During the 2022 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference, staff of the Region 8 CC and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) team members gave three presentations. The workshops presented were: Expanding Pathways to Build Diverse and Qualified Field: Learning from One State’s Journey, Youth Development Credentials: Addressing the Need for a Growing Pool of Out-of-School Time Professionals to Tackle Learning Recovery, and Equitable Family-School Partnerships to Support High Early Literacy Outcomes. Presenters were given anywhere from an hour to two hours to present on their research regarding diverse teacher pools, youth development, or family-school engagement in early literacy.
First, Region 8 CC Technical Assistance Specialist Kathy Thornburg presented a session entitled Expanding Pathways to Build Diverse and Qualified Field: Learning from One State’s Journey, with MDE’s Robin Zeiter discussing stackable credentials and the state’s free early education courses students can complete to earn such credentials. Presenters also explored the need for clear messaging to high school students about the state’s program supporting the development of early educators.
The second session, presented by MDE staff members Shanon Everett and Melissa Manko, was entitled Equitable Family-School Partnerships to Support High Early Literacy Outcomes. This session sought to increase participants’ awareness of equitable family engagement practices in early literacy that can enhance learning outcomes for all students, improve trusting relationships with families, and improve families’ self-efficacy. Presenters discussed the differences between family involvement and family engagement and reviewed the MDE’s family engagement definition, principles, and resources. They also described how they identified equitable family engagement practices in early literacy, and examined the benefits of promoting prekindergarten through third grade literacy development.
MDE staff members Lorraine Thoreson and Cathy Hengesbaugh, and Region 8 CC Technical Assistance Specialist Sheila Brookes presented Youth Development Credentials: Addressing the Need for a Growing Pool of Out-of-School Time Professionals to Tackle Learning Recovery. The goals of the workshop were to describe the Michigan Youth development (MI-YDA), discuss the pathway to earn the MI-YDA credential in high school, and detail benefits of developing or strengthening a youth development credential in other states. Presenters also discussed how youth development professionals can help address learning in out-of-school time programs.