days of the pandemic -- we recorded ourselves reading children’s books aloud and shared those recordings on social media. This was novel and engaging at first, but we soon realized that our community needed more interactive and meaningful experiences designed specifically for young children and their families. 

As we listened to the feedback from our community, and reflected on the purpose and goals of storytime, we pivoted to improve the online storytime experience. We recruited five dynamic librarians to be our primary storytime presenters, and established a regular schedule and rotation of storytimes that aired live on Facebook and Zoom every weekday morning at 10:30am.

The heart of a storytime program lives in the interactions between the presenter and the families. To support these critical connections, librarians used plenty of eye contact, welcoming comments, and age-appropriate interactions with young children. We used these types of evidence-based interactions to increase participation levels of both children and adults. In addition, our librarians modeled how caregivers and families could continue the learning at home, by providing them the tools, conversation prompts, and resources to learn more about the topics introduced during storytime. In this way, we also strengthen the connection and shared experience between the child and their adult caregiver.  

Storytime for the San Jose Public Library is an invitation to children and their caregivers to experience the joys of language in all its forms. Our presenters prioritized creating a virtual environment in which children could practice and develop skills in self-expression, self-regulation, academics, and even physical skills, as they engaged in activities with the librarians and interacted in the Stay & Play segment of the program. During this time, children took turns showcasing an art project, a favorite toy, or a beloved book, taking on a more active and participatory role. 

The most fulfilling aspect of our newly-designed online storytime was observing the children as they grew and developed during a time of fear, isolation and uncertainty in the world. Watching children blossom through participation in these programs, progressing on their language skills and shifting from passive listener to active participant, reinforced to us that these online storytime programs were meeting the needs of young children and their families.

Learnings from the San José Public Library Virtual Storytime Experiment

ECI conducts high-quality evaluation to support innovative programming aimed at improving the lives of young children. The research team recently partnered with the San Jose Public Library-Early Education Services (SJPL-EES) department to evaluate whether a re-designed virtual storytime program is meeting its quality standards. 

Storytime events at community libraries bring families and caregivers of young children together to hear stories and participate in song and movement activities with a skilled librarian. Families often have the opportunity to “stay and play” afterwards, promoting socialization among the children and giving adults time to connect with each other and the librarian. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered social gatherings at the library. 

The SJPL-EES team came together in the spring of 2020 to design and implement a new, virtual storytime for families and librarians. Families and caregivers were welcome to log-in and actively participate via Zoom, watch the broadcast live on Facebook, or access pre-recorded storytime sessions on various SJPL-EES social media outlets. 

ECI researchers were brought in to evaluate how well this library program achieved its quality standards in a virtual context. Together with the SJPL-EES partners, an evaluation plan was developed, including family surveys, virtual observations, and librarian input. 

Based on the information collected, ECI discovered that the library’s virtual storytime provided engaging, developmental-supportive, and active learning opportunities for participating children. Children were encouraged to listen to stories and sing, dance, and move at home as they followed along with the live programming. Those who joined via Zoom were welcome to stay online for a non-streaming “stay and play” segment, where they had the opportunity to connect with the librarian about their toys and activities, and hear other children share their stories as well. 

Not surprisingly, there were challenges to navigating a virtual storytime activity. The online environment limited peer-to-peer interactions among the children, and between caregivers and the librarian. While social interactions happen readily during in-person gatherings, new approaches could boost person-to-person interactions in a virtual space. 

ECI is thrilled to be working in partnership with the SJPL-EES team again this year, to build off of this and other learnings from the initial evaluation. ECI plans to gather more targeted information to directly inform Virtual programming practices, with a goal of ensuring that the Library’s online early learning programming continues to be developmentally enriching, culturally meaningful, and fun and engaging for all of the young children, parents, and caregivers who participate.

