(Posted July 22, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- More than 100 educators from across the state will meet with other scholars at the Governor's Institute for Early Childhood Educators held July 21-26 on the campus of Juniata College.

The group is comprised of teachers, caregivers, administrators and professors who specialize in early childhood education - birth through third grade.

"This Governor's Institute is unique because it is the first Institute designed tp provide an advanced experience for participants who previously attended another early childhood educator's Institute or a Read to Succeed," says Fay Glosenger, Martin G. Brumbaugh Professor of Education at Juniata and site director for the Institute.

Participants will study early literacy, with a special focus on writing, examine the PA Academic Standards and Early Childhood Indicators, explore instructional technology and develop an action plan to implement at their own worksites what they have learned.

"This is the third year that Juniata has hosted the Pennsylvania Governor's Institute for Early Childhood Educators," says Glosenger. "We are delighted to contribute to state efforts to enhance the quality of education and care for young children in Pennsylvania."

This year the Pennsylvania Department of Education authorized two early childhood institutes at two college campuses in the state; the other institute was held at Villanova University in Philadelphia, July 7-12. Glosenger says Juniata received a $120,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education grant to host the event.

The 100 teachers who attend the institute will receive two graduate credits.

The conference opens with registration at 1 p.m., Sunday, July 21 at Ellis College Center and a welcome delivered by Dr. Corinne Eisenhart, early childhood advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. At 7 p.m., there will be a keynote session, "Young Children and Stories," by Sara Willoughby Herb, retired professor of education at Shippensburg University and assistant professor of special education at Penn State University, and Steven Herb, Education Librarian at Penn State.

On Monday, July 22, Julie Broz and Michelle Hennessy, representatives of the Education Department of Western Australia, will present a keynote session, "Linking Assessment, Teaching and Learning with a Developmental Continuum" at 8:30 a.m. The rest of the day will be devoted to presentations on the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and a presentation on "The Pennsylvania Literacy Framework" at 2:45 p.m. by Diane Dickson, language arts education adviser, Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Tuesday, July 23 is dedicated to using writing skills in early childhood education. The 8:15 a.m. keynote session is presented by associates of Columbia University teachers College: Natalie Louis, first grade teacher at P.S. 163 in New York City, and Abby Oxenhorn, kindergarten teacher at P.S. 116 in New York City. The talk focuses on "Units of Study in a Yearlong Primary Writing Curriculum." At 2:45 p.m., Karen Lindbergh, an educational consultant for Intermediate Unit 8, and Barbara Brown, a kindergarten teacher at Portage Elementary School, will make the presentation "Developing Early Writers."

The sessions on Wednesday, July 24, start at 8:15 a.m. with the presentation "Writer's Workshop: Leaning on Authors to Support Writers," by Tracy Valentino and Amy Sniezek, both representatives of the Sharon City School District's Case Avenue Elementary School. At 1 p.m., the keynote session "Developing a Literacy Action Plan" will be presented by Meg Still, an educational specialist with Rigby Professional Development Inc., in Alumni Hall.

Writing and literacy set the agenda for Thursday, July 25, starting at 8:15 a.m. with a reprise presentation of "Writer's Workshop: Leaning on Authors to Support Writers." At 10 a.m., Susan Pannebaker, of the Commonwealth Library, will present An Early Literacy Partner: The Library," followed by "You Can Count on Mother Goose: Integrating Early Literacy and Numeracy," at 10:30 a.m., also presented by Pannebaker. At 1 p.m. Fran Langan, professor of education at Keystone College in La Plume, Pa., presents the program "An Introduction to Early Childhood Assessment," followed at 2:30 p.m. by "Using Technology to Enhance Early Literacy in a Standards-based Learning Environment" by Jed Friedrichsen, director of online course development and training for Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11. At 7 p.m. Rose Gioia-Fine, family literacy lead training coordinator for Pennsylvania Family Literacy, will speak on "Caring Hands Joining Families and Learning."

In addition, attendees will learn how to create a brochure, Web page or a PowerPoint presentation at Juniata's Teaching-Learning-Technology Center.

The Institute wraps up Friday, July 26 with several presentations on assessing the week's accomplishments. The PA Governor's Institute for Early Childhood Educators is one of 29 Pennsylvania Governor's Institutes and Academies held in 24 different areas across the state this summer.

For more information, visit the state's Web site at http://www.pde.state.pa.us, or call Fay Glosenger, chair of education, at Juniata College at (814) 641-3645.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.