read to succeed professional development

Please contact Elandriel Lewis with any questions.

For information on upcoming webinars, click here.

View Read to Succeed’s 2022 training summary here.

View Read to Succeed’s Family Webinar Series here.

Read to Succeed Professional Development is designed to increase equity of access to high-quality professional development for early childhood professionals and caregivers. We offer two types of trainings: weekly webinars and individual sessions. 

Weekly Webinar Series

These weekly early childhood webinars occur live on Tuesdays at noon CST via Zoom. All sessions are eligible for Tennessee Department of Human Services credit certificate. Certificates are provided after viewing the webinar and completing a reflection form via the unique Google Form link for each webinar.

Recordings of these webinars are moving to a new platform for a better user experience. Currently some are located here and some are on the new platform. The new site is still free to use but will require you to register. View our calendar of upcoming webinars.

8/15/23: The Joy of Reading | Presenter: Klem-Marí Cajigas

This interactive workshop will show teachers how to help parents nurture their child’s LOVE for books and reading. We’ll discuss the magic of reading aloud and practice developing narrative skills through dialogic reading. We’ll share favorite books, and other ways to make book time a good time. 1-hour of TN DHS credit is available upon completion of the reflection form/quiz. United Way of Greater Nashville is a Pre-Approved Institution with TrainTN. Documentation of attendance and participation should be entered by your TNPAL verified director in their TrainTN Director Portal.

About the Presenter: Klem-Marí Cajigas has been with Nashville Public Library since 2012, after more than a decade of academic training in Religious Studies and Ministry, including doctoral work at Vanderbilt University. As the Family Literacy Coordinator for Bringing Books to Life!, Nashville Public Library’s award-winning early literacy outreach program, she delivers family literacy workshops to a diverse range of local communities. She writes book reviews and other articles for the NPL Children’s Blog, and since September 2020, has been a regular contributor to Global Literatures in Libraries Initiative. She has also presented for several national organizations, including National Center for Families Learning, the Public Library Association, and Bank Street College of Education. In recognition of her work, she was named a 2021 Library Journal “Mover and Shaker.” Born in Puerto Rico, Klem-Marí is bilingual, bicultural, and proudly Boricua.

6/6/23: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in ECE Includes Neurodiversity | Presenter: Dr. Kathleen Seabolt

Educational organizations often wish for transformative Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policies and practice but may settle for merely performative activities. In early childhood programs, authentic EDI gains begin with intentionally inclusive staffing—this includes recruitment of individuals who are neurodivergent and/or have cognitive differences. One hour of TN DHS credit is available upon completion of a reflection form/quiz. United Way of Greater Nashville is a Pre-Approved Institution with TrainTN. Documentation of attendance and participation should be entered by your TNPAL verified director in their TrainTN Director Portal.

About the Presenter: A consultant in Workforce Development, Early Childhood Education, Leadership and Management, Kathleen Seabolt is executive director for the Child and Family Center at Vanderbilt University. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Communications and Social Policy from Mills College and studied Communications at Chapman University. A former kindergarten teacher, Kathleen is passionate about Nature Education and fostering children’s love of language and literature.

Vanderbilt Child & Family Center (VCFC) provides support and resources to the community of Vanderbilt families across the spectrum of life as reflected in our provision of new parent support, early childhood education, family life resources and elder care support.

5/23/23: Healing Centered Leadership, Part 4 | Presenter: Annie Paraison

Join Annie Paraison, founder of Love Before All, LLC, as she presents “Healing Centered Leadership, part 4” This five-session series is designed to support social workers and leaders to care for their population from a trauma-informed care lens. In session 4, participants will understand the role of self-awareness in promoting success for self and others.

This session is a part of our Conscious Discipline/SEL series and is appropriate for teachers, instructional coaches, leadership, and caregivers of children of all ages. 1-hour of TN DHS credit is available upon completion of the reflection form/quiz.United Way of Greater Nashville is a Pre-Approved Institution with TrainTN. Documentation of attendance and participation should be entered by your TNPAL verified director in their TrainTN Director Portal.

About the Presenter: My name is Annie Paraison and I am a Haitian native. In 2000, my time in Haiti ended and I migrated to New York City until Vanderbilt University came calling in Nashville. My tenure at Vanderbilt launched me on a journey that led to a series of opportunities fueling a passion for empowering others by teaching them how to connect their innate power to resources facilitating the manifestation of the life they want. Professionally, my experiences include teacher, instructional and education coach, executive director, freedom advocate, trainer, mentor, facilitator and consultant. Each chapter offered a set of skills that I now use to shift the temperament of the world. Annie is the founding director of Love Before All, LLC.

