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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Early Childhood Innovation Institute Invites Participants

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University’s Southwest Florida Comprehensive System of Personnel Development partnership will host the Early Childhood Innovation Institute Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15 at the Holiday Inn Select next to Bell Tower Mall in Fort Myers for the community of Southwest Florida to learn more about educating children with special needs five and younger.

The Institute features two keynote speakers and eight breakout sessions covering topics such as using natural learning environments, seamless transition and family-centered supports and services, Florida’s curriculum for families entering the early intervention system, and an enrichment series.

“This event is an opportunity for collaborative learning and planning, additionally a call for demonstration project proposals will be issued,” assistant project coordinator for the CSPD Peg Sullivan said.

“These demonstration projects will support coalitions of agencies or groups to implement what they learn. We are very excited about the opportunities to enhance the quality of services that this represents.”

Friday’s keynoter Pam Winton is outreach director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She will speak on “Building a Responsive Early Childhood Community.”

Saturday, Mary Elizabeth Bruder will address the use of “Natural Learning Environments.” Bruder is a professor of pediatrics and director of the A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Development Disabilities at the University of Connecticut.

Individuals in the five county region who work with young children and their families are invited to attend, as are family members of young children.

The local General Supervision Enhancement Grant, under the auspices of the FGCU College of Education CSPD, is sponsoring the event. Funding for the Institute was provided by the Florida Department of Health Children’s Medical Services and was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.

For more information, contact assistant project coordinator for the Southwest Florida Comprehensive System of Personnel Development Peg Sullivan at (239) 590-7747 or .

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