What do children need to thrive in their early years and read proficiently by third grade?

Growing Healthy Readers: Half-Day Literacy Conference
brings together educators, researchers and children’s advocates to share strategies
that help children reach their academic potential and excel in school and in life.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
8:00am – 12:30pm
at Scholastic Inc. in New York City
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012


#healthyreaders @reachoutreadny @unitedwaynyc @scholastic


Welcome & Overview

VP and General Manager, Scholastic Classroom & Community Group

Program Director, Reach Out and Read of Greater New York

A Conversation on City-Wide Early Learning Strategies & Universal Pre-K

Two leading children’s advocates dialogue on Universal Pre-K and the city‘s approach to early learning opportunities that close the achievement gap.

Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, Office of the Mayor of New York City

CEO, United Way of New York City

Government Affairs Reporter, NBC 4 New York

Creating a Level Playing Field to Achieve Educational Parity

Speakers address strategies needed to ensure that children from at-risk backgrounds are in good health, able to access needed services, and developing on track for success in school.

Executive Director, Literacy and Academic Intervention Services, New York City Department of Education

Director, Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and Author, How Toddlers Thrive

Professor, University of Michigan School of Education

VP, Learning, Research & Intelligence, United Way of New York City

Community-Based Approaches to Early Learning and Brain Development

Speakers discuss how community organizations can collaborate to develop a coherent system of early care and education that aligns, integrates, and coordinates with children’s lives from birth and beyond.

Vice President of Community Health Development, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Senior Associate, Safir and Associates

Co-Director, Docs for Tots

Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Health Fund

Parent Education: A Critical Strategy to Reduce the Achievement Gap

Speakers explore how to encourage and empower parents, families, and caregivers to play essential roles as co-producers of successful educational outcomes for their children.

I.A. Principal, P.S. 49 Willis Avenue, Hub Area of the South Bronx

New Settlement Parent Action Committee (Member of the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice)

Executive Director, MASA, Inc.

CEO, Literacy Partners

Closing Remarks: A Vision for Our Children


About the Speakers

Richard BueryRichard R. Buery, Jr
Richard R. Buery, Jr. is New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives leading priority interagency efforts including Mayor de Blasio’s signature initiative to offer high quality pre-kindergarten programs; develop community schools; expand Middle School Afterschool programs; and Chair the NYC Children’s Cabinet. Deputy Mayor Buery has dedicated his life to improving educational opportunity and life outcomes for young people in America’s most disadvantaged communities. Previously, Buery was the tenth President and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society, which serves NYC’s neediest children and their families with a network of services and programs. In 2009, Buery was named one of Crain’s New York Business’s “40 Leaders of the Future Under 40” in recognition of his contributions to the life of NYC.
JECarillo_J. Emilio Carrillo, MD, MPH
Dr. J. Emilio Carrillo is the Vice President for Community Health Development at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic program to address health disparities and special health needs of minority and immigrant communities by partnering with local healthcare providers, community-based organizations, government agencies, and foundations. Prior to joining the Hospital in 1995 as Medical Director, and then President and Chief Medical Officer of the Community Health Plan, Dr. Carrillo was President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. In addition, he was principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s first community-based program designed to reduce smoking in the Latino community. Dr. Carrillo is an expert in the fields of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication in health care. He is also an associate professor of clinical public health and medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Carrillo received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health.
Esther Klein FriedmanEsther Klein Friedman, PHD
Dr. Esther Klein Friedman has served New York City students since the mid 1970s as a teacher of special education and reading in elementary, middle and high school, staff development trainer, principal in District Two, director of literacy and social studies in District Six, regional director of intervention services and local instructional superintendent in Region Ten, director of secondary school reform, director of academic intervention services K-12 at the New York City Department of Education central office, superintendent in District Three, and currently executive director of literacy and academic intervention services at the New York City Department of Education central office. Esther was born in Romania, and lived in two other countries before arriving in New York City the middle of first grade. She is a product of the New York City public schools, completed her undergraduate degree in education and psychology at Queens College and received a masters degree in special education and a Ph.D. in reading and learning disabilities from New York University. Her doctoral work focused on reading acquisition in struggling students. Esther’s professional interests include exploration into the challenges of and solutions for supporting achievement of students in urban schools, particularly in the area of literacy. Esther believes deeply in the transformative power of pedagogy and hopes to convince you of it as well.
Delaney GracyDelaney Gracy, MD, MPH
Dr. Delaney Gracy is committed to providing health care to the nation’s most medically under-served children.

As a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Gracy spent five years caring for homeless kids in New York City on board one of the Children’s Health Fund mobile clinics, each a state-of-the-art doctor’s office on wheels. While there, she also served as the Co-Director of the Childhood Asthma Initiative and as the Coordinator for Medical Students and Residents.

Now as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gracy guides the health care teams throughout the Children’s Health Fund National Network, integrating new technology with best practices to deliver the highest quality health care to kids who face the greatest health care barriers.

