Annual Half Day Literacy Conference

June 15, 2016

Growing Healthy Readers: Building Bridges to Grow Healthy Readers brings together educators, practitioners, researchers and children’s advocates to share strategies that help children reach their academic potential and excel in school and in life. The goal of this year’s convening is to bridge the best in early childhood development research with promising practices for practitioners, educators, and community based early childcare providers, to ensure that collectively we are growing healthy readers.

WELCOME

Sheena Wright

President and CEO, United Way of New York City

OPENING CONVERSATION

Strategic Alignment: Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships that Support Healthy Readers

Moderator: Nicole Gallant, SVP and Chief Impact Officer, United Way of New York City

  • Dawna Fields, National Program Manager, Colgate-Palmolive Company’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures
  • Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

NETWORKING BREAK

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KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Chris Caruso

Executive Director, Community Schools, NYC Department of Education

PANEL 1:

Ready For Reading: The Science of How Doctors and Parents Can Prepare Children to Succeed

MODERATOR: Kim Nauer, Educational Research Director, The New School Center for New York City Affairs

  • Dr. Aliza Pressman, Co-Founder, SeedlingsGroup and Clinical Instructor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Department of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Leora Mogilner, Director of Advocacy, Pediatric Department, Icahn School if Medicine at Mount Sinai and Medical Director, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York
  • Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center
  • Dr. Noel Manyindo, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

PANEL 2:

Building a culture of literacy in the home and in the community

MODERATOR: Dr. Lester Young, Jr. Regent at Large, The University of the State of New York

  • Rachel Payne, Coordinator of Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library
  • Amy Casanova, ReadNYC Parent
  • Aiowa Aponte, Parent Coordinator, P.S. 369
  • Alvin Irby, Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer, Barbershop Books

CLOSING REMARKS

Laurie Williams, Executive Director, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York

BIOGRAPHIES

AIOWA APONTE

Parent Coordinator, P.S. 369

As a parent coordinator at P.S. 369, Aiowa Aponte has learned a great deal about herself, her family, her community, and the world around her. As a parent of three wonderful children, she is still learning and growing. She has experienced many teachable moments and plently of wonderful moments. What she loves about her job is that it is very fulfilling and she has the ability to impact children and their families’ lives. She is truly grateful for the opportunity to do what she does- it has made her a better parent, a better friend, a better mom, a better employee, and a better person.

CHRISTOPHER CARUSO

Executive Director, Community Schools, NYC Department of Education

Christopher Caruso’s career has been at the intersection of schools and communities in the public and nonprofit sectors, dedicated to improving educational outcomes and creating more opportunities for young people in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. He is currently the founding Executive Director of the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Community Schools. He is building a citywide system of community schools, integrating social services with rigorous instruction, helping schools better serve children and families. Community schools stand as centers of opportunities, where families get the support they need to ensure students come to school ready and able to learn.

AMY CASANOVA

ReadNYC Parent

Amy Casanova was born and raised in the South Bronx. A mom of two children, she dedicates much of her time to engaging other parents in her community to pursue higher education and become active teachers in their children’s lives. After participating in East Side House settlement;s Early Learn parent governance model as the DAPC President and sitting on the citywide ACS Head Start Policy Council as the Community Representative, Casanova has decided to pursue her passion within the social services field. Currently obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Early Childhood Education, she also participates in community organizing as a fellow of President Obama’s Organizing for Action. Casanova aims to impact the poorest, most underrepresented communities in New York City, and empower residents to become self-sufficient and reliant.

DAWNA FIELDS

National Program Manager, Colgate-Palmolive Company’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures

Dawna Fields is the Director of Community Affairs for Colgate-Palmolive Company and is responsible for the company’s flagship outreach program”Bright Smiles, Bright Futures”. For 18 years, she has managed the company;s integrated dental health awareness initiative that is targeted at children and families across the United States. With demonstrated experience in public relations, event marketing, media relations, and coalition-building, she utilizes these skills to access more than 12 million children annually on behalf of Colgate. Fields is charged with building and managing external and internal partnerships.

NICOLE GALLANT

SVP and Chief Impact Officer, United Way of New York City 

Nicole Gallant leads United Way of New York City’s (UWNYC) work spanning education, health, income, and capacity building for New York City’s nonprofits. Before joining UWNYC, Gallant was Senior Advisor for the Annie E. Casey Foundation;s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Prior to joining the Campaign, Gallant was Senior Education Advisor for the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service. Gallant was also a Program Executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies, overseeing a $115 million domestic learning portfolio. She received her master;s and bachelor;s degrees from Columbia University, and her research appears in the Journal of Negro History.

ALVIN IRBY

Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer, Barbershop Books 

Alvin Irby is Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books,  a literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops. Irby’s debut children’s book, Gross Greg, will be published in the fall of 2016. As a national speaker and award winning entrepreneur, he has inspired thousands of children and adults. Irby received a Master’s in Education from Bank Street College of Education and completed a Master;s of Public Administration from new York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He has taught kidergarten and first grade in New York City and served as Education Director at the Boy’s Club of New York in East Harlem.