June 2021 Newsletter

Voices from the Field

We begin with a conversation about implementing anti-bias practices across early education settings. Deborrah Paccial, who holds a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development (ChAD) from SJSU, met with our Early Childhood Connections cohort about her experiences working towards equity and belonging in the preschool classroom. In this guest post, Deborrah shares highlights of how she has applied her passion for anti-bias work with both children and colleagues.
Soon after graduating from SJSU, I was fortunate to begin implementing some of the research and practical skills I learned in college, when I landed a job as a Lead Teacher in a preschool classroom. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching in a preschool is witnessing research come to life in the classroom. As I worked hard to develop effective classroom management systems and apply developmentally-appropriate practices, I was also able to observe my students’ in-depth engagement with a woodworking activity and reflect on how they were using intrinsic motivation to persist at a challenging task.

My passion for anti-bias work in early childhood education inspired me to volunteer for the Diversity and Inclusion committee at my current preschool. Our committee members consist of teachers who represent each age group served—from infants to kindergarten prep. One of the committee’s goals is to identify and highlight monthly cultural events.  Using a documentation board, we provide both staff and families with ideas to honor important cultural events.  In February, for example, the center honored Black History Month by compiling a list of Black- owned businesses to support, sharing age-appropriate and culturally-relevant music by Black musicians to feature in classrooms, and adding more diverse classroom reading materials.

The committee also celebrates the diversity of the teachers and staff in the center, by implementing inclusive activities during our monthly meetings. For example, we facilitated an activity called, “What’s in a Name?,” in which team members were encouraged to share the origins and importance of their names in small groups. One of the most memorable experiences that I facilitated was inviting teachers and staff to recreate their skin tones, through combining various colors of playdough. This activity served as a thought-provoking experience for teachers to think about representation within their classrooms. It took time and effort to create a blend of colors that each of us felt represented our skin tone. This activity sparked ongoing conversations in our center about different ways we can validate our own identities, in addition to the identities of the children and their family members.

Another important anti-bias element in my role as a preschool teacher is to create positive and meaningful partnerships with families. This means I need to ensure family members feel represented in the learning environment. Family photos are thoughtfully and respectfully displayed on walls adjacent to relevant learning centers. Social issues that arise regarding interpersonal relationships, biases, and stereotypes are addressed as a classroom community. The voices, ideas, and thoughts of both families and children are valued and incorporated in my teaching practice. Children are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process for projects, group meetings, and setting up classroom responsibilities. This inclusive, anti-bias approach to teaching is intentionally woven into the preschool curriculum, with the goal of promoting a positive sense of self and giving children the resources to become independent drivers of their own learning.

Connecting Students in a Pandemic Year

This year, we launched an innovative, student-centered professional development experience, Early Childhood Connections (ECC) in an effort to connect like-minded students from different fields of study. We wanted to promote a strengths-based, community-oriented, and culturally-responsive approach to working with young children and their families. ECC’s interdisciplinary group was made up of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent alumni, from several SJSU Lurie College of Education (LCOE) programs, including Child and Adolescent Development, Early Childhood Special Education, and Communicative Disorders and Sciences to broaden students’ understanding about the early education field.  

While we set out to hold in-person gatherings, we pivoted to a virtual setting due to the pandemic. ECC participants came together online to connect with each other and with ECI faculty coordinators, and to learn from expert early childhood leaders in Santa Clara County. These experts shared trends in the field, and talked about equitable and inclusive practices that support children and families across early education and intervention settings.

The ECC coordinators chose program topics based on current interests of the group, and worked to create a safe space to share ideas, ask questions, and solve real-world problems that arise within work settings. As the year came to a close, ECC participants reflected on the sense of community they had created, despite pandemic disruptions to their lives. They were excited to exchange ideas with people working in the field, and appreciated learning tangible strategies to implement in the classroom. One participant shared that both she and the children in her care will benefit from what she learned in the ECC experience.

ECI thanks ECC Student Coordinator, Thao Nguyen (ChAD BA, 2021) for her dedication this inaugural year. Looking back on her experience, she shared that, “The ECC program helped me learn a lot about the different and diverse roles that early childhood career fields had to offer. With the variety of guest speakers throughout the sessions, I felt more secure in what I want to do in the future. As ECC student coordinator, I had the pleasure of collaborating with many like-minded individuals. I felt a huge sense of community and this role motivated me to strengthen our bonds.” 

