1st National Learning Stories Conference

May 2019-  SALSA co-hosted the first National LS Conference held in Orange County, CA. SALSA co-hosted National LS conference with Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children, Orange County Department of Education, and California State University Channel Islands. Wendy Lee was keynote speaker and an ELP facilitator provided a workshop.

Learning Stories Facilitator Inquiry Group Formed

Sept 2018- formed online Learning Stories (LS) Facilitator Inquiry Group. LS Facilitators meeting monthly online in community of practice. LS Inquiry groups at Consumnes River College Child Development Center, Las Americas Early Education School with San Francisco Unified School District, Mills College Children’s School, Santa Barbara County Office of Education and KidZCommunity in Nevada and Placer County. In fall 2019, LS Inquiry expanded with new groups, adding California State University Channel Islands and Ventura County Office of Education, Center in Berkeley, and also an online LS Inquiry Group.  The online group expanded beyond California to also include participants from Michigan, Hawaii, Texas, Utah, Minnesota, and as far as Malaysia.

Northern California Learning Stories Conference

In 2018, SALSA co-hosted two separate conferences in late April/early May, held in southern California at Ventura County Office of Education and also under the incredible leadership of Dr. Lygia Stebbing, in northern California at San Francisco State University. The southern California conference was co hosted with SALSA and Ventura County Office of Education, California State University Channel Islands, Child Development Resources, Child Development Incorporated, University California Santa Barbara Early Care and Education, and Santa Barbara County Office of Education.  The northern California LS Conference was co hosted with SALSA and San Francisco State University, EDvance program, City of San Francisco, and the Family Childcare Network. Wendy Lee was the opening keynote speaker for both conferences. In addition, two ELP facilitators provided workshops , an New Zealand early educator provided the afternoon presentation, and a closing panel of practitioners.

 

Southern California Learning Stories Conference

In 2018, SALSA co-hosted two separate conferences in late April/early May, held in southern California at Ventura County Office of Education and also northern California at San Francisco State University. The southern California conference was co hosted with SALSA and Ventura County Office of Education, California State University Channel Islands, Child Development Resources, Child Development Incorporated, University California Santa Barbara Early Care and Education, and Santa Barbara County Office of Education.  The northern California LS Conference was co hosted with SALSA and San Francisco State University, EDvance program, City of San Francisco, and the Family Childcare Network. Wendy Lee was the opening keynote speaker for both conferences. In addition, two ELP facilitators provided workshops, a New Zealand early educator provided an afternoon presentation, and closing panel of local educators who shared their Learning Stories practice.

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SALSA Mission and Vision Created

In 2018- SALSA created mission and vision statement:

Mission Statement- SALSA advocates for the Learning Stories approach that enhances intentional teaching, reflective practices, and advances equity and diversity by acknowledging early childhood educators, families, and children as both learners and teachers.

Vision Statement- SALSA represents children’s learning with integrity and respect, recognizing their individual value and competencies. We advance Learning Stories in the United States as an authentic narrative approach to bring joy into teachers’ work of documentation, observation, and assessment.

SALSA’s 1st Steps

From February 2018 to August 2018, SALSA came together to begin planning and implementing next steps.  This included Regan Bynder, Dr. Chris Carducci, Isauro M. Escamilla, Jeannette Mulhern, Annette Muse, Lorena Ramos, Lindsey Shafer, Dr. Lygia Stebbing, Joyce Stone, Leslie Voss, and Dr. Annie White.  SALSA began participating in efforts to advance Learning Stories through a think tank with a Learning Stories e-portfolio developer, resource development, and dissemination through presentations and publications.

SALSA Origin

First USA Learning Stories Intensive study in New Zealand. Dr. Annie White organized 9 participants from California to study in New Zealand with Wendy Lee and the Educational Leadership Project (ELP) team. The LS Intensive Study participants included Regan Bynder, Dr. Chris Carducci, Isauro Escamilla, Annette Muse, Lorena Ramos, Dr. Lygia Stebbing, Joyce Stone, Leslie Voss, and Dr. Annie White. Study participants attended the 2017 Learning Stories conference and visited NZ early childhood centers.

During the New Zealand LS Intensive study, the group strategized next steps and how to support advancing Learning Stories in California and beyond to the USA. Collaboratively, the group decided to host two Learning Stories conferences in CA, with plans to launch an annual Learning Stories conference in the USA. The name “SALSA” Supporting the Advancement of Learning Stories in America was suggested by 2017 LS Intensive study participant, Joyce Stone. The group unanimously loved the name and the birth of SALSA followed.

2017 ELP Learning Stories Conference

SALSA founding members with Dr. Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee at the 2017 ELP Learning Stories conference, Auckland, New Zealand. Conference closing keynote, “Humanizing Assessment in the USA: Learning Stories, Relationship-Driven Work in a Data-Driven World” presented by Annette Muse, Leslie Voss, and Dr. Annie White.