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August 10, 2011

Professor McConnell appointed to governor's Early Learning Council

Scott McConnellScott McConnell, professor of Educational Psychology and director of community engagement in the Center for Early Education and Development, is one of 22 appointees who will serve on Governor Dayton's Early Learning Council. The council "will be responsible for advising the Governor, the Children's Cabinet, and the legislature on how to increase access to high quality state and federal early childhood care and education programs for all Minnesota learners -- including those who are part of underrepresented and special programs," according to an August 10 press release from the governor's office,

"Minnesota's future success depends upon building an education system that gives every child a chance to succeed," said Governor Dayton. "By starting early we can lay a strong foundation to ensure every learner has the tools to excel in the classroom, in our communities, and in life."

Read the full press release.

July 13, 2011

Museum Notes blog reviews the Wonder Years Exhibit at the Science Museum

Jeanne Vergeront reviews "Wonder Years: The Story of Early Childhood Development" on her blog Museum Notes. "The exhibition presents the science of young children's development and insights into their everyday learning from the world around them and places both in a larger social and civic context. A clear long-term community interest is expressed in an ambitious goal: 'Ensure that all children benefit from the growing body of knowledge about the science of early childhood development and get the best start in life.'"

Read the full article on the Museum Notes blog.

The Wonder Years project was a collaboration between the Science Museum, CEED, and Public Agenda.

July 6, 2011

CEED and University Contribute to Tornado Relief in North Minneapolis

CEED staff helped design and conduct immediate relief efforts in the aftermath of the May 22, 2011 tornado in North Minneapolis. CEED@UROC research associate Lauren Martin, along with UROC colleagues Heidi Barajas and Alysha Price, worked with government and community-based organizations to coordinate a number of individual efforts. They designed a system, based at UROC, for University and community volunteers to provide information, food, and household goods to residents in heavily damaged areas. During the three days of this coordinated response, other CEED@UROC staff (Laura Potter, Lauren Stark, Braden Schmitt, Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, Tracy Bradfield, Scott McConnell) contributed their time and energy to restoring the neighborhood. However, North Minneapolis will continue to need recovery assistance for some time. If you would like to help, please contact Lauren Martin at mart2114@umn.edu.

May 17, 2011

McKnight Foundation funds literacy plan for CEHD partner school district

The McKnight Foundation has announced funding for a preK-3 reading initiative in collaboration with CEHD and the Brooklyn Center Independent School District #286. Part of a larger effort to improve early literacy, the McKnight funding will include an initial $150,000 grant to develop comprehensive strategies, with additional funding possible after the first year for implementation.

Earle Brown.jpg
The college's strong relationship with the district's Earle Brown Elementary School has become a model for success and shows the positive effects of support from literacy faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's elementary education program. "For six years, the district has partnered with the University of Minnesota to introduce the concept of a continuum that includes reading strategies, skills, and assessment tools within an elementary literacy framework," according to the McKnight announcement. Initial licensure candidates from the college have taken literacy education courses at Earle Brown.

More recently, CEHD's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) has strengthened the bond with Earle Brown even more, said partnership coordinator Stacy Ernst. "The deepening relationship is an example of how the redesign of the way we 'do' partnerships helps all involved--districts, centers, programs--deepen, focus, and fund the work," she said. "The college's Educator Development and Research Center (EDRC) is working across college departments and centers to advocate for our school partners and university faculty, match interests/research needs, and coordinate new connections within the TERI Partner Network."

The McKnight early literacy planning grant involves several college centers: the Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR), the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED), and EDRC. Through the TERI partnership, Earle Brown will benefit from CEHD's co-teaching teacher candidates from elementary education for year-long clinical experiences beginning in August 2011. The McKnight funding will enhance the college/district partnership, according to Brooklyn Center superintendent Keith Lester. "Reading is a gateway to lifelong learning, and all students deserve to be guided through it," he said. "The McKnight partnership will allow Earle Brown to fully coordinate the efforts of our dedicated teachers toward closing the achievement gap and moving each of our children toward this goal." MCRR and CEED will collaborate to help Brooklyn Center staff as they develop a plan for expanding their literacy framework to encompass a comprehensive Pre-K through third grade literacy continuum.