Love Before All exists to connect individual and communal power to resources supporting actualization.

Click here to view previous webinars in the archives.

2023 Ignite! Conference

The 2023 Nashville Early Childhood Education Conference! “Ignite! Purpose and Intention” took place from July 25 — 28, 2023. All sessions fall under the umbrella of the United Way of Greater Nashville for TN DHS credit. Documentation of attendance and participation should be entered by your TNPAL verified director in their TrainTN Director Portal. View each virtual session below.

7/26/2023 - Session 1a: Building Your Leadership Bench: How to Elevate Your Next Level of Leaders

In this session, you’ll learn how to…

    • Identify your internal leadership bench.
    • Invest in a pipeline of emerging and future leaders – inside and outside your school.
    • Implement retention strategies to hang on to your top leadership talent

About the Presenter: Beth Cannon is known for her unique and effective approach to equipping and empowering early education leaders and teams. A sought-after speaker, coach, and consultant, Beth is the creator of a variety of strategy development and training programs and has delivered thousands of transformational keynotes and workshops for conferences, retreats, and schools. Email: Beth@bethcannonspeaks.com

7/26/2023 - Session 1b: Supporting Equity and Inclusion with Families and Staff

Many early childhood leaders desire to create an environment that is equitable and inclusive to all. To achieve this goal one must first have the tools needed to provide this environment. This session will offer concrete practices to use with families and staff to help ensure everyone feels seen, heard, and included.

About the Presenter: Elandriel Lewis is the Senior Manager of Early Learning and Training at United Way of Greater Nashville where she works with community early childhood teachers and leaders to ensure lifelong educational and personal success for children and families. Elandriel believes that every child deserves safe, stable, nurturing relationships and time outdoors to support academic and social-emotional growth. Email: lewis@unitedwaygn.org

7/26/2023 - Session 2a: Creative Play Settings for Outdoor Learning on a Budget

Creating a high-quality outdoor learning environment doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn ways to activate and improve your outdoor space through low-cost, high-impact changes. Participants will gain inspiration and ideas that they can implement in their own spaces by creatively using affordable materials to support children’s play.

About the Presenter: Jessica Yuill is the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) Education and Engagement Manager for the National Wildlife Federation. Jessica guides ECHO’s professional development work and supports outreach to partners and communities that support young children. She has previously worked as an early childhood educator, an early literacy home visitor, and as a family engagement liaison. Jessica believes that all children and families deserve access to nature, and she is passionate about supporting communities in creating opportunities for all children.

7/26/2023 - Session 2b: Creating Clear and Effective Policies and Procedures for Early Childhood Programs

In this session, you will:

    • Learn how to write effective policies and procedures.
    • Leave the session with an understanding of fundamental topics that all early childhood programs and policies should address for staff and families. *Prepare to create policies and procedures that best fit your center.
    • Leave knowing how to create more robust policies for tuition, cultural competence, and health.

About the Presenter: Beth Cannon is known for her unique and effective approach to equipping and empowering early education leaders and teams. A sought-after speaker, coach, and consultant, Beth is the creator of a variety of strategy development and training programs and has delivered thousands of transformational keynotes and workshops for conferences, retreats, and schools. Email: Beth@bethcannonspeaks.com

7/26/2023 - Session 3a: Supporting Educators’ Mental Health

It is important that as early childhood educators we take care of our mental health. This can influence our way of being with littles in our care and the responsiveness to their needs. This training will help us be aware of our natural states of being, learn how to reframe our thoughts, and some strategies to help us self-regulate in the moment while supporting children with their challenging behaviors.

About the Presenter: Ashley Shook, M.A. Ed., IMH-E, Train TN Training and Technical Assistance Consultant, Early Childhood Specialist—East TN, TN Voices-Early Childhood Program

I have been working with children and families for over 25 years in early care and education. I am a proud graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in Early Childhood Development and Early Childhood Education—Master Teacher. I feel that supporting and encouraging others through challenges they may face is my strength. I enjoy engaging in the process of discovering the parts of the challenge then developing a plan of action that addresses the needs to help overcome the obstacle while sharing knowledge to build the caregivers capacity. I aspire to help children reach their full potential through developmentally appropriate practice and environments that lead to positive interactions between child and caregiver.  “Our task is to help children communicate with the world using all their potential, strengths and languages, and to overcome any obstacle presented by culture.” –Loris Malaguzzi

7/26/2023 - Session 3B: S.T.E.A.M. and Literacy – Fall Edition

With all of the changes Fall brings, it’s a perfect time to teach lots of fun STEAM lessons! Marie Preptit, our program coordinator will lead you through great lesson ideas as well as beautiful and fun autumn-themed books to go with them.

