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Kathy Ward-Cameron, M.S.

Kathy Ward-CameronKathy Ward-Cameron, M.S., is the executive director/founding president of the Early Literacy Institute (ELI), a cadre of trainers, evaluators, and consultants who offer professional development services to help early childhood programs provide scientifically-based early literacy and early learning initiatives for young children. Under her leadership, the ELI team has provided professional development and assessment for several state and federally funded programs, including an Office of Head Start-funded Early Learning Mentor Coach (ELMC) program, two Department of Education funded Early Reading First (ERF) programs, and the Ohio Department of Education’s Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) Project, a statewide research initiative which recruited, trained, and supported ELLCO observers in the field, including designing and presenting data-based professional development to administrators and teachers in over 1000 Pre-K through Grade 5 throughout the state.

Ms. Ward-Cameron is also a consultant and presenter on the Common Core Standards and its implications for early childhood/early elementary (Pre-K–Grade 3) for the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI). At the University of Virginia, she served as a research assistant for the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (NCRECE) professional development study team, My Teaching Partner. She is a master instructor for Brookes Publishing on the ELLCO and has presented nationally on the tool since 2003, specializing on the use the ELLCO to inform and guide professional development. Through the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center for Literacy and the Chicago Department of Human Services, she served as the evaluator of the Head Start Early Literacy and Youth Development Initiative–Project SOAR, an early literacy program that prepared teens and parents to work side-by-side with teachers to enhance the early literacy skills and development of at-risk children.

As a pioneer in technology in early childhood education, Ms. Ward-Cameron was on the original field faculty of RISE Learning Solutions, which revolutionized distance learning in early childhood education. She also served as the subscription relations manager for the National Head Start Association’s satellite broadcast network, the HeadsUp Network, and trained facilitators of HeadsUp! Reading, a 30-hour early literacy course broadcast via satellite to early childhood programs, libraries, and universities nationwide, and was the Illinois state coordinator for HUR. Dr. Ward-Cameron has been invited to present on topics related to early literacy, distance learning, and cultural responsiveness at several national and international conferences, including two U.S. Department of Education Early Reading First Symposiums, the Working Forum for Teacher Educators in New Zealand, and the Early Childhood World Forum in Montreal.

Ms. Ward-Cameron’s work in early literacy is featured in the book, Conversations on Early Childhood Teacher Education: Voices from the Working Forum for Teacher Educators (Gibbons and Gibbs, 2009). Kathy holds a Master of Science degree in Child Care Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from East Carolina University.