Posts Tagged ‘school’

New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership: A Working Group of the New Jersey Council for Young Children

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership is working to accomplish these five specific goals:
  1. To develop and maintain an interagency, collaborative state leadership team to develop policies, procedures, and other mechanisms for the planning, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of a standardized professional development system that supports the use of The Pyramid Model and practices;
  2. To connect currently existing systems and programs in the statewide implementation of The Pyramid Model;
  3. To provide all of the early childhood community with the support needed to implement The Pyramid Model with fidelity;
  4. To ensure families are knowledgeable about and have access to programs that implement The Pyramid Model; and
  5. To ensure that the public and public and private funding sources recognize The Pyramid Model as an evidence-based approach that promotes the healthy social-emotional development of infants and young children.

Projected Results:

  • Increas-e social skills and positive behaviors in infants and young children
  • Enhance awareness of the significance of early childhood mental health
  • Strengthen family participation in the development of social-emotional competence in infants and young children
  • Increase the number of high quality programs available to families of infants and young children
  • Reduce the number of problem behavior incidents in young children
  • Increase engagement thereby reducing the number of behavioral referrals for social/emotional issues in young children
  • Enrich the knowledge and skills of the early childhood community in an effort develop and maintain social-emotional competence and reduce the number of problem behavior incidents among infants and young children
  • Boost young children’s participation in general education by strengthening social-emotional competence and reducing the number of related behavioral referrals
New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership Leadership Team Members:

  • Suzanne Burnette, New Jersey Head Start Collaboration Director
  • Denise Bouyer Hargrove, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network NJ
  • Andrea Breitwieser, Department of Children and Families, Division of Family and Community Partnerships
  • Pamela Brillante, William Paterson University
  • Rob Corso, Pyramid Model Consultant
  • Gerry Costa, Center for Autism & Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University
  • Tonya Coston, Office of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Nezzie DeFrank, Programs for Parents
  • Loray Dobson, Preschool Intervention and Referral Team, Camden Public Schools
  • Keri Giordano, Children’s Learning Center, New Jersey City University
  • Amy Goerl, Early childhood and special education consultant
  • Sunday Gustin, Department of Children and Families, Division of Family and Community Partnerships
  • Terry Harrison, Part C Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Kathleen Priestley, Early childhood and Special Education Consultant
  • Barbara Tkach, Part B Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Ellen Samitt, HOPES CAP, Inc.
  • Cynthia Schaefer, New Jersey Office of Licensing
  • Liz Vaughan, Office of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Department of Education
Our Vision:

All infants and young children ages 0-8 in New Jersey will have the opportunity to develop social emotional competence

Our Mission:

Utilizing The Pyramid Model, the New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership will create an integrated approach to support all who work with infants and young children ages 0-8 and their families to develop social-emotional competence.


This group was started in 2009 with a shared vision of increasing the social-emotional competency of infants and young children across New Jersey through the implementation of The “Pyramid Model for Supporting Social-Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children” (the Pyramid Model). The Pyramid Model is a conceptual model of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s social-emotional competence and preventing and addressing challenging behavior. Developed by two national training centers (the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Interventions for Young Children (TACSEI)) and funded by the Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this evidence-based model represents a sound framework for early care and educator systems.

The New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership is an interagency, collaborative working group with the purpose of putting in place the mechanisms required to adopt, implement, and sustain the Pyramid Model in the state of New Jersey. In 2012, the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health subcommittee of the New Jersey Council for Young Children developed a goal to promote and implement The Pyramid Model statewide and funded the work.

For more information about the Pyramid Model approach, please visit: For additional information about the New Jersey Pyramid Model Partnership, contact Keri Giordano at: or 201-200-3342.


The White House Announces ‘Lights. Camera. Education!’ for student filmmakers! Make a short film by Wed 1/29/14

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Lights. Camera. Education!

Deadline: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Are you a student filmmaker? Know someone who is? We want your help.

If you’re a student, we want you to make a short film — and have the chance to show it right here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the first-ever White House Student Film Festival. If you’re a parent or a friend, pass this on to a student you know.

The topic? Technology in classrooms. There’s huge power in what technology can do for education — from taking a course online, to collaborating with students from across the country (or the world!)

We’re looking for awesome student filmmakers to show the power of technology in classrooms in a short film.

If that sounds like you — or someone you know — go to and find out how you can participate.

But hurry! You’ve only got until January 29th to send in your submission. So, if it’s going to get “two thumbs up,” you’d better start now.

Not a K-12 student?

Forward this to someone who is at:

Click below to watch a video about the
White House Student Film Festival

Join us! Thurs Jan 23, 2014 2-3pm EST for ‘Afterschool and the Common Core State Standards’ Webinar

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Click here to register today!

