Fall Tokens

Fall In Love with Literacy

October 20, 2018

Workshop Schedule

Director's Schedule (2hr Certificate)

8:30 - 9:00        Registration and Breakfast

9:00 - 9:30        Brain Development with Dr. LaForte

9:30 -10:30       Tour of Odyssey Academy 

10:30 -10:40     Break

10:40 - 12:10    Director's Discussion

12:10 - 12:30    Surveys and Door Prizes

Teacher Schedule Option 1 (3hr Certificate)

8:30 - 9:00       Registration and Breakfast

9:00 - 9:30       Age Appropriate Music and Children's Books

9:30 - 10:30     Brain Development with Dr. LaForte

10:30 - 10:40   Break

10:40 - 12:10   Musical Instructional Techniques

12:10 - 12:30   Surveys and Door Prizes

Teacher Schedule Option 2 (3hr Certificate)

8:30 - 9:00      Registration and Breakfast

9:00 - 9:30      Age Appropriate Music and Children's Books

9:30 - 10:30    Transitioning to Kindergarten

10:30 - 10:40  Break

10:40 - 12:10  Age Appropriate Pre-K Fine Motor Skills

12:10 - 12:30  Surveys and Door Prizes

Session Topics

  • Gross Motor Skill Development

  • "Hands-in" Sensory Play

  • Preventing the Spread of Diseases and Handling Bodily Fluids Containing Blood

Providing low cost local professional development to Galveston's Early Childhood Professional Community would not be possible without the following entities:

  • Odyssey Academy for graciously allowing us to use their facilities

  • Lakeshore Learning for generous door prize donations

  • Galveston's Historic Pleasure Pier for exciting door prizes

  • Workshop volunteer staff for giving up their Saturday mornings!

  • SMART Family Literacy donors and partners such as the Moody Foundation, the Kempner Fund, Moody Methodist's Permanent Endowment Fund, the Ippolito Charitable Foundation, Valero, DSW Homes and so many more.



Presenter Bios

Dr. Suzanne LaForte  joined UTMB Pediatrics as faculty in 1998.  She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.  She received her doctorate and completed her residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. Dr. LaForte has a special interest in childhood literacy and is medical director for Reach Out and Read and Island Pediatrics Book Club literacy programs.  Dr. La Forte has previously served on the School Health Advisory Committee and currently carries many teaching responsibilities at UTMB in Galveston, TX.

Margie Kusnerik is a Principal of Rosenberg Elementary School in Galveston ISD.  Her years of dedication to all of the children in her classroom has risen above and beyond the expectations of an educator.  Now as a principal, her impact will reach even further.  You will not want to miss it asshe imparts her years of educational experiences to help ease the transition between Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Christine Ortiz-Gatlin is an Early Childhood Education expert who's resume boasts accomplishments such as leading and facilitating the daily operations of the San Jacinto Early Childhood Lab School as well as working with the Collaborative for Children in Houston in the wake of Harvey.  By staying well connected to the early childhood classroom, Christine's sessions will not only be valuable for the center director, but will emphasize the need for quality social-emotional learning in classrooms for all ages.

Elizabeth Turner originated SMART Parties twenty years ago to engage her son with Down's Syndrome in the excitement of reading aloud. From that idea, SMART Family Literacy emerged as a literacy outreach program reaching a large portion of Galveston County and is continuing to expand its positive impact.  With a continued dedication to literacy, healthy life choices, and supporting the dual language learner, Elizabeth is also a Texas Certified Teacher with a Special Education emphasis. Her musical approach to instructional techniques will help with behavior management strategies, cognitive goals, and language fun. 

Ginger Kieckbusch is the current Dean of Elementary Education at Odyssey Academy in Galveston.  With a BS in Elementary Education, an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, and over 25 years of practical school based experience, Ginger has a lot to add to the differentiated instructional strategies in regards to young learners.  Her music based sessions are always a big hit.  

Renee Templer recently retired from being the Director at Moody Methodist Day School.  Renee brings a wealth of knowledge from her years of experience in early childhood education and DFPS Minimum Standards.