About the Presenter: Marie Preptit currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Nashville Public Library’s award-winning early literacy outreach program Bringing Books to Life. Marie coordinates day-to-day programming, partner relations, data collection, and outcome reporting. She also conducts story times, teacher training, and workshops for parents, all while supervising part-time outreach assistants. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and cooking. She possesses a degree in Psychology from Belmont University.  Email: marie.preptit@nashville.gov Phone: 615-880-1625

7/27/2023 - Session 4a: From Surviving to Thriving; How to Make Self-Care Attainable Amidst a Busy Schedule

Does your glass need refilled? Have you been pouring from an empty cup?Join us as we take an inward look into mindset and self-care strategies in a time of burn out. Identifying stressors is key to being able to develop self-care routines within daily duties. Join us as we discuss making opportunities for self-care each day while working amongst the chaos!

About the Presenters: My name is Alison Mangrum, and I am an Early Childhood Quality Coach for TN CCR&R. As an ECQC, I spend time supporting and training educators to co-create the best learning environment for their students. I have spent 14 years in the field of Early Childhood Education and am passionate about high-quality ECE and uplifting educators. I have two children and have been married for 10 years. I enjoy cooking and participating in outdoor activities.

My name is Vanessa Ragland and I am an Early Childhood Quality Coach for TN-CCRR. I have been in the Early Childhood field for 14 years. I am a Trevecca Nazarene Alumni who has a passion for Leadership and Early Childhood Education. I spend my time in the field working with preschool educators on creating nurturing, safe,  inclusive environments for all children. In addition to coaching, I serve as a Professional Development Trainer. My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years now, and when I’m not working you can find me outside on many adventures with my 5 year old son. My biggest achievement is my family,  and I  enjoy spending my time coaching  youth basketball and mentoring and supporting children in my community.

7/27/2023 - Session 4b: Culturally Responsive Family Engagement

Family engagement in early childhood programs is paramount to the educational success of young children, especially children from culturally, linguistically, and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. However, despite good intentions, many early childhood programs continue to struggle to successfully engage culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse families. Many programs attempt to engage these families with traditional methods of parental involvement such as parent-teacher conferences or back to school nights which are rooted in a white-Eurocentric worldview. In this session, participants will be able to:

    • Define the culturally responsive family engagement.
    • Identify barriers that impair authentic family engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse families.
    • Identify strategies that center family voice to create inclusive and equitable environments to strengthen family partnership.

About the Presenters: Ebonyse Mead is the president of the Educational Equity Institute. She is an educator, writer, presenter, and trainer with a focus on examining structural barriers to educational equity and culturally responsive instruction.

Jen Neitzel is the Executive Director of the Educational Equity Institute, which is focused on eliminating the educational and opportunity gaps within communities through systems level change. Prior to this work, Jen was a Research Scientist and Technical Assistance Provider at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill for 15 years. During her time at FPG, her work focused on implicit bias; disparities in suspensions and expulsions; trauma; and culturally responsive anti-bias practices. Jen presents frequently at state and national conferences and is widely published in peer-reviewed journals. She also is the author of the book Achieving Equity and Justice in Education through the Work of Systems Change. Jen also is the co-editor and author of the Handbook of Racial Equity in Early Childhood Education.

7/27/2023 - Session 5a: Accreditation Comparison - Choosing the One That's Best for Your Program

Ready to get started with accreditation but overwhelmed with all the different accrediting bodies to choose from? Join this session for an in-depth comparative analysis of national accreditation processes. Review and discuss the similarities and differences as you discover which accrediting organization best suits your program. The presentation will be full of resources and handouts to help your evaluation.