Delaney Gracy received her MD from Baylor University in 1999 and completed her pediatrics residency in San Diego in 2002. While in San Diego she began working with underserved children, arranging to work in a small clinic in Tijuana, Mexico as part of her continuity clinic.

She moved to New York to participate in a combined Academic Pediatrics and Public Health Fellowship at Columbia University School of Medicine and The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where she was involved in resident training and an HIV vertical transmission prevention program in the Dominican Republic. She completed her Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology in 2005.

Dr. Elizabeth IsaksonElizabeth A. Isakson, MD, FAAP
Dr. Isakson is Co-Director of Docs for Tots. She is a pediatrician and public health practitioner with 15 years of experience with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) and the New York Zero-to-Three Network (NYZTT). Her passion and support for early childhood systems integration (health, education, family) stems from her exposure to the short- and long-term human outcomes of an under-funded and misaligned system for families with young children.

Dr. Isakson has published multiple publications with the National Center for Children and Poverty (NCCP) across the systems of early care and education, health and family economic security. With NCCP and Susan Ochshorn of ECE PolicyWorks, she envisioned and executed the policy forum: Paid Family Leave: Getting it Right from the Start. Dr. Isakson sat on the executive committee of the board for the New York Zero-to-Three Network from 2008-2013, where she authored the 2008 report Unequal from the Start: a Check-up on NYC’s Infants and Toddlers. In addition to publications, she is a sought after speaker on issues of community and state systems to support healthy development in early childhood.

Dr. Isakson trained in General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of New York where she served as Chief Resident. She received her MD from University of Connecticut Medical School and is completing her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

Tovah KleinTovah Klein, PhD
Tovah Klein is Director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard College. At the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development (Toddler Center), Professor Klein and her research team study children’s social and emotional development, the influence of parents on children’s development, and the experience of being a parent in the early years. In addition to her work at Barnard, Professor Klein is a developmental advisor for Sesame Street, and serves on the advisory boards for Room to Grow, Rawanda Educational Assistance Project and NYC Voices of Childhood.
Angel MartinezAngel Martinez
Angel Martinez is a parent-activist with the New Settlement Parent Action Committee.  Founded in 1997, the Parent Action Committee is a multicultural group of concerned parents, guardians and community members dedicated to improving the quality of education for all children in New York City, with an emphasis on District 9 in the Bronx. The Committee organizes, empowers & educates parents/guardians, to defend their rights in the New York City public school system; develop and lead campaigns for school safety and school improvement; hold public school officials, elected officials, and government agencies accountable for the quality of education our children receive; and collaborate with Citywide agencies and coalitions to make real, lasting changes to our public school system.
Susan NeumanSusan B. Neuman, PhD
Susan B. Neuman is a Professor in Educational Studies at the University Of Michigan School Of Education, where she specializes in early literacy development. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, Dr. Neuman served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her accomplishments in this role include the establishment of the Early Reading First program, the Early Childhood Professional Development Education Program, and enhancing accountability efforts to improve children’s achievement.

At Michigan, Dr. Neuman has directed the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA), focusing early childhood policy, curriculum, and early reading instruction, pre-kindergarten – grade 3. She is also the Director of the Michigan Research Program on Ready to Learn, which includes projects all working to change the odds for children in poverty. Dr. Neuman has written more than 100 articles, and authored and edited eleven books, including the three volume Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Guilford Press) and Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital (Teachers College Press, 2012). Her most recent book, All About Words: Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom, Pre-k Through Grade 2 (Teachers College Press, 2013), is a practical guide designed to help early childhood teachers take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the Common Core State Standards.

Melissa RussoMelissa Russo
Melissa Russo is an award-winning Government Affairs Reporter with NBC 4 New York, covering New York politics and policy for more than a decade. In addition to Russo’s ongoing coverage of City Hall, she has brought attention to the struggles of New York’s most vulnerable citizens including children, the elderly, and the homeless, which has resulted in changes to government policy.
SWright_Sheena Wright
Sheena Wright is President and CEO of United Way of New York City(“UWNYC”). In October 2012, Wright made history becoming the first female president to lead the organization in its 76-year history. UWNYC is a nonprofit, community service organization with a long and rich history. As one of the best-known nonprofits and part of the worldwide United Way brand, UWNYC mobilizes NYC communities to eradicate barriers and create opportunities that improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers for the benefit of all. Prior to joining United Way, Sheena served as President and CEO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. Sheena is a graduate of Columbia University, received her law degree from Columbia Law School, and is a member of the New York State Bar.

About the Campaign for Grade Level Reading

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Brochure

Read the Campaign Brochure

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation—grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, United Way of New York City, and Scholastic Inc. are cohosting Growing Healthy Readers: Half -Day Literacy Conference to bring together educators, medical providers, policy makers, children’s advocates, and early childhood specialists to focus on strategies to ensure that children from at-risk families develop on-track for success in school, and highlight findings from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.




Copyright 2014 Reach Out And Read Greater New York