The McKnight funding is also being extended to Minneapolis Public Schools, which is another TERI partner and recently announced a Target corporation grant to support a research-based literacy initiative with MCRR aimed at preparing all Minneapolis students to read by the third grade.

May 10, 2011

Professor, president tell how research can inform legislative reforms

Scott McConnellPresident Robert Bruininks and Scott McConnell, professor of educational psychology and Fesler-Lampert Chair of Urban and Regional Affairs, describe how "Research provides good answers to legislators' early-education questions" in a recent MinnPost article. Arguing that some of the best research on early education is produced in Minnesota, Bruininks and McConnell, director of community engagement in the Center for Early Education and Development, state that "early experiences can and do matter for children with special needs and developmental disabilities, as well as children who are 'just a little behind' in learning important language, motor, and cognitive skills." Noting a wealth of Minnesota research to support their opinions, they point out that children who receive high-quality early care and education enter kindergarten with better skills and preparation.

Bruininks and McConnell appeal to legislators and people across the state to recognize the important research findings available and to work with educators to use this information in support of investments in early care and education programs that work.

March 3, 2011

Wonder Years exhibit opens at the Science Museum of Minnesota

The permanent exhibit Wonder Years, the result of a grant from the National Science Foundation to the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED), the Science Museum of Minnesota, and Public Agenda (a nonprofit group), invites you to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Why are experiences an important part of development? What do children learn before kindergarten? Explore how young children learn from the world around them and how scientists learn about children's development. Bring your family and friends--Wonder Years is included with museum admission.

Check out the Science Museum's Wonder Years website for more information and to learn about community events you can attend.

November 15, 2010

Susman-Stillman, CEED co-director, co-authors new article in journal

Amy Susman-StillmanThe Center for Early Education and Development's co-director, Amy Susman-Stillman, has co-authored a new article based on her work on the QUINCE project. "Treatment Fidelity Challenges in a Five-State Consolidation Study" (Wesley, et al., 2010) appears in the October issue of the Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation and is available online through Informaworld.

September 8, 2010

CEED staff present at Children's Theatre Company

Amy Susman-Stillman, co-director of the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED), and coordinator Shannon Rader presented a session at the Children's Theatre Company's third annual Neighborhood Bridges Conference, held at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis on August 19-20. Their session, entitled "Early Bridges," described the evaluation work they are conducting on CTC's initiative to extend high-quality, developmentally appropriate theater arts experiences to young children who have limited access to theater.

October 2, 2009

CEED Projects Move to the Northside

Next week, CEED's Five Hundred Under Five and CRTiEC (Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood) become residents of the University's newest site, the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) at Plymouth and Penn Avenues North in Minneapolis. We invite you to join with us in celebrating the launch of UROC and CEED satellite office there. Please come to the opening of our newly renovated building in North Minneapolis and connect with neighbors and supporters as we come together to create a shared future for our vital urban community. Building tours, art exhibit, performances, speakers, refreshments! Bring friends and relatives and spread the word! All are welcome!

2:00-5:00 pm, Saturday, October 31, 2009
2001 Plymouth Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
RSVP to www.uroc.umn.edu/launch or 612-626-UROC

September 3, 2009

Watson selected for statewide committee

Christopher Watson
Christopher Watson, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED), was selected to serve on the Professional Development Committee for the Minnesota Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC). The ECAC makes recommendations to the Governor and legislature, including proposed legislation on how to create a high-quality early childhood system in Minnesota in order to improve the educational outcomes of children. The goal of the council is to ensure that all children are school-ready by 2020.

The Professional Development Committee is charged with making recommendations that will establish a statewide professional development and career advancement system. These recommendations will be presented to the ECAC in October to be included in the overall strategic plan. The Professional Development Committee is charged with focusing on the pre-service system (i.e., 2 and 4 year public and private institutions of higher education) and in-service system for statewide professional development and career advancement.