I-LABS work with Educators & Practitioners

I-LABS Presented the Latest Research at the Sound to Harbor HeadStart/ECEAP Training

November 25, 2014 – Outreach specialist Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez led two training sessions on the importance of early experiences. Naja showed lots of video examples of interactions between children and caregivers, and the groups had lively discussions about the ingredients of early interactions that promote brain growth and language learning.

Washington State School District Administrators Learned the Latest Brain Science

November 20, 2014 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle was asked to present the latest brain science on early learning at the annual Washington State School District Administrators (WSSDA) conference. The breakout session also featured Bob Butts, Assistant Superintendant of Early Learning at OSPI, Mari Taylor, President of WSSDA, and Mary Fertakis, Tukwila School District Board of Directors.

Bellevue College Hosts Jennifer Larson, Ph.D. as Guest Lecturer

November 19, 2014 – Jennifer, Outreach Specialist, was invited to lecture on brain research related to child development.

I-LABS Presents Research at WAYEC Conference

November 14, 2014 – Outreach Specialist Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez delivered a plenary lecture on brain and language development. She talked about the techniques used to study the infant brain and discussed why early interactions are critical for brain growth and language learning.

Naja also led a workshop titled "Brain and Language: Why Early Experiences Matter." Naja showed many video examples of high quality interactions and the group had a lively discussion about the specific elements of interactions that lead to brain growth and language learning.

Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach and Education, also led a breakout session titled, "Screen Scene: Best Practices for Using Screen Media With Children From Birth To Five." Sarah presented the latest research on children and screens and also talked about the many cognitive advances that affect children's ability to learn from screens.

Home Visitors on the Olympic-Kitsap Peninsula Learn About Screen Time

October 24, 2014 – Outreach and Education Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle traveled to the first annual Olympic-Kitsap Peninsula’s Home Visitor Summit to present the latest research on children and screen time. Participants engaged in a lively discussion about how to talk to families about screens and children.

Early Learning Featured at the Washington State Public Health Association Conference (WSPHA)

October 13, 2014 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach and Education, presented the latest data on the science of early learning at the recent WSPHA conference. In the same workshop, VROOM talked about one community initiative designed to highlight the importance of early learning and representatives from WSPHA highlighted the public health reasons for investing in early learning.

I-LABS Participates in the Inaugural Tribal Early Care and Education Conference

August 13, 2014 – The Washington State Department of Early Learning recently convened the inaugural Tribal Early Care and Education Conference to address issues of early learning that are specific to the many tribal communities in our state. I-LABS was invited to present some of the most recent research on the importance of children's early experiences. Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented to a packed room of more than 70 early learning professionals who engaged in a lively discussion throughout the workshop.

I-LABS Offers Trainings at Starting Strong Conference

August 4-6, 2014 – The I-LABS Outreach and Education team traveled to Kennewick, WA to participate in the state-wide Starting Strong conference. At the conference, I-LABS offered three training workshops of the early learning community in Washington. Outreach Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented on the best practices for using screen media with young children, Outreach Specialist Naja Ferjan Ramirez offered participants the latest research on infant and toddler brain development, and Outreach Specialist Lindsay Klarman combined I-LABS research with her experience as an ASL interpreter to talk about bilingual development.

Sarah Roseberry Lytle Delivers Plenary at the National Birth To Three Institute

July 29, 2014 – I-LABS Outreach and Education Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle delivered the Research to Practice Plenary at the national Birth To Three (BTT) Institute in Washington DC. The conference was attended by more than 2,000 early childhood professionals working in Early Head Start, Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start. Sarah's presentation was also live-streamed, allowing more than 700 additional professionals from around the country to tune-in. The goal of BTT is to disseminate information about best practices in the field as well as research implications for improved practice.

I-LABS Travels to Bremerton to Meet Home Visitors

July 16, 2014 – The Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Regional Coalition invited I-LABS Outreach to conduct a series of small trainings for home visitors in their region. Outreach specialist Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez traveled to Bremerton, WA for the third training, which focused on the interconnected nature of children's cognitive and social-emotional development. The training encouraged participants to discuss a variety of topics in small groups.

Summer Interns Bree and Lily also made the trip to Bremerton to see the variety of activities that the I-LABS Outreach and Education division offers. The ferry ride on a beautiful day was a perk of the trip!

The Regional Meeting of the National School Board Association Highlights I-LABS


June 28, 2014 – The Pacific Northwest region of the National School Board Association held their Summer 2014 meeting in Seattle. Traditionally, the conference hosts choose to highlight one specific program or activity during the meeting and the Washington State School District Administrators (WSSDA) chose I-LABS! Outreach Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented to the group on the importance of learning in the first years of life and discussed the newest evidence that the skills children gain in these years are foundational to their later success.

