Rochester Pyramid Model Leadership Summit Promotes Young Children's Social and Emotional Health

Rochester Pyramid Model Leadership Summit Promotes Young Children's Social and Emotional Health



  • “I’d like to give honor to all of you that are here—knowing the duties to which you are called, please know that your community appreciates and values your service and sacrifice. And I’d like to congratulate and thank all of you present for being part of the movement to fully implement the Pyramid Model here.”

    NYS Regent Wade Norwood

    CEO of Common Ground Health

    On July 12th & 13th 2018, Children’s Institute came together with the Rochester and Western NY early childhood community for the first ever Rochester Pyramid Model Leadership Summit! The Pyramid Model is a public health, evidenced-based, tiered framework that promotes young children’s social and emotional competencies and prevents challenging behaviors.   

    Patricia E. Persell, Director of the NYS Head Start Collaborative, and NYS Pyramid Model Leadership Chair, presented on the state-wide initiatives and progress since 2015 when the Pyramid Model was adopted as an early childhood guiding framework.  Rochester was an earlier adopter of the Pyramid Model and has been at the forefront of the state’s work.  This in large part is due to the long-time mission, vision and advocacy for the Pyramid Model by the Children’s Institute, Rochester Childfirst Network, and Child Care Council, Inc-- where four of the state’s Pyramid Model Master Cadre trainers and coaches can be found!  

    Michael Wischnowski, Professor and Dean, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education at St. John Fisher College where the event was hosted wrote, “What a treat it was to have Mary Louise Hemmeter  |LS|Vanderbilt professor and lead Pyramid Model researcher|RS| address us… I hope this event gave the impetus this philosophy and practice need to make a bigger imprint on children and families in the Rochester region and beyond.”

    Following the event, Paulette Walley, Manager of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services Rochester Regional Office reflected, “There were so many terrific opportunities to network and for me to promote benefits of Pyramid to our child care community!   I keep hearing Mary Louise’s voice in my head about all of us in the community having the opportunity to ‘be the one person’ for the children!”

    This Summit’s purpose was twofold: to educate our early childhood care community about Pyramid Model and the measurable impact it has on children’s early social, emotional, and behavioral development and to provide opportunities for providers to meet, network, and share best practices. Over 80 attendees were able to meet both of these goals over two days, and left feeling re-energized in their work and in their goals for our city’s young people.

    Participants new to the Pyramid Model also remarked on what they gained. After a session  on how trauma informed care aligns with the Pyramid Model, presented by Jody Todd Manly of the Mount Hope Family Center, one provider remarked that she felt she could better “see” individual children in front of her; she went from feeling “helpless to hopeful”.

    While Pyramid Model framework materials are available for free through CSEFEL, guided expertise in implementing the strategies can be extremely helpful.  Across New York State, the City of Rochester is seen as a leader in early childhood care and education. This is in large part due to an early and enthusiastic adoption of the Pyramid Model within many of the city’s childcare organizations. If you are looking for help getting started with the Pyramid Model, understanding the many tools and resources, or just interested in more information, Children’s Institute staff are ready to work with you.

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