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Reading & Literacy Webinar

3 Large Districts Address Science of (Pre) Reading in Pre-K

Thu., January 25, 2024, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
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The Science of Reading confirms it: reading proficiency skills begin to develop long before third grade!

In this one-hour webinar, three school leaders from NYC, Chicago, and Fort Worth will share how they are intentionally laying the foundation for better reading outcomes in third grade, for all students.

Hear how they have made critical decisions about:

  • Evaluating and selecting the right Pre-K curriculum
  • Developing and implementing professional learning plans for their teams
  • Working across their education systems to improve third grade reading scores

Participants will leave this webinar with practical information and inspiration for building their own pathways to third grade reading proficiency.

Dr. Kara H. Ahmed
Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education, New York City Public Schools
Dr. Kara H. Ahmed leads New York City Public Schools’ (NYCPS) early childhood education system, inclusive of all financial, operational, and programmatic aspects, with a capacity to serve approximately 140,000 children birth to five years of age. Prior to becoming the Deputy Chancellor for the nation’s largest school system, Dr. Ahmed served as the Principal for NYCPS’ city-wide Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE) program for 14 years, which she transformed into a nationally recognized early childhood education program that now models a three-generation strategy supporting student parents, their children, and their families.

Dr. Ahmed began her career as an early childhood educator, and then shifted to Early Childhood Supervisor for New Brunswick Public Schools, managing public school and private provider preschool programs, and leading the implementation of preschool inclusion for children with identified disabilities. Dr. Ahmed went on to work with William Patterson University to support the New Jersey DOE’s implementation of preschool across the state, and has taught graduate courses at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Ahmed earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Education Policy, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Leslie McKinily
Chief Early Childhood Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools
Leslie McKiniliy has been an integral part of CPS’ Office of Early Childhood for 20 years. Most recently, she served as Deputy Chief Officer, overseeing the district’s preschool application and universal preschool expansion (UPK) strategies, resulting in the 7,000-seat expansion of universal free full-day preschool for four-year-old children.

Throughout her 20 years within CPS, Leslie has served as a preschool teacher, instructional coach, professional learning manager, and director of Head Start and Preschool Programs. In her role as deputy chief officer, she led the universal Pre-K expansion strategy and centralized preschool application process for the district. Through a cross-departmental and cross-agency approach, Leslie has launched the OECE vision and the Preschool to 2nd Grade strategy, including the creation of the P-2 Program Management Office.

Leslie earned her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education at Delaware State University and her Master of Arts in administration and supervision at National Louis University.
Olayinka Ojo
Executive Director of Early Learning, Fort Worth ISD
Olayinka earned her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences, Child and Family Studies from Baylor University, a Master of Science in Educational Psychology, Child/Human Development and Family Studies from University of North Texas, a Masters in Educational Leadership, Bilingual Education from Southern Methodist University, and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University pf Texas, Arlington
Dr. Nicol Russell
Vice President of Implementation Research, Teaching Strategies
Nicol Russell currently serves as Vice President of Implementation Research for Teaching Strategies, LLC. She has been an ECE teacher, a school administrator, a Head Start State Collaboration Director, and a State-level administrator for the Arizona Department of Education. She is a member of the ReadOn Arizona State Advisory Board and is a former board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Her research interests include studying the implementation practices of early learning programs and considering ways to create more equitable opportunities for BIPOC children and educators.

Nicol holds a Bachelor’s and Masterʻs degree in early childhood and early childhood special education and a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership. 

For all webinars broadcast by Education Week after August 1, 2019, Certificates of Completion are available to all registered live attendees who attend 53 minutes or more of this webinar. Educators can download a PDF certificate verifying 1 hour of Professional Development credit. As with all professional development hours delivered, Education Week recommends each educator verify ahead of the webinar broadcast that the content will qualify for professional development in your school, district, county, or state with your supervisor, human resources professional, and/or principal or superintendent’s office.

Education Week is serving only as the host for this presentation. The content was created by the sponsor. The opinions expressed in this webinar are those of the sponsor and do not reflect the opinion of or constitute an endorsement by Editorial Projects in Education or any of its publications.

A transcript will be available for download from the resource list within five business days after the event.

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This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
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