Allie Rhodes standing by a KARRN poster

HDI 50th Anniversary Spotlight — Allie Rhodes

I was blessed to be a part of an organization that works to make life better for ALL individuals through collaboration with organizations across many different fields. Having won the Paul Kevin Burberry award is one of my greatest accomplishments because of what it represents. As described when I was presented the award, it is given to those who have (to quote) demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities through university and community projects and experiences, demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence in his or her chosen field of endeavor and demonstrated the leadership qualities exemplified by Kevins own life. To know that I had a small part in demonstrating this positively affects many of the decisions I make today.  —Allie Rhodes

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Two young preschool-aged boys working with a teacher on a puzzle.

Fund for Excellence Awarded for Teacher Effectiveness Study

We’re excited to share that HDI is offering a Fund for Excellence grant this year entitled “Teacher Effectiveness Pilot,” led by Dr. Caroline Gooden, Growing Together Preschool’s (GTP) Director Cerise Bouchard, and Education Coordinator Denise Menshouse.

The Teacher Effectiveness Pilot (TEP) will be conducted at Growing Together Preschool (GTP) in Lexington, with the full support of Director Cerise Bouchard and her staff. Four of GTPs classroom teachers will be the focus of the pilot, as classrooms where the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta et al., 2008) is administered three times a year. Teachers will be rated on their classroom climate, teacher sensitivity, and productivity. Teacher goals relative to CLASS scores will be updated quarterly and will inform progress with the TEP. Continue reading

Photo of two children playing together at the library.

HDI and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) Work to Create School Ready Libraries

By Mary Howard and Stephanie Meredith

HDI and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) have worked for the past three years to prepare Kentucky libraries to be “School Ready Libraries” through funding  from a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant at the Institute of Museum and Library Science. To fulfill the goals of this grant, HDI and KDLA have worked with Kentucky public library staff to provide them with the training and skills needed to implement successful school readiness programs. Through this project, KDLA hopes to provide access to essential knowledge of early childhood development to librarians so they can help students get ready for school at a young age and have the best chances for success. Check out the Kentucky School Ready Libraries website.​

“This was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationship with an important community partner. This collaboration provided a chance to help educate on effective early childhood practices and also share information about what we do at HDI. A great opportunity that will hopefully lead to further work with KDLA in the future.”   —Mary Howard, HDI Research and Development Associate

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Spring Seminar: “Seeing STARS: Children with Special Needs in Early Care Settings”

This seminar is designed to engage staff from early care settings across Kentucky in new ways to see the ‘STARS’ in our young children with special needs. The seminar will review appropriate ways to identify and include children with special needs in their early care settings. We will introduce practical resources for screening, assessment, and inclusion of children with disabilities, and offer strategies for implementation of each area.” – Dr. Caroline Gooden 

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