What Matters Most: Your Child's First Five Years

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About the Special

Multiple studies conducted since the 1990s have focused on parental influence on children’s development. This led to the promotion of programs emphasizing parent-child interactions. These interactions promote healthy brain development and school readiness. Many of these interactions can be achieved during everyday activities including reading, playtime or even while grocery shopping.

Milwaukee Area Technical College's Early Childhood Education program assembled a panel of experts to share information and answer questions at the special event recorded in early March. Keynote speaker Dr. Dipesh Navsaria explained how important those first five years are to learning and brain development. 

Meet the Speakers

Keynote Speaker - Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD

Associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and practices primary care pediatrics at a federally-qualified health center in South Madison. He is also the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin and the founder and director of the Pediatric Early Literacy Projects at the University of Wisconsin. Committed to understanding how basic science can translate into busy primary-care settings via population health concepts and policy initiatives, Dr Navsaria aims to educate the next generation of health care providers in realizing how their professional roles include being involved in larger concepts of social policy and how they may affect the cognitive development of children.

Ivelis Perez

Bilingual Early Childhood Education teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools.
Ivelis Perez is the proud mother of three emergent bilinguals and is currently a Bilingual Early Childhood Education teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools. Before that Perez served as the Executive Director of Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones, an organization that serves children with disabilities and their families.

Lana Nenide, MS

Executive Director at the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH)
Lana Nenide works with a state-wide nonprofit agency charged with supporting social and emotional wellness of infants and young children in the context of their family, community, and culture. Lana holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin and is a graduate of the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate Program.

Toshiba Adams

Instructor and instructional chair for Milwaukee Area Technical College's Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Program
Toshiba Adams serves as a full-time instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in the Early Childhood Education associate degree program. Her teaching focus includes the concentration of child development and center administration. Toshiba's research and study interests includes examining the relationship between structural inequalities and its impact on child growth and development; school desegregation, the educational plight of minority populations, Critical Race Theory (CRT) and social stratification.

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