I-LABS Offers Trainings to Home Visitors on the Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas

June 20-21, 2014 – The Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Regional Coalition invited I-LABS Outreach to conduct a series of small trainings for home visitors in their region. Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, traveled to Forks and Port Angeles, WA for the first two trainings to talk about children's cognitive and social-emotional development. The trainings highlighted the interconnected nature of cognitive and social-emotional development and offered the home visitors time to brainstorm ways to communicate research to parents.

The Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Coalition Holds I-LABS Training

May 21, 2014 – Outreach Specialist Lindsay Klarman led a training to discuss recent research findings relevant to the early learning community. Participants took part in interactive discussion groups, break-outs, and will also played games to exercise their own cognitive flexibility.

I-LABS Keynotes the Child Care Action Council Conference

May 17, 2014 – Director of Outreach, Sarah Roseberry Lytle, delivered the keynote address to a group of child care providers who attended the training in Mason County sponsored by the Child Care Action Council. The title of her talk was, "Building Baby Brains: The Importance of Early Experiences."

The Infant and Early Childhood Conference Includes I-LABS Training

May 8, 2014 – Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach & Education, presented a breakout session titled, “From Sounds to Sentences: How Everyday Interactions Support Language Development” at the Infant and Early Childhood Conference. Participants viewed videos of foreign-language-speakers to appreciate the challenges faced by young language learners, and heard the latest research on children’s use of statistics and social cues to learn language.

I-LABS Travels to Clalam County

May 3, 2014 – Outreach Specialist Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez traveled to Port Angeles to lead a training about brain development in young children. She discussed the fundamentals of brain development as well as how learning one or multiple languages changes the child's brain. She also discussed the role of early experiences in brain and language development.

Language Development is the Focus at the Washington Library Association Conference

May 2, 2014 – Sarah Roseberry Lytle was invited to present at the Washington Library Association’s annual meeting in Wenatchee. Her workshop highlighted the latest research on children’s language acquisition and the group engaged in a lively conversation about bilingualism and integrating research into the library environment.

Southeast King County Family Childcare Association Hears from I-LABS

April 28, 2014 – Lindsay Klarman was invited to offer training for family childcare workers in Southeast King County. The group talked about the importance of early experiences while highlighting the latest brain science, as well as ways to incorporate "good brain food" into current practices.

I-LABS Presents at WaKIDS Early Learning Collaboration Meeting

April 10, 2014 – Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez visited Port Orchard to talk about the latest research on the infant brain. She discussed some of the methods and techniques used to study the infant brain, like MEG, MRI and EEG, and then discussed how the experience of bilingualism shapes the infant brain.

Raising a Zoo Baby: Bringing I-LABS Research to the Zoo

April 8, 2014 – Outreach Director Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle is a member of the Zoo Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ZECAC) for the Woodland Park Zoo. She was invited to give a lunchtime lecture to zoo staff and docents with fellow ZECAC member Dr. Tiffany Lee of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Celwyn Green, Presentation Animal Coordinator at the WPZ. The presentation focused on the meeting the needs of the zoo’s youngest guests by highlighting the similarities between children and animals at the zoo (both are skilled at recognizing other people’s emotions) and explored ways that children start to identify with science (not all scientists wear lab coats and use microscopes).

Outreach Director Leads Workshop in Pierce County

March 8, 2014 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented the latest research on bilingual language development to a group of providers at the Pierce County Association for the Education of Young Children (PCAEYC) annual conference. She also brought several bilingual science fair exhibits so the participants could play games illustrating the latest science.

I-LABS Research Featured at the Washington Educational Research Association Conference

March 5, 2014 – Outreach Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle was invited to present on the importance of early experiences for infant brain development to the Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) Conference. She highlighted the latest research, including that on bilingualism, which was a hot topic with the group.

Seattle Infant Conference Participants Hear From I-LABS

March 1, 2014 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented the afternoon keynote at the annual Seattle Infant Conference, sponsored by Haggard Nelson Childcare Resources. Sarah focused on early experiences as the building blocks of learning and conference participants were discussed videos of interactions between caregivers and children to identify the ingredients of high-quality interactions.

Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez was invited to lead a workshop about language and the brain. Naja discussed how and why early language experiences are important and serve as building blocks for language learning and cognitive development.

Thrive By Five Grantees Learn About Stereotypes

February 24, 2014 – Dr. Dario Cvencek, Research Scientist at I-LABS, delivered a presentation on the development of stereotypes to the first cohort of the Thrive By Five STEM Grant Awardees. All of the awardees focus on increasing participation in the STEM disciplines, so Dario’s research on gender stereotypes around math was particularly interesting and relevant for the group.

South Puget Sound Community College Hears the Latest Research from I-LABS

February 11, 2014 – Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented an afternoon workshop to a group of childcare providers at South Puget Sound Community College. She discussed the latest research on the importance of early experiences and led the group in thinking about the applications of the research for their classrooms.

