Helen Kelley Symposium on early childhood set for Sept. 28

Three young children with an adult reading to them in an outdoor setting.

Helen Kelley Symposium on early childhood set for Sept. 28

05 Sep 2023    

The Helen Kelley Symposium for Excellence in Education will focus on the early childhood workforce and professional learning supports for educators working with children birth through age 8.  

The event, sponsored by the College of Education and Human Sciences, with support from the Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research (NAECR) and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS), is from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28 in room 227 at Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall. Registration is open until Sept. 25 at cehs.unl.edu/cehs/helen-kelley-symposium/. 

Two speakers will be featured at this year’s symposium – Hope Gerde, Director of the Institute for Early Childhood and professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University; and Linda Reddy, associate dean of research for the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) and professor in the School Psychology doctoral program at Rutgers University. The event closes with a 30-minute panel discussion. 

Gerde’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of approaches to promoting growth in children’s early language and literacy skills via high-quality professional learning for early childhood educators. She examines the interrelations between early reading and writing development, how children’s language and literacy development is affected by the quality of the adult-child interactions they experience across contexts, and how quality early childhood environments promote children’s learning.  

Reddy has published more than 160 articles and book chapters, as well as six books, on educator effectiveness, classroom assessment, coaching, disruptive behaviors, measurement development and validation, and educational technology. Her work focuses on integrating assessments and interventions to improve school personnel practices related to student learning and behavior in under-served communities. 

The Helen Kelley Symposium for Excellence in Education is funded through a generous gift from Richard and the late Helen Kelley through the University of Nebraska Foundation. The fund’s purpose is to provide professional development opportunities, including visiting lectures and renowned speakers, to faculty and students in CEHS.  

Helen Kelley graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1960 and became a high school English teacher. She left the classroom to raise her family but remained committed to education throughout her life. She spent 13 years on the board of education for Westside Community Schools, and served in leadership roles for the Nebraska School Board Association and the National School Board Association. She died in 2020 at the age of 82. 

College of Education and Human Sciences

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