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Spring 2017 Newsletter 


What Every Teacher of Young Children Wishes their Principal Understood 

Erin Akers, M.Ed

Director of Education and Development

There are many pieces to the puzzle in our educational structure and the center-piece is the child. All outside pieces form to surround and support the center, fulfilling one purpose: best practice for the young child/student. As a former Elementary Principal, I was surprised to learn how much I relied on my early childhood background in making critical decisions. I realize now more than ever the importance my background in early childhood education afforded me in my role.  Dr. Arnold Gesell wrote a century ago, “The educational ladder of the American public school system is a tall one and a stout one, but it does not reach the ground.” One hundred years later, we are still grappling with the same issues, as many educational leaders still do not have adequate understanding of the importance of early childhood education.

In line with our mission, the Gesell Institute of Child Development desires to come alongside not only those who work with our youngest learners, but also their leaders. Our hope is that this information will help to guide educational decisions and practices to benefit all early learners. In light of my experiences, I have compiled a list of what I believe teachers of young children want their leaders to know. I have walked both paths, and know that being informed and having open communication is the best scenario; for the principal, for the teacher, and for the children.

Introducing Our Education Programs Coordinator

The Gesell Institute of Child Development is happy to announce Marina Pappas in her new role at the Institute as Education Programs Coordinator.


Mother, Potter, Former Triathlete, Future Farmer

What was your area of study in college? I studied Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Early Childhood Education at Duke University. At the time, Duke offered amazing "service learning" courses, which I really enjoyed. In "Literacy through Photography", I took and developed photographs in a dark room with Middle Schoolers. In “Human Development”, I taught yoga at a local senior center… I love that it got me out into the community experiencing what we were learning in the classroom, which I continue to enjoy today!

What project are you most looking forward to at Gesell? I’m looking forward to learning more about Implicit Bias – and what we can do in our classrooms and families to proactively address it! 

Favorite Children's Book? It’s nearly impossible for me to narrow it down to ONE! I literally can’t stop buying children’s books, but one book that never fails to warm my heart is A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead (author) and Erin Stead (illustrator).

Kids say the funniest things! What's one of the funniest things a child in your life said to you? “What is  that country again? Chicken?..Hungary?...Oh I remember now – TURKEY!!” 

What is your family's “motto” – spoken or unspoken? Have Fun, Do Your Best and Do More of What Makes you Happy! 


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Upcoming 3-Day GDO-R Workshops 

Scott City, KS: May 23 - 25, 2017

Phoenix, AZ: June 5 - 7, 2017

Jacksonville, FL: June 12-14, 2017

Angwin (Napa Valley), CA: June 26-28, 2017

New Haven, CT: July 24 - 26, 2017

Dallas, TX: August 2-4, 2017

Upcoming Live Webinars

Online Re-certification (GDO-R for the 2 ½ to 6 Year Old):

This online course is available only to anyone who has completed our 3-day GDO-R training within the past 5 years. All tasks on the GDO-R will be reviewed, as well as scoring and interpretation for the overall assessment.

Registration Deadline: May 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 17 - 6:00 - 9:00 pm EST and

Thursday, May 18 - 6:00 - 9:00 pm EST

Price: $249.00   

Both sessions are required as well as 2 additional prep hours of recorded webinar viewing.

Register in our bookstore or call 203-777-3481

Online Certification (GDO-R for the 6-9 Year Old):

In this 6-hour live webinar training, participants learn to administer the Gesell Developmental Observation (GDO-R) to the 6- to 9-year-old child and interpret results as they relate to fine motor, language, cognitive, visual discrimination, right and left orientation, and indicators of possible learning exceptions. This online course is available only to those who have completed the 3-Day GDO-R for the 2 ½ to 6-Year-Old Workshop.

Registration Deadline: June 27, 2017

Wednesday, July 12 - 6:00 - 9:00 pm EST and

Thursday, July 13 - 6:00 - 9:00 pm EST

Price: $249

Both sessions are required as well as 2 additional prep hours of recorded webinar viewing.