DR. NOEL MANYINDO

Assistant Commissioner, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Dr. Noel Manyiondo is a physician and public health professional. He is currently serving as the Assistant Commissioner of the Harlem District Public Health Office in the NYC Department of Health, where he is overseeing the development and implementation of strategic approaches to advance population health and well-being, reduce inequalities and strengthen community ownership of health. Prior to joining the NYC Health Department, Dr. Manyindo served as the Senior Director of Community Health and Wellness at the National Urban League.

Dr. Manyindo holds and MD degree, an MBA from the Howard University School of Business, and an MPH from the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, MA. His postgraduate training was in Family Medicine and Community Health.

DR. ALAN MENDELSOHN

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at new York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center..Dr. Mendelsohn’s research focus on poverty-related disparities in child development and school readiness, and pediatric primary care as a universal platform for prevention of disparities through promotion of reading and play (e.g., through Reach Out and Read and VideoInteraction project). Dr. Mendelsohn is also a co-author of an instrument (StimQ) to assess the the cognitive home environment in low-income households, which has been utilized by investigators in the US and internationally.

DR. LEORA MOGILNER

Director of Advocacy, Pediatric Department, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Medical Director, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York

Dr. Leora Mogilner is Director of Advocacy for the Pediatric Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and oversees resident training in Advocacy and Community pediatrics. She is Medical Director for Reach Out and Read (ROR) of Greater New York and founded the Mount Sinai ROR program. A member of the National AAP Early Literacy Subcommittee, she is a founder and co-director of the NYS Pediatric Advocacy Coalition (NYSPAC), a consortium of pediatric advocacy training directors and community organization in NY State dedicated to improving resident training in Advocacy and Community Pediatrics and advocating on behalf of children’s health in the state.

KIM NAUER

Education Research Director, The New School Center for New York City Affairs

Kim Nauer is Education Research Director of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School. She founded the Center for New York City Affairs Schools Watch Initiative, a project focused on creating a more effective school system for the City’s most disadvantaged students. She also assists Insideschools with research and data analysis. Nauer has co-authored major reports on New York City school administration and accountability, high school reform, chronic absenteeism, college preparation, and Common Core implementation. She is the lead author of FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students, which has been distributed to more than 85,000 students in New York City and nationwide. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut and a master;s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

RACHEL PAYNE

Coordinator of Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library

Rachel Payne is the coordinator of early childhood services at Brooklyn Public Library, where she has spearjeaded many of the library’s early literacy outreach initiatives. She serves on the advisory boards of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York and The New York City Infant-Toddler Resource Center. She has been a contributor to Reading with Babies, Toddlers, and Twos (2013), Library Services from Birth to Five (2015), Kirkus, Library Trends, and School library Journal. She chaired the 2016 Randolph Caldecott Award selection committees, and she has presented on early literacy at conferences nationwide.

ALIZA PRESSMAN, PhD

Co-Founder, SeedlingsGroup and Clinical Instructor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Aliza Pressman received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and MA in Risk, Resilience and Prevention from the department of Human Development at Teacher’s College and her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Columbia university Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was a research fellow at The National Center for Children and Families. Dr. Pressman is certified in parent management training from the Yale Parenting Center. She has been a clinical instructor at the Icahn School of Medicin at Mount Sinai in the Department of Pediatrics since 2011. Dr. Pressman is also the co-founder of the SeedlingsGroup, a New York City and Los Angeles parent education group that uses evidence-based research and information to educate and guide families about their developing children.

LAURIE WILLIAMS

Executive Director, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York

Laurie Williams, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Greater NY, is a seasoned leader with over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit field. Prior to joining Reach Out and Read she served as the Associate Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services, The Metropolitan Opera, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, NYU, and United Way. Williams holds a BA in English from New York University (NYU) and an MA in Psychology from NYU. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with an MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work.

SHEENA WRIGHT

President & CEO, United Way of New York City

Sheena Wright is President and CEO of United Way of New York City (UWNYC), the first woman to lead the organization in its nearly 80-year history. UWNYC is a trused partner to government, corporations, and community-based organizations and serves low-income New Yorkers. Prior to joining UWNYC, she served as President and CEO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. Sheena is a graduate of Columbia University, which she entered at age 16, received her law degree from Columbia Law School, and i a member of the New York State Bar. She was born and raised in the South Bronx and now lives in Harlem, New York with her three sons and daughter.

DR. LESTER YOUNG, JR. 

Regent At Large, The University of the State of New York

In March 2008, Dr. Lester Young, Jr. was appointed by the New York State Legislature as Regent At Large, The iUniversity of the State of New York. Re-elected to a 5-year term effective April 1, 2010 and in March 2015, Dr. Young was appointed by the New York State Legislature as Regent At Large for a third term effective April 1, 2015. Currently, he co-chairs the Regent’s P-12 Education Committee and chairs the Regents Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color and the Early Childhood Workgroup. Continuing his commitment to service, in JKuly 2014, Dr. Young was appointed to the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory group.

Copyright 2017 Reach Out And Read Greater New York