I-LABS Delivers FACES Keynote and Workshop

February 1, 2014 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle was invited to deliver the keynote address for the 2014 FACES Conference. In her presentation, titled, “Building Baby Brains: The Importance of Early Experiences” identified components of high quality interactions that have been shown to help children learn and develop the skills they need to be successful.

Outreach Specialist Lindsay Klarman presented a workshop on bilingualism in which she discussed common myths regarding bilingual language development and what current brain science really tells us. The group also explored cognitive flexibility, “baby sign”, and the importance of everyday interactions.

The Opportunity Council of Whatcom County Features I-LABS

December 9, 2013 – Outreach Director Sarah Roseberry Lytle presented to the Opportunity Council of Whatcom County on the importance of a child’s early experiences for later development and success. The event was held in the Whatcom County Ferry Terminal and was attended by early learning professionals from around the county.

I-LABS Visits the Olympic-Kitsap Peninsula

December 5, 2013 – Sarah Roseberry Lytle met with childcare providers from the Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas to discuss the latest research from I-LABS. The interactive discussion paired research with its practical applications.

Washington State School District Administrators (WSSDA) Hosts I-LABS

November 21, 2013 – The Washington State School District Administrators (WSSDA) invited I-LABS Outreach to present at their annual conference during the Early Learning pre-conference session. Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle highlighted the newest research from I-LABS suggesting that children's earliest experiences set the stage for later learning.

I-LABS Presents to the Annual WAEYC Conference

November 15, 2013 – The Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Council invited Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle to give the lunchtime address during their convening at the recent Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC) Conference. Sarah's presentation focused on children's language acquisition and she explored the variety of early skills children need to become future readers.

The Urban Libraries Council Hears About I-LABS Research

November 13, 2013 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, was invited to present at the Urban Libraries Council Annual Conference in Seattle. She delivered a short presentation on I-LABS research highlighting children's early experiences as the building blocks of language development. Her talk was followed by a panel discussion about the Road Map Project, an example of how communities have used research - like the research conducted at I-LABS - inform programs. After the panel, Sarah and the panel members engaged in a lively Q&A with the audience.

I-LABS Gives Workshop in Forks, WA

October 29, 2013 – The Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas Early Learning Regional Coalition recently invited Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, to Forks, WA. During her visit, Sarah met with early learning educators and professionals in the area and gave a workshop on children's social and emotional development. During the presentation, Sarah focused on the latest research from I-LABS highlighting children's ability to imitate adults and to understand other people's emotions.

Snohomish County ECEAP Hosts I-LABS Outreach

October 18, 2013 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, visited the Snohomish County to talk with the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) providers. During the training, Sarah focused on the latest research highlighting the importance of early interactions for children's cognitive and social/emotional development. The providers in attendance also worked in groups to examine videotaped interactions between parents and children to identify markers of quality experiences, such as eye gaze, infant-directed speech, imitation, and back-and-forth interactions.

I-LABS Outreach Visits the Northwest Early Learning Coalition

September 24, 2013 – Director of Outreach Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle traveled to Mt. Vernon for several events connected with the Northwest Washington Regional Early Learning Coalition. The region’s Early Learning Leadership Brunch featured several speakers, each of whom addressed one component of Washington’s Early Learning Plan. Sarah’s presentation addressed “Ready and Successful Children & Families” and highlighted the importance of early experiences for later school readiness and success. She focused on the latest research from I-LABS demonstrating how early experiences shape young children’s brains and even led the audience in a couple of exercises to demonstrate the lasting effects of their own early experiences.

Sarah also gave a public lecture in the evening on children and screen media. Her talk, “Mediating Media: Best Practices for Using Screen Media with Young Children” generated extensive discussion with the attendees, who were largely parents and early learning professionals.

Bellevue College Parent Education Fall Orientation

September 6, 2013 – Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, presented the latest research on children's brain development to staff and professionals of Bellevue College's Parent Education Programs. After discussing the latest in brain science, Sarah showed videos of caregiver-child interactions and led the group to consider which ingredients of these early experiences help children's learning and brain development. Afterwards, participants worked in small groups to incorporate information from the presentation into their plan for the upcoming school year. The group generated many fantastic ideas about how to encourage quality interactions between caregivers and children.

Starting Strong P-3 Institute

August 6, 2013 – Outreach Specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Zack, led a breakout session at the 5th Annual Starting Strong P-3 Institute at Lynwood Convention Center in Lynwood, WA. In her session, Science of Early Learning: Building Blocks of Social Emotional Development, participants watched videos of caregiver-child interactions then engaged in a lively discussion on what aspects of the interactions support social emotional development. Beth then provided participants with research examples on the building blocks of social emotional development as they occur in the context of relationships, including the quality and quantity of language children hear, imitation, eye gaze, and emotion understanding. She also discussed potential negative outcomes that may occur when children don’t experience life in the context of supportive, caring relationships.

Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach, also presented during a breakout session. Her talk, From Sounds to Sentences: How Everyday Interactions Support Language Development focused on the many challenges faced by young language-learners, such as learning the sounds of language, combining sounds to form words, and discovering what different words refer to. Throughout the session, Sarah asked participants were to put themselves in the position of young children learning language to appreciate how difficult learning a language can be. Finally, participants heard about different ingredients of everyday interactions and how they facilitate children’s language development.

Save The Children Webinar Series

July 17, 2013 – Lindsay Klarman, Outreach Specialist and bilingual/bicultural certified interpreter, delivered a presentation to Save The Children's Colorado-based team of early education teachers. This webinar, part of a larger series of professional development trainings I-LABS is conducting with Save The Children, focused on the bilingual brain and early achievements in young children exposed to more than one language. Lindsay discussed common myths surrounding bilingualism and provided information about what the brain science is actually revealing.

Outreach Specialists Present at SOAR Conference

June 21, 2013 – Dr. Elizabeth Zack, Outreach Specialist, led a workshop on early social emotional development at SOAR’s annual professional development conference at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA. In her presentation, she used photos and videos to showcase I-LABS behavioral and neuroscience research on the building blocks of social emotional development such as imitation and emotion understanding. The theme throughout her talk was that social emotional development is rooted in children’s earliest interactions and relationships and it is through these supportive relationships that infants learn essential social and emotional skills that prepare them for academic and lifelong success.

Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Translation, Education, and Outreach, also led a workshop at SOAR. In her presentation, titled “The Fundamentals of Early Brain Development in Young Children,” she showcased the latest techniques used to study infant brains, including ERP and MEG. Participants were able to see these techniques in action through videos and images showing how the baby brain changes as a function of early language learning. Finally, she ended with a discussion about the types of environments that promote brain development in young children and how these quality environments affect later success.

Healthy Start Home Visitor Training

May 29, 2013 - Lindsay Klarman, Outreach Specialist, shared current research with Healthy Start home visitors who work directly with young families. Home visits are the program’s core component. The Healthy Start program strives “to strengthen young families while promoting health and success for their young children.” These professionals are excited to learn about the latest insights and how it can empower those working with infants and children to do their best work.

In 2012, the program helped 264 young mothers, 288 children, and some fathers to thrive as healthier individuals and become more independent as families. Healthy Start has served more than 2,500 families since its inception in 1994.

Southeastern Washington Regional Early Learning Coalition Events

May 20, 2013 - Outreach Specialist Dr. Sarah Roseberry traveled to Pasco and Walla Walla, WA for several events of the Southeastern Washington Regional Early Learning Coalition.

Dr. Roseberry opened the region’s WaKIDS day with a science talk that highlighted the importance of early experiences for later school readiness and success. The early learning professionals in attendance were particularly interested in the qualities of interactions that help children learn and in the research on brain development in bilingual children, as several schools in the region offer dual language programming.

Dr. Roseberry also presented at the Walla Walla Child Care Aware Provider Appreciation Night. There she focused on the importance of early interactions. To demonstrate how a researcher might view everyday experiences, Sarah played videos and encouraged the providers to identify the many ingredients of high quality interactions, such as infant directed speech, turn-taking, and eye gaze. At the end of the program, Child Care Aware distributed toys that encourage caregiver-child interactions for all of the providers to use in their centers.

Snohomish County Early Learning Coalition Providers

April 22, 2013 - Outreach Specialist Lindsay Klarman presented at a meeting of early learning and care professionals from the Snohomish County Early Learning Coalition.

Organization of Parenting Education Programs (OPEP)

March 27, 2013 – Outreach Specialist Dr. Sarah Roseberry gave the keynote address at the Organization of Parenting Education Programs’ spring in-service for a group of community and collegiate parenting educators. Her keynote, titled “Everyday Experiences as the Foundation for Early Learning” explored the aspects of everyday experiences that transform these moments into learning opportunities.

Dr. Roseberry also lead a breakout session, “From Sound to Sentences: The Development of Literacy,” that highlighted the many skills that support language and literacy, such as distinguishing the sounds of language and mapping words to the world. Group discussion focused on different ways that parents can use everyday experiences to help young children build language skills for later literacy.

Pierce County School Administrators

March 15, 2013 – Outreach Specialist Dr. Elizabeth Zack presented at a meeting of Pierce County school administrators in Fife, WA. In her talk, she connected the science of early learning to school readiness, with a focus on how early experiences–such as language exposure–and new brain techniques can help us predict developmental outcomes. Dr. Zack engaged administrators in a discussion of specific ways they can use research on early child development to inform decision-making in their schools.

Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference

March 1, 2013 - I-LABS Co-Director Dr. Patricia Kuhl keynoted the 2nd Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference (RMECC) in Denver, CO. "RMECC is one of the nation's premier conferences focused on promoting and advancing early childhood education and the interests of children birth to 8 years of age. It seeks to bring together a broad array of stakeholders – early childhood practitioners, advocates, business leaders, policymakers – for high-quality presentations and rich dialogue on the wide variety of fields that impact early care and education."

United Way of King County Home Visitors and Coordinators

February 14, 2013 - Outreach Specialist Lindsay Klarman met with home visitors and coordinators at the second annual Parent-Child Home Program gathering at Seola Gardens in White Center. These home visitors are part of a highly successful program supported by the United Way, King County. Lindsay’s 60 min brain science presentation from I-LABS included interactive time and Q&A with these paraprofessionals. This Parent-Child Home Program is a research-based early literacy and school readiness project geared towards hard-to-reach families. The program engages isolated, diverse, low-income families, typically with 2-4 year olds, where it matters--in their home--and coaches parents to become adept teachers for their young children. At the family's invitation, these specially trained visitors come twice weekly over a two-year period with gifts of books and educational toys. Using these materials, the visitor teams with the parent in exercises to stimulate the child's development. Lindsay was available to answer and facilitate questions regarding this high quality input and interaction that the paraprofessionals engage in with parents and their young children.

Investing in Children Coalition/ESD 105 Regional WaKIDS Meeting

February 12, 2013 - Outreach Director Hannah Lidman and Outreach Specialist Dr. Sarah Roseberry traveled to Yakima as invited guests of the Investing in Children Reagional Early Learning Coalition and Educational Service District (ESD) 105. Dr. Roseberry kicked off the the coalition's regional WaKIDS meeting with a science talk on research that highlighted the importance of early experiences for later school readiness and success. The early learning professionals in attendance were particularly interested in the brain development of bilingual children, as bilingualism is common in the communities they serve.

Fort Worden Early Childhood Education Conference 2013

February 7, 2013 - For the second year in a row, I-LABS Outreach team shared research and findings with early learning and early grade teachers from the Olympic Peninsula at the Fort Worden Early Childhood Education Conference put on by OESD 114.

Dr. Sarah Roseberry presented on “The Fundamentals of Early Brain Development in Young Children.” During her breakout session, participants learned about how the brain develops as it learns language in the first five years of life. Throughout the talk, the importance of experiences for brain development was highlighted, and discussion centered on ways to provide children with rich social interactions.

Dr. Zack's talk highlighted the fundamentals of social emotional well-being and presented research studies from I-LABS on the building blocks of social emotional development, including infant imitation and emotion understanding as they occur in the context of supportive interactions. The audience engaged in a discussion with Dr. Zack on how they can use findings from the research studies to enhance their everyday interactions with young children.

Dr. Meltzoff Headlines Zero to Three NTI Science Symposium

November 29, 2012 - I-LABS Co-Director Dr. Andrew Meltzoff lead a science symposium for a packed ballroom in Los Angeles during the annual Zero to Three National Training Institute. His talk, entitled ‘"Like-Me’ and Early Feelings of Social-Emotional Connection: Imitation, Empathy, and Neural Mirroring" guided the attending early learning practitioners into discovery of the science behind social emotional development in young children. The session was live broadcast and recorded, and can be downloaded here.

I-LABS works to Promote First Relationships

October 26, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva kicked off the Promoting First Relationships training conference. The conference. for northwest-area pediatricians. focuses on incorporating a relationship-based mental health lens in their work with families. Dr. Lebedeva's session highlighted the neuroscience of early emotional responses and social interactions, and discussed current best evidence for the biological basis of the importance of first relationships.

2012 WAEYC Conference

October 18, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva led a workshop at the Annual Conference for the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC) in Vancouver WA. Geared toward systems-level change, the interactive discussion focused on research-based practices that best support language development in young children. The session, entitled "Growing Language Through Everyday Interactions," also shared strategies to help engage pre-service and less experienced teachers in adopting high-quality evidence-based interaction practices with infants and toddlers, while still being aware of the increasing demands to meet standards and accountability.

Nurse Family Partnership Infant Mental Health Symposium

October 16, 2012 - Attend by over 220 home visitors, therapists, early intervention educators and trainers, the symposium was a collaboration between Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) and Little Red Schoolhouse. Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick welcomed guests, and the day-long symposium featured Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick, a keynote by Dr. Kathy Barnard of the UW Barnard Center on Infant Mental Health, and presentations by Dr. Sheri Hill, Dr. JoAnne Solchany, Dr. Shawn Elmore, and Rosemary White.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, Dr. Lebedeva's talk focused on using social relationship-based strategies to support language and communication in the first two years, and highlighted important neurobiological changes that occur in those relationships.