With the goal of better preparing students for college and careers, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards in both English Language Arts and Math.  As more schools begin to implement the Common Core, afterschool programs have the opportunity to support the learning that takes place during the school day and align programming to bolster students’ academic growth and achievement. Come and join us on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 2-3pm ESTfor this exciting webinar!

Guest speakers include a mix of teachers and afterschool leaders who are currently working to integrate Common Core within local afterschool programs.  This webinar will introduce the afterschool field to the Common Core and highlight the role afterschool programs are playing to support learning around these standards.

Guest Speakers:

  • Liz Bamberg; Teacher, Bridge the Gap College Prep
  • Kelly Matteri; Teacher, Bridge the Gap College Prep
  • Jen Wheeler; Teaching and Learning Manager, Baltimore Urban Debate League
  • Tangee Allen; Co-Founder, Raising Expectations
  • Maria Armstrong; Co-Founder, Raising Expectations
  • Nikki Yamashiro; Research Associate, Afterschool Alliance

Job Posting: South Brunswick Community Education Site Coordinator

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

South Brunswick Community Education is looking for a Site Coordinator to run an elementary after school program serving students in grades K-5. The ideal candidate will have a BA/BS in education or a related field, and at least two years experience working with school-age groups, preferably in a leadership role. Candidates with an Associate’s degree and 8+ years of experience in school age care will be considered as well.

We are looking for someone with strong communication skills who can run a quality afterschool program serving a diverse population of students and families.

This position offers paid holidays, personal days, and the school district’s benefits package.


  1. Oversee program activities and staff, including meeting regularly with staff individually and in teams to develop quality programming meeting the needs of a diverse student population
  2. Work with all children in various settings – set up positive behavior expectations, use appropriate strategies to handle student concerns, collaborate with School Age Care Manager and building staff/administration to meet all students’ needs
  3. Build positive relationships with parents/guardians by communicating with families on a regular basis and creating family events
  4. Follow Community Education policies and procedures; assure staff does likewise
  5. Meet regularly with School Age Care Manager
  6. Attend in-service and orientations
  7. Other duties as assigned

Reports to: School Age Care Manager

Hours: 2:15- 6:15 PM Monday through Friday, plus meetings and staff development (10 month position)

Salary: $15,995 stipend

Interested applicants should apply online through the South Brunswick School District Human Resources Department at: or e-mail Sheila Barry, School Age Care Manager, at:

UMDNJ’s Mom2Mom peer support initiative announces new collaboration

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

Since its launch in fall 2010, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Mom2Mom peer support initiative has been successfully caring for the mental and emotional health of mothers of special needs children in Essex, Union and Morris Counties, reaching 958 families. Today I am proud to announce that the 24/7 Mom2Mom helpline and related services are now available to parents of children with special needs statewide.

The Department of Children and Families is truly excited to collaborate with Mom2Mom on this important project as we see it as a natural partnership based on a mutual mission at heart. Supporting our caregivers through difficult times and in moments of despair is not only fundamental to ensuring the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable of populations – particularly children with special needs – but also to the well-being and success of every member of a respective family.

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting the Mom2Mom call center at UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare in Piscataway where I had the good fortune to meet, speak with and welcome the new peer counselors who will be staffing this important helpline.

Nicole Pratt is one of the new peer counselors.  She is a single mother of two special needs children, who has been a helpline caller since Mom2Mom’s inception. Nicole said she learned about Mom2Mom at a time when she was feeling overwhelmed and stressed by her daughter’s difficult progress and she needed someone to talk to. Nicole said the counselors have been a big help – just by talking to her or calling to see how she was doing. I was very moved by Nicole’s words: “They guide me, calm me and help me think clearly.”

After her experience as a caller to the Mom2Mom helpline, Nicole, who has advocated for children with special needs through community and state organizations and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, decided to train as a counselor because she felt she had so much to share regarding her own experience raising children with two different types of disabilities and the knowledge she has gathered as a parent and advocate.

Nicole expressed her feelings which I couldn’t agree with more. She said, “Unless someone is living the same life, they can only try to understand what we are going through. It’s important for moms of children with special needs to talk to other moms who share their experience and can guide and uplift them.”

The free Mom2Mom helpline can be reached at 877-914-MOM2. Peer support via live online chat is also available at:

I want to thank all the peer counseling staff, as well as Cherie Castellano, director of Mom2Mom, and Christopher Kosseff, UBHC President and CEO for their hospitality yesterday. I commend each of them for their daily commitment to the mission of serving mothers and families of children with special needs.


Warm regards,

Allison Blake, PhD, LSW
NJ Department of Children and Families