Program participant Jacqueline Lopez Rivas agreed. She reflected that as a “non-traditional student returning to finish my BA with one final semester, I sought out opportunities that would directly support classroom teaching and learning. ECC is an opportunity to not only engage with other students across disciplines, but with professionals and faculty that expand the discussion on early childhood and its significance. These are highly engaging conversations that occur outside of the classroom, and strengthen what is learned within the classroom.”  

ECI expresses deep appreciation to the enthusiastic, highly-supportive community representatives that met with the group this year and shared their knowledge and expertise:

Jenna Collen, Special Education Teacher & Adjunct Professor at SJSU
Antonio Fuentes, Director of Early Learning Services, SCCOE
Michael Garcia, Director, Child Care Planning & Support, SCCOE
Deborrah Paccial, Lead Preschool Teacher, Bright Horizons
Veronica Goei and Nereyda Hurtado, Grail Family Services
Linda Brault, Wested Center for Child and Family Studies  

With continued LCOE funding, ECI looks forward to a second year of Early Childhood Connections this coming fall. If you are interested in participating in the ECC conversations as an early childhood expert, please read out to us at: We’d love to hear from you!

Exploring the Connection Between Language and Math Learning

At ECI, we strive to do research within an equity lens. Dr. Emily Slusser, ECI Co-Founder and Chair of SJSU’s Child and Adolescent Development Department, used this approach to investigate children’s early understanding of math and various factors that influence learning and academic achievement. Dr. Slusser and her colleagues conducted a longitudinal study that yielded some surprising results (Slusser et al., 2019), with evidence that early math skills are more closely connected to early language development than socioeconomic context.

These findings led Dr. Slusser to partner with Dr. Patrick Cravalho from SJSU’s Psychology Department, and a team of six undergraduate research assistants, to launch another study evaluating math learning trajectories of children from diverse backgrounds. The study focused on when and how children connect individual number words (like ‘one,’ ‘two,’ and ‘three’) to different representations of quantity (like size and volume). Again, the team found that language development is a key factor in children’s early understanding of mathematical concepts.

Initial findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society (Slusser & Cravalho, 2020) and sparked a new international collaboration seeking to reevaluate traditional methods of assessing early math and number knowledge. This work would not be possible without the support of San Jose State University’s Lab School, Mission College’s Child Development Center, Head Start, and several local early childhood education centers. SJSU’s Early Childhood Institute is grateful to our community partners and looks forward to new and innovative ways to connect research with practice in the future.   

April 2021 Newsletter

2021 ECI Speaker Series

On Wednesday May 5th, Dr. Carla Bryant spoke on the topic of: "What’s Your Early Education Strategy? School Districts and Universal Pre-K."

Dr. Carla Bryant, Executive Director of the Center for District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education, discussed how districts are responding to the call for universal access to high-quality early learning experiences for all children in our state. California’s new Master Plan for Early Learning and Care outlines an aspirational path to universal preschool for all children. What role will school districts play in this effort? For the past decade, districts have been tasked with providing a developmentally appropriate, high-quality Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program to a small cohort of young children. Are districts equipped and ready to expand TK to all 4-year-old children? How is this part of a districts' overall early education strategy?

Dr. Carla Bryant has more than thirty years of national experience creating culturally competent policies, programs, and procedures for comprehensive early learning, P-3, elementary, family support and after-school programs. She is the founder of the Center for District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education, whose focus is supporting school districts to create and implement effective early education strategies within preK-12 systems. DIAL EE's work pays particular attention to supporting children and families from communities with less social, political, and monetary capital to build a strong educational foundation. She previously served as Chief of the Early Education Department for San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and was a strategic advisor for the City of Seattle where she co-created Seattle Early Education Collaborative (SEEC). Dr. Bryant received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in special education, and a M.Ed. in early childhood education from Georgia State University.

Advocacy: AB22 - A Path Towards Universal TK?