Early Learning Public Library Partnership Annual Symposium

October 15, 2012 - Outreach specialist Dr. Sarah Roseberry presented the lunchtime address at the annual Early Learning Public Library Partnership Symposium. Sponsored by the Foundation for Early Learning, this partnership is a coalition of over 20 library systems in Washington State dedicated to advancing early learning. Dr. Roseberry’s talk, titled, “Mediating Media: Best Practices for Using Screen Media with Young Children,” highlighted the most recent research about children’s ability to learn from screen media and featured the common theme that children learn best in socially interactive contexts. Dr. Roseberry then led the attendees in a lively discussion about libraries might best incorporate media for children’s use.


I-LABS Outreach Workshops at 2012 Starting Strong P-3 Institute

August 14-15, 2012 - The 4th annual Starting Strong P-3 Institute is intended to bring together early learning professionals and K-12 educators from across Washington State for discussions about innovation and alignment between systems. Dr. Gina Lebedeva's session, "Talk as Building Blocks: Communication Strategies to Build Language", used research evidence, video clips, interactive discussion and clinical vignettes to illustrate how to infuse everyday moments with the lens of developmental relationships. Topics also included language diversity (bilingualism) and children at risk for delays. The standing-room-only crowd included care providers for infants & toddlers, preschool teachers and administrators, and K-3 educators, and the lively discussion included ways to include basic learning principles across different learning contexts.

Outreach Specialist Dr. Sarah Roseberry also presented a breakout session titled, “From Thomas the Tank Engine to SpongeBob SquarePants: Best practices for using screen media with children 0-8.” This workshop highlighted the most recent statistics about children’s screen media use and reviewed the latest research on what and when children might learn from screens. A common theme is that children learn more when adults interact with them during screen media exposure.

I-LABS Headlines Investigation Session at the Association of Children's Museums Annual Conference

May 11, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva presented a plenary "Investigation" talk at the annual conference of the Association of Children's Museums, where an audience of energetic, creative and outside-the-box museum directors from across the country gathered to discuss how best to engage infants and their caregivers in the exhibits. The focus of the discussion was on how basic brain & behavioral research can support parents' everyday interactions with infants and toddlers. Partipants highlighted a common problem in many museums, where parents of infants and toddlers tend to view museum participation as a "passive" event where they either simply watch the child play from afar, or in the case of infants, simply keep them "along for the ride" in a carrier, while watching an older child play.

To help unpack these observations, this Investigation built on examples from current research show specific ways that first relationships, early non-verbal communication, and word-learning can all be incorporated into parenting education for all families. An important take-away message was how museums can help families "get back to basics" with the youngest learners, to include social connection, imitation, and rich language in play-based interactions that can be a model for what can happen at home. By keeping these "basics" in mind, exhibits can also support cross-cultural inclusion, universal access for all abilities, and increased mindfulness from visitors.

Despite the great technology available at our fingertips and at the museum, parents are the best toy in the room! Participants commented how helpful it was to have current research-based evidence to promote exhibits that can showcase the importance of play between infants and toddlers, with their caregivers.

Early Bilingual Experiences Presentation for the Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Council

April 27, 2012 - Gina Lebedeva was invited to present at the Washington State Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Council (ECTPC) in Kent. The topic, 'Early Bilingual Experience and its Relationship to Language and Cognitive Development', was well-timed to the ongoing need to stay current on best evidence in the literature. Recent research data was shared regarding early vocabulary and grammar development in bilinguals, links between bilingual experience and brain development, skill transfer in emergent literacy, and relationships to cognitive flexibility. Audience members were primarily faculty in early childhood education programs across the state, and program development specialists for continuing education. The ECTPC is committed to providing high quality professional education for educators and caregivers of children birth through 8. Discussion also included ideas on building an ongoing relationship between the ECTPC and I-LABS to help support their training efforts.

15th Annual Brain Series at Bates College

April 26, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva was invited to present at the 15th Annual Brain Series event at Bates College in Tacoma, which brings together experts in the field of child development for a free two-hour seminar open to care providers, parents and the public. To an audience of around 200, the talk focused on recent advances in brain and behavioral research that highlight the importance of early play, language and literacy in preparing young children for school success. With plenty of videos and live demonstrations with audience-participation, the presentation illustrated "everyday" ways to enhance children's learning, by drawing on examples from research about infant attachment, social-emotional learning, imitation, bilingualism and emergent literacy.

The Brain Series event is sponsored by the Pierce County Public Library System, KBTC Public TV, and the Pierce County Association for the Education of Young Children. Previous years featured renowned speakers Drs. John Medina, Andrew Meltzoff, Alison Gopnik, and John Gottman.

Washington State Department of Early Learning Child Care Center and Family Home Licensor and Supervisor Training

March 15, 2012 - The March 2012 Southwest Area All-Staff training for child care licensors and their supervisors included a 3-hour workshop led by Dr. Gina Lebedeva on how research-based elements of parent-child interaction might be more fluidly incorporated into their important work. While their main duties include processing background checks, inspecting and monitoring facilities, and taking corrective action when necessary, they also have important roles in identifying strengths in child care settings, and sharing information and resources when something can be improved. This workshop focused on the small but important everyday learning moments that are the basis for early learning, as outlined in both basic and current research findings. Feedback from participants emphasized how helpful it is to be not only reminded of the core features of social, emotional and communication interactions between providers and children in the first 3 years, but also how to frame their work to be able to include that type of communication with the providers they work with.

Early Bilingual Experiences Webinar for the WSU Parenting Extension

March 9, 2012 - After a great showing at the inauguration of WSU's parenting extension webinar series in October of 2011, Dr. Gina Lebedeva was asked back to lead the second webinar in the series on "Early Bilingual Experience and its Relationship to Language and Cognitive Development. Opened to the national network of over 100 sites, the webinar was filled to capacity where some sites were hosting a local co-viewing group. Participants come from across the nation including MA, NY, AZ, CA, FL, and of course WA, and included parenting coaches, early education faculty, K-12 professionals and administrators, and community early learning leaders. Click here to watch the recorded Webinar.

Bellingham Technical College Focus on Our Children: Childcare and Early Childhood Educator Conference

February 4, 2012 - At the annual Focus on Our Children Conference at Bellingham Technical College, Dr. Gina Lebedeva led two breakout sessions for early intervention home visitors, childcare providers, early education practitioners, and community program leaders. Lively discussion ensued in two workshops, which were titled, "Cognition is Play, Language, and Social Interaction All in One Brain" and "Brain Measures and Behaviors in Infants Predict Later Outcomes: Making Most of the Research." Key points developed in the workshops were how to use evidence-based strategies to help at-risk families improve their moment-by-moment interactions with infants and toddlers, by focusing on small moments that include imitation, eye gaze, gesturing and high-quality language input.

Fort Worden Early Learning Conference Keynote and Workshop

February 3, 2012 - This engaging 2-day conference gathered over 400 early learning providers, the vast majority working in programs affiliated with Head Start and Early Head Start, where Dr. Gina Lebedeva presented the keynote talk titled "From Eye Gaze to Brain Waves: How the Quality of Interactions Shapes Learning in the Early Years" and an associated breakout session to help practitioners apply the science in their work with children and families. DEL director Dr. Bette Hyde and OSPI Superintendent Randy Dorn also spoke about the advancement of early learning opportunities ahead in Washington, and engaged in discussion with Dr. Lebedeva on opportunities to improve professional education in alignment with the Race To The Top project at the state level.


Workshop on Early Bilingualism at UW 2012 iYouth Conference

January 28, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva led a workshop on early bilingualism at the UW Information School's annual iYouth conference, where their mission includes supporting professional development for children's and youth services in libraries and literacy. With over 60 participants, the workshop, called "Strong Communication as a Foundation for Strong Reading" focused on how to apply evidence from brain and behavioral science to young bilinguals, and dispelled common myths about bilingualism. A take-away message was that strong overall language and sound awareness skills in the child's home language, bilingual or not, is key to preparing the child for school and for reading in any language, even if the school's language may not match the home language all of the time. Participants also learned about how bilingualism and cognitive flexibility are related, and ways to promote children's flexible thinking across different settings.

Northwest Washington K-12 Educators Engage with Early Learning Science, Policy, and Practice

January 27, 2012 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva presented at a meeting of 30 district superintendents, principals, and administrators in the Olympic Education Service District (ESD) in Bremerton, WA, one of 9 regional ESDs in Washington State. The discussion focused on connecting the science of early learning to K-12 education, and what particular, unique, and direct relevance early learning research has on improving education policies.

Given the robust data on the importance of human interaction in learning, the engaging discussion focused on how social-emotional foundations, set early in life, fundamentally drive cognitive development and readiness for school and life. I-LABS findings on the development of gender-math stereotyping also applied to considerations for STEM education. The presentation spurred lively discussion among the group on how leadership, curricula, and evaluation standards can be shaped and improved given these data.

The conversation also highlighted the theme of including the science of early learning itself, including basic brain development from infancy, as an integral part of basic science and social science education in the K-12 system, given the powerful impact that this knowledge can have when it is incorporated into public awareness.

