Early Childhood Dialogues by Family Connection of Easton

Kindergarten Connection holds two-to-four Early Childhood Dialogues per year. We invite preschool and kindergarten teachers, administrators, school board members, city government officials, parents and community partners, and have begun to invite participants from across the Lehigh Valley with our understanding that successful transition cannot succeed without the support of all.

This is a professional development event and attendees are able to acquire ACT 48 or PQAS. These events are held at various locations from 6-8 pm. A light dinner is provided. We are now initiating an optional last hour for coffee, cake and discussion.

The purpose of the dialogues is to educate, and participants are surveyed after each one. The survey asks attendees for ideas for topics for future presentations. In addition to education, dialogues are a means of connecting the many partners to the transition work being done in Easton.

Initially our presentations attracted a group of about 20 and our presenters were preschool/kindergarten teachers. We have grown in number to nearly 70 attendees and our recent presenters have come from institutions of higher education. Each dialogue opens with a few words from a community partner in order to familiarize the group with the work of these transition team members.

A review of some of our topics and presenters includes: Ken Smythe Leistico from the Reddy Freddy/University of Pittsburgh who spoke on the importance of Kindergarten Transition work. We had a presentation by the IU on fine motor skills. The Director of NYU’s preschool program presented the Reggio philosophy. Northampton Community College has been an invaluable partner, presenting on The Importance of Play and two recent presentations (back a second time due to teacher request) on Reading and Writing Skills (Portfolios) for Preschool and Kindergarten students.

On March16, Lehigh University will provide some help with behavior issues, which is a growing problem in classrooms everywhere.

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