Training Tools

Connected Beginnings Training Institute

The Connected Beginnings Training Institute (CBTI) was launched by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay/Merrimack Valley, Inc. (UWMB) in 2006 to build the capacity of infant and early childhood practitioners to engage in nurturing relationships with the very young children in their care.

For more information, visit Connected Beginnings Resources website.

Other Resources

Trauma and Resilience Forum 2018

To help kick off Wheelock College's 130th anniversary, the Aspire Institute launched a forum on Friday, February 9, 2018 on Trauma and Resilience. The forum focused on trauma sensitivity in educational settings, supporting resilience in children and families, and post-traumatic growth.

See resources from the conference

Family Engagement Summit 2017
On May 25, 2017, Wheelock College Aspire Institute hosted the Family Engagement Summit on the topic of effective school practices for improved family engagement.

The Family Engagement Summit included a dynamic mix of perspectives, activities, and panel discussions focused on illuminating both the challenges and the strategies in successful family outreach and involvement. Schools and programs were encouraged to attend in teams in order to reflect on prior efforts and work through fresh ideas for improvement.

Pre-Kindergarten Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards Webinar

Wheelock Professors Karen Worth and Jeff Winokur collaborated with the MA Department of Early Education and Care to write and introduce the new Pre-K STE standards. A webinar and powerpoint discussing the new standards is available at this link. 

NAEYC Conference Slides

Aspire participated in the 2013 NAEYC Conference, where Wheelock College faculty members gave a report on the Wheelock TeachBoston program. View a pdf of the Wheelock TeachBoston Presentation.

MA Early Learning Standards: A Key for Early Learning Systems

On March 4th and 5th, 2013, the Early Learning Standards Planning session served as a critical next step in our statewide effort to articulate and then implement a unified, well-informed vision of what it takes for every child in Massachusetts to thrive in school. Key Early Childhood Education (ECE) leaders and researchers from Massachusetts and around the country provided guidance in the development of a comprehensive system of learning standards for ages 0-6. This effort builds on several sets of standards and practices (e.g. toddler, MA preschool common core, Head Start Frameworks, and Preschool guidelines and kindergarten) currently in use in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts: Where We Are and Where We Are Headed

Six Issue-Area Framework
For additional information on the Five Dimensions, please refer to In the Running for Successful Outcomes:  Exploring the evidence for thresholds of school readiness (2012) paying particular attention to pages 21-23 of the report which highlights Executive Function as it relates to School Readiness."

National Education Goals Panel School Readiness Packet

Reconsidering Children's Early Development and Learning: Towards Common Views and Vocabulary
Overview for the Five Dimensions of Readiness

Understanding the Context of Standards

Child Outcome Standards in Pre-K Programs
Introduction to the MA Common Core of Learning
Massachusetts Pre-K and Kindergarten Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks
Massachusetts Pre-K and Kindergarten ELA Curriculum Frameworks
National Headstart Standards

To check out what other states are doing, go to

Pre-STEM Summit

The third Annual Pre-STEM Summit was held on October 17, 2012 at Intel in Hudson, MA. Early Childhood Professionals from around Massachusetts attended the summit to learn about the importance of STEM education in early education settings, and to review draft state preschool science, technology, and engineering standards. 

The event featured a keynote by Neil Gordon, CEO of the Discovery Museums, on the importance of STEM education and the involvement of educators, parents, families, and the community in STEM education for young children. Wheelock science education faculty member Karen Worth presented an outline of the draft science, technology, and engineering standards for preschool.  In addition, the summit included interactive sessions, linking theory to practice with hands-on STEM activities for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.

Resources from the summit include:

STEM/EEC 2012 Update
Pre-K Science Standards Presentation Update

Pre-STEM Summit Resources

Boston Children's Museum STEM Sprouts Guide

Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant State Leadership Planning Retreat Part II

October 24th Retreat Part II Agenda here.
October 24th Retreat Part II Binder here
Planning Brief 1: Cross-Agency Collaboration: Alignment of Eligibility Criteria Across Family Services here.
Planning Brief 2: Cross-Agency Collaboration: Shared Professional Development to Advance Child Development here
State Agency Comparison Study here.

This information was created for the second installment of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant State Leadership Retreat, Part II on October 24, 2012 at Wheelock College. The initial Retreat took place on May 14, 2012 and was a key step in accelerating the State's shared work in providing coordinated, integrated, and effective resources and services that support long-term positive outcomes for children and families throughout Massachusetts. For the second retreat, the group will further plan to advance collaboration in two key areas: shared professional development in child development, and alignment of eligibility criteria and enrollment processes  

The RTT-ELC grant focuses on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting States' efforts to: (1) increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs; (2) design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services; and (3) ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council's reports on early childhood.

Banner image courtesy of US DOE Flickr feed and used under a Creative Commons attribution license.

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