Embracing Positivity, Inclusivity, and ELLs in the Nation's Largest School District
This presentation will examine innovation around the successful application of the LitWorld 7 Strengths pedagogy for summer literacy in the country’s largest school district. Focusing on the three foundational pillars of engagement, social emotional exploration, and literacy skill development, the LitWorld 7 Strengths pedagogy uses self exploration and community celebration as a gateway to literacy skill acquisition and to discovering and embracing a literacy identity. This session will explore 7 major innovations used by the NYC DOE to embrace english language learners and all students in their summer learning initiative: 1. A Focus on the Child’s Own Stories 2. The Dynamic Role of the Read Aloud 3. The Impact of Culturally Responsive Literature 4. The Importance of Mother Tongue Texts and Instruction 5. The Benefit of a Global Perspective 6. The Deep Value of Community and Family Participation 7. District Support and Cross Sector Partnership and Collaboration
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Cynthia Felix Jeffers is a highly respected and accomplished educator who has dedicated her 28 year career with the NYCDOE to ensuring all students in particular English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities have access to and receive a high quality education. She has extensive knowledge of and expertise in supporting the instructional needs of diverse student populations and has been instrumental in planning and implementing bilingual programs in New York City. She is currently the Senior Director of Bilingual Programs in the Division of Multilingual Learners and oversees the planning implementation and sustainability of bilingual programs. Her past leadership experiences have spanned the realm of education, and include serving as Network Leader, Instructional Support Specialist, Administrator of Special Education, Curriculum Specialist, Director of Parent Outreach, Director of Bilingual/ESL Programs, Bilingual and Monolingual Teacher and her favorite PTA Mom. In addition, she has presented at national and local conferences and has served as a guest lecturer for colleges and universities. She is a proud alumnus of NYC public schools and graduated summa cum laude from Brooklyn College with an Advanced Certificate in School Administration & Supervision, a Master's Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Education & Speech.
Martha Martin Perez currently is the Associate Director of Engagement and Policy in the New York City Department of Education’s Division of Multilingual Learners in New York City. Prior to moving to NYC, she served two decades in California as a Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language, Academic Development Credentialed Dual Language Elementary educator, Middle School International Baccalaureate Magnet Lead and bilingual literacy Instructional Coach. Martha also supported districts in California, Arizona, Alaska, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida developing equity for Long Term English Language Learners with Academic Language, Literacy and College and Career Readiness. Martha holds her BA in Chican@ Latin@ Studies from Sonoma State University, Masters in Education in Innovative Learning from Touro California. In addition, she is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Brandman University and is the lead faculty member in the Culturally Intelligent Leader Thematic Dissertation.
Amber Peterson is the Director of Program Innovation at LitWorld, a non-profit that promotes literacy and social emotional development through storytelling. In her role, she oversees the creation, maintenance, and revision of new programs, projects and curriculum, and the development of the LitWorld pedagogy and curriculum brand. Amber holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, Theater, and Geology from Oberlin College, and a Masters in Education from St. John's University. Before LitWorld, she worked as a public school teacher, educational consultant, and educational coach in the United States and abroad.