Discussing the Intersection of Science and Policy at the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health (TAIMH) Brazelton Conference

January 5-6, 2012 - At "Securing the Future for Our Babies", the annual Texas Association for Infant Mental Health Brazelton Conference in Dallas, Dr. Gina Lebedeva gave a keynote address on "Learning, Language & Love: Connecting the Keys to a Strong Start in Life". Gina also did a work session with a large group of funders and policy advocates on the important connections between science, advocacy, and policy - highlighting the role I-LABS and our Translation, Outreach, and Education division has played in the development of early learning policy in Washington State.

While in Texas, Gina was also interviewed on the CBS-affiliate station in Dallas, KRLD Radio. Information about the conference including access to the presentations and handouts can be found on the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health website.

Inaugural WSU Parenting Education Series Webinar

October 21, 2011 - I-LABS research and our Translation, Outreach, & Education work was featured in the first webinar in the WSU Parenting Extension's parenting education webinar series. The topic of the presentation, "Everyday Interactions are the Foundation for Early Learning: Key Behaviors for Supporting Communication in Children 0-3", supported the participants' work with parents in multiple ways. The webinar was archived and is available to the public here.

RobinHood Foundation Early Childhood Professional Training Workshop with Nurse Family Partnerships and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

September 28, 2011 - After the Education Nation event in NYC, outreach specialist Gina Lebedeva was invited to lead a 2-hour training workshop through the Robin Hood Foundation, which focuses on reducing poverty and its effects in the NYC area. Participants in the workshop were 50 Nurse Family Partner home visitors and supervisors, as well as early childhood development specialists who lead efforts in service provision in the Queens NY area.

The workshop was titled 'Everyday Interaction as the Foundation for Learning: Key Behaviors in Supporting Communication in Children 0-3' and focused on how professionals can help parents stay mindful of how language-based interactions can stimulate cognitive development. With this keen group, discussion focused on the more challenging aspects of home visiting, and how fostering relationships between the professional and the parent is key for successful "translation" of relevant research findings into daily routines of families themselves. Based on feedback and interaction, participants left with a deeper awareness of how basic brain and behavioral research can be integrated into the quality of experiences during home visits, which then affect the very fabric of a child's experiences at home.

I-LABS scientists dialogue with Eastern Washington leaders in early learning at 2011 Starting Strong P-3 Institute

August 11-12, 2011 - I-LABS' scientists Drs. Andrew Meltzoff, Patricia Kuhl and Sarah Roseberry along with Gina Lebedeva, Director of Translation, Outreach and Education, delivered talks and spoke with providers, practitioners and policy-makers at the 3rd annual Starting Strong P-3 Institute. Hundreds of school district officials, teachers, parents, early learning providers, funders and policy-makers gathered for the two-day conference held on August 11-12, 2011 with the goal of fostering an early learning and education ecosystem to help bridge the achievement gap for children in Washington State. Video capturing the excitement of the event can be found here.

Invest Northwest with Sean Owsley

May 8, 2011 - Spokane TV Station KHQ reporter Sean Owsley interviews Gina Lebedeva for their Invest Northwest program to discus the importance of investing in early childhood.

Health Matters: Early Childhood Development

April, 2011 - Health Matters TV show: "Our Kids Our Business Edition:" A one hour live call-in show, with Gina Lebedeva as a panelist.

Sacred Heart Children's Hospital

April 22, 2011 - Invited talk "Connecting Early Learning Experiences with Children's Health," for Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane, WA, by Gina Lebedeva.

Skagit County Child and Family Consortium

February, 2011 - Dr. Gina Lebedeva travels to Mount Vernon Washington, presenting to an audience of over 150 including school district administrators and educators, mental health professionals, child welfare advocates, early learning coaliltion members and childcare directors.

Children's Librarians Training Meeting

December, 2010 - Invited talk "Early Literacy, Language and the Brain," in Seattle, WA, by Gina Lebedeva

King County Library Board of Trustees

October 26, 2010 - Invited talk "Linking Brain Development with Early Language and Literacy," in Seattle, WA, by Gina Lebedeva

Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC) Conference

October 14, 2010 - The conference was held in Spokane Washington and attended by over 300 early education specialists across the state, keynote address by Andrew N. Meltzoff and breakout session led by Gina Lebedeva


Head Start Tour

July 12, 2010 - The Director of Washington State Head Start/ECAEP as well as regional Head Start Directors learned about the latest research in children's brain and behavioral development in a meeting and tour with I-LABS Co-Directors


Swedish Birthways Lecture

September 24, 2009 - Dr. Andrew Meltzoff is featured in the Swedish Birthways Lecture Series 


I-LABS Ackerly Summer Institute for Educators

June 26-28, 2006 - The inaugural I-LABS Summer Institute was held on two beautiful days in June. These day-long workshops brought nearly 50 K-12 teachers, administrators and other school specialists to I-LABS in order to hear about the neuroscience of early learning. The theme for the workshop was “Building a bridge between neuroscience and education”.

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