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5 Essentials for Inspiring Young Learners with the Science of Reading

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

5 Essentials for Inspiring Young Learners with the Science of Reading

Presented by Jackie Mader, Senior Early Childhood Reporter, The Hechinger Report; Dr. Nicol Russell, Vice President of Implementation Research, Teaching Strategies; and Ryan Lee-James, PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief Academic Officer, Atlanta Speech School (GA), and Director, Rollins Center

Sponsored by Teaching Strategies, LLC

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In this edWebinar, discover how the Science of Reading can shape best practices and policies in your early childhood program so that children develop a deep reading brain and are primed for success in elementary school.

Experts and authors at Teaching Strategies, a company focused solely on early learning for more than 45 years, are joined by Hechinger Report and Atlanta Speech Schools to review what the Science of Reading is and what it is not, discuss practical, easy-to-implement, research-based guidance for effectively and intentionally supporting young children’s language development and literacy learning, to best prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond. Presenters share five essentials for Science of Reading success for early learners, including:

  1. Promoting functional literacy through studies
  2. Playing with pre-reading skills
  3. Teaching intentional literacy experiences
  4. Offering meaningful book discussions
  5. Inspiring families with modeled literacy moments

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-3 teachers and school and district leaders.

Jackie Mader

About the Presenters

Jackie Mader is a senior reporter for The Hechinger Report where she has reported on early childhood education since 2016 and writes a bi-weekly newsletter covering the early years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and USA Today, and has been recognized with awards from The New York Press Club, The Newswomen’s Club of New York, and the Education Writers Association, among others. Prior to covering early childhood, she reported on K-12 education for The Hechinger Report, led The Report’s coverage of education in Mississippi and wrote Education Week’s rural education blog. In 2021, Jackie was an early childhood reporting fellow with The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. She is currently completing a Spencer Fellowship at the Columbia Journalism School, where she is reporting on child care quality and policy. Prior to becoming a journalist, Jackie taught middle school special education in North Carolina and trained new teachers in the Mississippi Delta.

Nicol Russell

Dr. Nicol Russell currently serves as Vice President of Implementation Research for Teaching Strategies, LLC. She has been an ECE teacher, a school administrator, a Head Start State Collaboration Director, and a State-level administrator for the Arizona Department of Education. She is a member of the ReadOn Arizona State Advisory Board and is a former board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Her research interests include studying the implementation practices of early learning programs and considering ways to create more equitable opportunities for BIPOC children and educators. Dr. Russell holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in early childhood and early childhood special education and a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership.

Dr. Ryan Lee-James

Dr. Ryan Lee-James is an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, researcher, and published author with expertise in language development, language disorders, and literacy in the context of linguistic differences and socioeconomic disadvantage.

In her current role as the Chief Academic Officer and Director of the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School, she is responsible for developing, curating, and honing academic programming for the Speech School’s programs and Clinic that serve children who are deaf or hard of hearing, have speech and language delays, or are dyslexic. Through the Rollins Center and its free, equity-based, online Cox Campus, Dr. Lee-James is also responsible for overseeing and designing the implementation and evaluation of large-scale, community-based projects aimed at radical change in language and literacy outcomes for children from birth through 3rd grade who have been disenfranchised by inequitable systems.

Before joining the team at the Atlanta Speech School, she had the privilege of training and mentoring graduate-level speech-language pathologists as a member of the Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty at Adelphi University in New York. Dr. Lee-James is honored to serve as the incoming Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice for the American Speech Language Hearing Association and to serve on numerous national and local boards to realize Literacy and Justice for All.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Teaching Reading and Writing community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Teaching StrategiesTeaching Strategies helps early childhood educators provide the foundation for success for every child by connecting teachers, children, and families to intentional teaching and learning experiences, insightful data, and stronger partnerships through the leading early learning platform and award-winning curriculum solutions.


Teaching Strategies. As the leading early childhood education provider, we help teachers impact over 4,000,000 children’s lives each year.

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