This year, the California legislature is considering a package of interrelated bills intended to equitably increase access to early care and education across the state. The bills cover a range of issues, including childcare reimbursement rate reform, broadening the California State Preschool Program, and expanding Transitional Kindergarten to all 4-year-olds. In this issue, we take a closer look at AB-22, the Transitional Kindergarten Expansion Bill.

What is it? AB-22 seeks to establish a universal preschool program in California by expanding access to full-day Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for all four-year-olds across the state.

What is Transitional Kindergarten? TK was established in California as part of the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. When the kindergarten eligibility cutoff shifted from Dec. 2nd to Sept. 1st, TK was introduced as a way to serve younger children with fall birthdates (one quarter of all four-year-olds). Within the context of increasingly rigorous academic standards, these programs are directed to use a modified kindergarten curriculum aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations.

How might TK expansion impact equity, quality, and inclusion? Universal access to preschool for four-year-olds is a key goal laid out in the state’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. TK is one component of California’s complex early childhood care and education mixed delivery system. Here are some factors to consider regarding equity, quality, and inclusion:

TK teachers and Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers have different educational qualifications and operate within different educational systems, yet they both serve 4-year-old children. TK teachers within school districts must hold a valid elementary school (multiple-subject) teaching credential, plus 24 units of coursework in child development. ECE teachers may have a strong child development background and hold a child development permit, but there is no early education credential available. ECE teachers, often women and particularly women of color, are therefore not eligible to teach in a TK classroom. In California, even early educators with bachelor's degrees are paid nearly 40% less than their elementary school counterparts. 

TK programs are housed in the same school districts where children attend public, K-12 education. A strength of this model is that families, particularly those with older children, can access early learning and elementary school on the same site. A challenge is that community-based preschools may offer full day care, while TK may operate on the same shorter day schedule as elementary school. This may be especially stressful for working families. 

Universal TK reconfigures the ECE system and landscape. With a goal of expanding TK to serve all 4-year-olds in California, traditional community-based preschool programs may experience declining enrollment, exacerbating the severe financial strain brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this issue among publicly-funded programs, the state legislature is concurrently pursuing a companion bill (SB50) to open up the state-funded California State Preschool Program (CSPP) to serve children 0-5 from income-eligible families, and to serve children in family child care homes. This will allow more low-income 3-year-olds, infants, and toddlers to access high-quality early learning and care. In addition, federally-funded Head Start programs will continue to serve 4-5 year-olds from income-eligible families, as well as children who qualify because of a special need.

Quality improvements to enhance TK. AB22 directs the California Department of Education to ensure that TK programs support inclusive learning environments, the instruction of dual language learners, family engagement, physical activity, and learning through play. With an expansion of TK, it is even more critical to align programs with the California Preschool Learning Foundations, to deliver developmentally appropriate, play-based, and culturally responsive learning experiences for all children across the state.

Bottom line: Expanding access to preschool for four-year-olds is a worthy goal. Efforts to expand these programs must consider issues of equity, quality, and inclusion, including being responsive to the needs of children and their families. In addition, all teachers who serve 4-year-old children across early learning and care systems should be fairly and equitably compensated.

Research: Imagination and Scientific Inquiry

Young children naturally engage in a variety of science activities, demonstrating a range of skills (such as exploration and inquisitiveness) that promote science learning in preschool. Research suggests there are individual differences in the development of these scientific skills. It is important to understand these differences, so educators can effectively promote science skills for children in their classroom. 

A compelling new study by Professor of Child and Adolescent Development Dr. Maureen Smith and ECI Director, Dr. Maria Fusaro examines the role of imagination in children’s curiosity about science. They discovered that children who engage in fantasy-themed play, children with imaginary companions, and children who produce highly-imaginative drawings asked more science-relevant questions about pictures of the natural world (for example, magnified pictures of frost or orange stalactites). Interestingly, simply engaging in pretend role play was not related to children’s science inquisitiveness.

