As a mother, mentor and life-long learner, my daughter is the inspiration for my materials. I have worked to improve educational opportunities for children as a legislative advocate for high quality early care and education in Washington, DC. I also served on the leadership team that launched the high quality educational programming brand, PBS KIDS, for Public Broadcasting Service. More recently, I worked for The Washington Post as a Manager of Advertising Promotions. I received my BA from Yale University, an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, and an MBA from American University. But my most challenging position by far has been that of mother. Thank goodness my daughter has had wonderful teachers to help guide me along the way. It was one of her teachers, an angel really, that helped us during a particularly challenging time. While my daughter was as excited as I was about her starting preschool, separation anxiety reduced her to tears morning after morning. I asked a teacher friend for help. She recommended I take photos of the school and share them with my daughter. So I glued together a little booklet of her school photos, discussed it with her and then -- I couldn’t get her to put it down! My daughter wanted to look at it again and again. That’s how the idea for School is New to Me and supporting materials was born. I created this book to help other children and parents/caregivers who face a challenge similar to mine. There also is a toolkit for teachers called the “Teacher Templates Toolkit,” in addition to the “Student Templates Toolkit.” I welcome your feedback!
Family Engagement in the Transition to any Early Education Setting - Kindergarten is critical. Also, promote Learning through Play.
READ THE BOOK REVIEWS... "…[I]t truly is a great resource for carrying you and your child through the first nervous few months of school! Not only can it reinforce all the critical foundational literacy skills of that first year, it helps your child learn confidence, independence, and most importantly, self-regulation in new and strange environments. These exercises are do-able for all those moms and dads who want to be a part of their child's exciting new stage of development but don't know where and how to start!” -- Jennifer Gerst, M.Ed., Mother of Kindergartener *** “ …[L]ove the book! It is great resource to help early learners and parents prepare for and navigate through the transition process with ease. As a Pre-K Teacher and Parent Educator, I love the Teacher and Student Templates Toolkits. The creative and fun personalized activities help develop written language skills and make wonderful keepsakes. I’m adding it to my library and sharing it with my students and families.” *** -- Stephanie Smith, M.Ed., NBCT - Teacher, Montgomery County, MD Public Schools *** “[L]ove this book. I especially like that the photos are of children actively learning in school as opposed to animals… or [other] characters starting school. This gives each child a realistic idea of what to expect and it also gives parents a platform on how to discuss starting school. I'm going to get a copy to share with my niece… as she starts kindergarten next fall.” -- Monica Evans, M. Ed. - Former Teacher, Washington, DC Public Schools
I received my BA from Yale University, an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, and an MBA from American University.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE For The "SCHOOL IS NEW TO ME" SERIES: * Lisa Ward, M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, Washington, DC * Natasha Lopez, M.Ed., Teacher, Arlington County, VA Public Schools * Stephanie Smith, M.Ed., NBCT, Teacher, Montgomery County, MD Public Schools * Jennifer Gerst, M.Ed., Project Manager for Education Programs in Developing Countries * Monica Evans, M. Ed., Former Teacher, Washington, DC Public Schools