Register in our bookstore or call 203-777-3481

Private Webinars + Q&A

The following 1-hr webinars are available for private viewing, followed by Q&A with our trainer. Please call us at 1-800-369-7709 or email Erin Akers, National Director of Education and Development to set up a private webinar viewing and Q&A for your group!

Available Webinar Topics:

  • Relationships and Behavior Management
  • Pretend Play and Brain Growth
  • The Outdoor Classroom

Private Group Webinar Viewing Prices:

  • 1 Webinar     $209
  • 2 Webinars   $299
  • 3 Webinars  $359

Gesell Institute Speaks!

Recent Conferences

Peg Oliveira, Connecticut Representative
February 26-28, 2017  Washington, DC

Marina Pappas presenting The Outdoor Classroom
March 20, 2017  Hartford, CT

Erin Akers presenting Pretend Play and Brain Growth
April 1, 2017  Farmington, CT

Peg Oliveira presenting Pretend Play and Brain Growth
April 2-5, 2017  Clemson, SC
We are proud to announce that the US Play Coalition is honoring Joe L Frost, a member of Gesell Institute's Advisory Council, with the creation of the Joe L Frost Award for Distinguished Research at this conference! Joe Frost will be the first recipient of this award, in recognition of his exceptional body of research that has enhanced and expanded the study of play. Announcing the Joe Frost Award

Peg Oliveira participated in a panel on wellness in education
April 6-7, 2017  New Haven, CT

Peg Oliveira offered remarks at the 125th Anniversary Celebration to recognize Arnold Gesell’s contribution to the first edition of the Journal of Childhood Education.
April 20, 2017  Washington, DC

Upcoming Conferences

Marina Pappas presenting
June 3, 2017  New Haven, CT

November 15-18, 2017  Atlanta, GA

Gesell Institute Resources: Ages & Stages Pamphlets


Gesell's Ages and Stages Pamphlets

These brief and engaging pamphlets outline the common characteristics and typical behaviors of children.  Each pamphlet covers a year of growth.  Parent strategies are included for each age.  These pamphlets are perfect for parent conferences, or as a quick and easy reference for parents and teachers.  Also available in Spanish.

Assortment Pack ($31.20): 10 copies of each age (50 total)

Sampler Pack ($7.50): 1 copy of each age (5 total)

Packs of 50 of one age ($31.20)

(*Offer Expires May 31, 2017*)

Follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop and receive Facebook-only coupon codes for the bookstore and upcoming trainings!

Research Spotlight: Mindfulness

When Teachers Get Mindfulness Training, Students Win
by Jill Suttie

It is a well known fact that students learn better in positive environments, but these are increasingly difficult to provide as teachers are becoming more and more stressed. Read this article to see just how big of a difference mindfulness training can make on teachers and more importantly on students.

Quick Links

SEEN Cover - elements of teaching 2

SEEN Magazine

Dr. Peg Oliveira
Executive Director

Erin Akers M.Ed
Director of Education and Development

Marina Pappas
Education Programs Coordinator

Anju Mathew
Office Manager

Board of Directors 
Carole Weisberg,
Barbara Stern,
Vice President 
Adele P. Edgerton,
Gladys Deutsch,
Linda Calarco,
Nancy Blackwell-Todd
Kathleen Higgins
Charlie Slaughter 
Dr. Robert D. Windom
Director Emeritus
Judy August

National Lecture Staff
Kiki Ammons
Bailey Bunch 
Michelle Golus
Sally Coleman-Keller
Cecilia Locke
Karlen Senseny
Sallie Wells
Cheryl Wolfe 

National Lecture Staff Advisory Council
Norman Heimgartner
Suzy Ferree

Advisory Council
Joan Almon
Stanley C. Finkle 
Kathleen E. Fite
Joe Frost
Martha Garcia-Sellers
Walter S. Gilliam 
Carla Horwitz
Sharon Lynn Kagan
Ming Li
Tina Mannarino 
Dorothea Marsden
Linda Mayes
Rae Pica
Rima Shore
Jerome Singer
Fred Volkmar
Mary Lee Weber
Tel: 203-777-3481
Fax: 203-776-5001
310 Prospect St. New Haven, CT 06511

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Gesell Institute of Child Development
310 Prospect Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06511

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