These results suggest that educators can enhance early science learning by providing opportunities for children to engage in fantasy-based play, as well as experiencing stories and games with fantasy-themed content. (Link to article)

Early Childhood Career Panel

On April 13, SJSU Child Development students were invited to learn about a variety of early childhood career paths involving young children from a panel of experts. SJSU’s Early Childhood Institute (ECI) and the Lurie College Student Success Center extend our warmest thanks to the talented and passionate early education leaders who shared their stories with our students, inspiring them to pursue a career in early learning and care. 

Lauren Hawkins; Recreation Program Specialist; Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, City of San Jose
Ninveh Khoshabian; Program Director; Catalyst Kids
Pamela Campos; Child Care Technical Assistance Coordinator, Build Up for San Mateo County's Children
Kate Rozzi; Talent and Staffing Manager, Ability Path
Roxanna Croteau; Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Kidango, Inc.

We look forward to this annual event each year. If you are interested in participating as an early learning expert, please connect with us at:

Feb. 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to our inaugural newsletter! 

Recognizing the potential each and every child brings into the world, the Early Childhood Institute (ECI) at SJSU seeks to transform early learning and care through impactful research, training and advocacy efforts. We have long known that early childhood is a crucial time for children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development. Our approach is to create strong interdisciplinary partnerships that share knowledge across disciplines, including bilingual and special education, family dynamics, and mental health, among others, to address the comprehensive well-being of young children and their families. ECI is committed to our core goals of strengthening and supporting equity, quality, and inclusion across early learning and care settings to benefit all children, right from the start.

Join us in these efforts and share your feedback with us anytime at:

2021 ECI Speaker Series

On February 10, 2021 ECI, together with ESAN (The SJSU Early Childhood Student-Alumni Network), invited Tena H. Sloan, LMFT, Vice President of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Training (ECMHC) at Kidango, to share her perspectives on making every interaction in early childhood a healing-centered experience. In light of the many persistent stressors facing families with young children in the Bay area and beyond, this discussion inspired all who work with young children and their families to make each interaction one that supports the well-being of the whole child.

ECI Supports California's New Master Plan for ELC

California's Master Plan for Early Learning and Care aims to provide an actionable roadmap towards an equitable early learning and care system, by addressing issues of access, quality, universal preschool, facilities, and financing. ECI is closely aligned with this effort through its continual focus on increasing student competencies and strengthening apprenticeship opportunities. ECI is currently partnering with the Santa Clara County Office of Education's Early Learning Services, to provide service learning opportunities in local Head Start classrooms. We are researching how this new practicum supports undergraduates' competencies around inclusion, as well as influences their career goals. Research shows that service learning is a high-impact practice, which allows students the opportunity to work with diverse young learners in our community, broadening their perspective on meeting young children's needs. 

Click here to explore California's Master Plan for Early Learning and Care.

What's New in ECE Research?

Adapted shared storybook reading is an effective strategy for increasing both engagement and understanding for elementary-age children with exceptional needs. Research on these methods hasn't yet been generalized to early education settings. A new study by Dr. Andrea Golloher, SJSU Professor and Co-Founder of ECI, examined the use of the adapted shared reading program in inclusive early childhood classrooms. Results show that the adapted shared storybook reading strategy was, indeed, effective at increasing engagement, listening comprehension, and communication during shared reading interactions between teachers and children. Also explored in the study are individual teachers’ perceptions of the reading program itself. These interviews suggest that teachers find the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the reading program appropriate not only for elementary-age students, but also for preschool students. 

To read more about this exciting study, click here: The Effectiveness of Adapted Shared Reading [pdf].

Share your thoughts with us on social!

Santa Clara County, in partnership with First 5, promotes continuous improvement of early learning and care through Quality Matters: A Strong Start for Kids. As part of the quality rating process, providers are encouraged to increase families' access to developmental, vision, and hearing screenings. We would love to hear your insights and innovative responses to this effort. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter: @eci_sjsu. We'll collect and share in a future newsletter! 

What's coming up for ECI?!

We hope that you stay connected with us as we develop our vision for an early learning and care profession that promotes equity, quality, and inclusion, right from the start. Coming up: more engaging speaker events, the latest, cutting-edge research in early childhood, and collaborative actions that move our field forward into a bright future for all children.