About the Presenter: Storm Webb – Executive Director, National Early Childhood Program Accreditation – is building a quality future for the children of the world. Storm Webb is the third generation in a family of early childhood educators. As the granddaughter of a successful small business owner, whose early care and education programs have been in operation for nearly 50 years, Storm is pleased to bring her understanding of childcare ownership and operations to the field of national accreditation and credentialing. Storm has been with NECPA since 2013 and was instrumental in their 2017 standards update in her role as Executive Director. Storm holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with a concentration in Family Studies. As the Executive Director of NECPA, Storm works directly with leadership on strategic planning, resource and project management, and team development to support NECPA’s growth objectives and non-profit mission. Email: stormw@necpa.net

7/27/2023 - Session 5b: Dual Language Learners in the ECE Classroom

A Dual Language Learner (DLL) in early childhood describes children, age birth to five years, who are learning two or more languages. In this session, participants will learn ways to foster a learning environment that helps the development of multiple languages.

About the Presenter: Ashmin Small hails from the crystal coast of North Carolina. She has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 20 years with experience in Early Childhood Education in various areas such as: An early childhood educator in the classroom, a college instructor, a trainer, and currently Coordinator for Central Region Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

7/27/2023 - Session 6A: Beyond ABCs and 123s: Advancing Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood Education

This virtual workshop offers an in-depth exploration of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and its pivotal role in early childhood education. Participants will gain insight into key SEL competencies, learn effective teaching strategies and activities for promoting SEL, and explore how to leverage children’s literature for reinforcing these skills. The workshop will equip educators with the necessary tools to monitor SEL progress in their classrooms.

About the Presenter: Ashley Broadnax is a dedicated educator and youth development professional hailing from Nashville. With a rich background spanning over 15 years, she has proven herself as a trusted leader in her fields of interest. Ashley has held various roles, such as the Program Director for several youth-serving non-profits, 8th-grade science teacher for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), and Summer Camp Director for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and Louisville, KY.  Today, Ashley is the proud CEO and Founder of Crowns Up Learning, a platform where her passion for education and youth development truly shines. Committed to inclusivity, Crowns Up Learning provides educational services and products that intentionally feature people who are Black, Brown, abled, and disabled. This goes hand-in-hand with her dedicated effort to offer curriculum development services and practical application training and professional development, fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Her passion lies in shaping educational narratives that include Black, Brown, abled, and disabled individuals, ensuring that young learners see themselves in the stories that educate them.  Ashley’s work is infused with her unwavering faith and the joy she finds in encouraging others and spreading God’s love. She views her mission in the educational sphere as an extension of her spiritual calling. When she is not shaping young minds or leading innovative educational initiatives, Ashley devotes herself to her family. She is a loving wife and a mother to a son and daughter, cherishing every moment spent with them. Ashley Broadnax is truly a stalwart figure in the fields of education and youth development, and she is making a real difference in the lives of young people and fellow professionals alike.

7/27/2023 - Session 6B: Impact of Play on Infant and Toddler Mental Health

In this training session we will explore the development of play and discuss its vital role in children’s mental health. This will include examining the relationship between the child and caregiver, the child and their peers and the child and its environment. We will also discuss how simple games, interactions with nature and uninterrupted investigations positively impact a child’s well-being.

About the Presenter: Beth Huber is the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at AIMHiTN. She began her career working with children and families twenty two years ago. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from East Tennessee State University. She has worked as an infant- toddler teacher, a preschool teacher, a kindergarten teacher and as a center director. She has also served as an orientation specialist at TECTA and co-president of AAEYC. She is currently the acting president of AACEE (Appalachian Association for Children’s Early Education) and has been an early childhood education adjunct instructor at Northeast State Community College for twelve years.   Beth is passionate about providing professional development for those who care for young children and their families. She believes in advocating for childcare providers, empowering families, and respecting children as the amazing human beings they are!   She lives in the beautiful hills of Northeast Tennessee with her husband Chris, teenage son Jack and her two sweet dogs. She also has two young adult children, Madison and Carly, who live close by. She enjoys nature, practicing mindfulness, photography and simply hanging out with her family.

Virtual Individual Sessions

These customizable sessions are designed to meet partner needs. Individual trainings can be scheduled by contacting:

Elandriel Lewis
Senior Manager, Early Learning and Training

Read to Succeed’s Professional Development program covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practices, including Skills for the Classroom
    and the Workplace
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Instructional Coaching
  • Outdoor Learning, Play and Emergent Curriculum
  • Developmentally Appropriate Academic Best Practices
  • Curriculum and Assessment Specific Training (Frog Street Curriculum, Conscious Discipline
    Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment)