Strange New Words: Early Literacy in a Virtual World



Education disruptions are the norm right now. In response to the widespread shift to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first event, Strange New Words: Early Learning in a Virtual World, will explore how “the new normal” affects our youngest and most vulnerable learners. We invite you to join this discussion around the challenges facing early literacy education right now, and the impact on families.

Strange New Words is the first in our new event series Reading Together: Now!. Bringing together community members, field experts, and our staff twice a year, these dialogues are centered on the topics of early learning, literacy education, and what we can do to strengthen our communities now and later. This event is open to all to attend!


WHEN: Thursday, September 24, 5-6:30PM CST

WHERE: Zoom Webinar (link to be provided before the event)


Meet our Panelists:

Samina Hadi-Tabassum EdDSamina Hadi-Tabassum is a clinical associate professor at Erikson Institute where she leads the Child Life program and the online Masters in Early Childhood Education program. She teaches graduate courses in cognitive development, language development and literacy at Erikson. Her research focuses on race, language and culture.

Matt JacobsonMatt Jacobson is the Online Learning Specialist for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. He creates online professional learning opportunities supporting educators statewide. He supports districts and Regional Offices of Education in the development and implementation of E-Learning Plans and Remote Learning classroom activities through in-person or remote consultation and professional development sessions.

Emily Quinlan: Emily Quinlan is a first grade teacher at Goethe Elementary School in Chicago Public School District. She graduated from UIC with a masters in Education and is going into my 9th year of teaching. Her favorite subjects to teach are reading and social emotional skills. She’s eager to find engaging and meaningful ways to bring these subjects to life online!

Cheyan Stander: Cheyan Stander is a first grade teacher at Ollie Detwiler Elementary School in Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kristen Walter (Moderator): Kristen Walter, Director of Education, brings more than twenty years of educational experience to Reading in Motion. Before joining the Reading in Motion team, she was the central United States manager for Crayola Education and worked for over 15 years as a certified art and music instructor in NC. A leader in the classroom and beyond, Kristen helped her school become a national Title I school for closing achievement gaps, P21 Exemplar School, a finalist award in the Intel Schools of Distinction Math and Science Award, win a CCAC Crayola grant and win the National School Change Award. She has been recognized as a Yale Distinguished Music Educator and both Kristen and her fifth grade students were invited by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities to showcase their arts integration project at the first annual White House Arts Integration Fair


This event is open to all to attend! Register now with a $10 suggested donation to Reading In Motion. Your donation directly supports our in-classroom and virtual literacy programs for young students in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Detroit.


Register Now with Eventbrite!


Interested in Sponsoring?
We’d love to have you! We couldn’t do this work without the support of sponsors. Between covering event-related costs to making direct contributions to our programs, sponsors make a huge impact on our work. We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities available, and we’d love to connect with you! For more information, download our sponsorship form here.