Professional Development

High-quality professional development and technical assistance opportunities are essential to propel the field forward. Opportunities to engage in conferences, series- and/or certificate-based training, mentoring and advocacy, and college coursework strengthen professionals’ ability to provide better care and opportunities for the children and youth in their programs, and deepen their understanding of research and best practices. Professional development is a key component to a career lattice for the field.


STEM Series #1: Designing STEM with Youth

Presented by: Ashley Moore, United Way of Rhode Island STEM Expansion VISTA

Friday, May 8
9:30am – 11:00am
@ United Way of RI, 50 Valley Street, Providence

In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn how to design a STEM program from start to finish directly with the youth they serve. Throughout this hands-on session, STEM will be articulated through the scientific method, and participants will design their own research process–from choosing a question to data collection.

Register for this workshop: 


Project Wild Workshop

Presented by: Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Friday, May 15
9:30am – 1:00pm
@ The Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol
(about 25 minutes from Providence, accessible by RIPTA [60 line from downtown Providence], and by bicycle along the East Bay bike path)

At this lively and engaging professional workshop, participants are introduced to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. Through hands-on practice, educators gain the experience and confidence needed to work with their students and to integrate Project WILD into their teaching.

The activities found in Project WILD instructional materials are intended for use in both classroom and informal settings and are designed to support state and national academic standards appropriate for grades K-12. The activities can easily be adapted to meet the learning requirements for academic disciplines ranging from science and environmental education to social studies, math, and language arts. Educators may choose one or more Project WILD activities to teach a concept or skill. The activities may be integrated into existing courses of study, or an entire set of activities may serve effectively as the basis for a specific course.

Project WILD’s primary audience is educators, both formal and informal, of kindergarten through high school students.  Each participant will receive a curriculum guide.  Participants are asked to dress comfortably and to be prepared to go outside for some of the activities during the workshop.

Register for this workshop:

Cultivating Readers: Using a Literacy-based Curriculum to Teach Concepts of Food, Fitness, and Farming

Presented by: Kristin Lehr Anderson, M.D., FAAP, FACP, Founder and Co-Executive Director, F.I.T. Club; and Anita Carrandi DiMatteo, M.Ed., F.I.T. Club

Friday, May 29
9:00am – 11:00am
@ United Way of RI, 50 Valley Street, Providence

Discover strategies to incorporate children’s literature into your program. Role play an interactive lesson that teaches kids about pizza ingredients using the children’s book The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza).  Find out how F.I.T. Club ( curriculum integrates the Common Core State Standards for both Mathematics and the English Language Arts in conjunction with Science and Social Studies to educate students about food sourcing and production, cooking, sustainability, nutrition, and disease.

Register for this workshop:


Rhode Island for Community and Justice’s Day Long Cultural Competency Workshop
Postponed – check back soon for new date in June
Presented by: Tessa Fast, Andrea Gomez, Harry Stewart, Patricia Taubin

This workshop provides insight on how culture shapes the structure of our organizations as well as our individual biases. Through facilitated discussions and activities, participants will explore issues of race, power, and privilege and how to recognize both cultural inclusion and barriers to inclusion. This training provides resources and helps build skills to understand how cultural competency can benefit organizations. Additionally, it will provide CLAS National Standards and a best practice model to help participants become more aware when engaging with diverse communities and their own organizational culture. The goal of this 1-day workshop is for participants to feel engaged, capable, and motivated to introduce cultural competency practices in institutions, policy, and daily interactions.

check back soon for a registration link! 



Previous Training Materials

RIASPA Summer Learning Symposium Materials (March 16, 2011)
National Summer Learning Association Perspectives on Summer Learning (PowerPoint)