Pre-K Training

Pre-K Training Program


Provident Charter School opened in 2016 as a public charter school in the City of Pittsburgh designed to meet the needs of children with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. Throughout the past six years, we have been able to see first-hand the challenges associated with educating at-risk students who demonstrate a multitude of academic and behavioral deficits. Specifically, we have observed how limited background knowledge and impoverished language impact one’s ability to learn and be successful early in school. For these reasons we recently applied for, and received, a grant to support early intervention for Pre-Kindergarten students. This $122,000 grant was funded by the Edith L. Trees Charitable Foundation and allows us to provide training to early childhood staff and families of children who attend these programs at no cost to the participants.

Trust Information: Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust was established in 1976 in Pennsylvania and its interests include children and youth along with education.

Pre-K Educator or Parent Training Topic Choices

Below is a list of training topics that may be of interest. We would love the opportunity to discuss this in more detail with you. We can truly be flexible with dates, times, and the number of sessions we offer. Again, this is at no cost to your organization. Training can be held at your location or virtually.

Fill out this form and we will contact you or email Kimberly Conwell at

Please note: The length and specific content of each session below are able to be adapted to fit the needs of your organization. Most sessions will include takeaway materials for participants. We will also provide light refreshments as part of the grant funding. We look forward to working with you in making this experience unique and impactful for your organization!

The ability to manipulate phonemes and identify letters has been identified as the two most important predictors of success in reading. This training will explain the continuum of phonemic awareness skills. Participants will have an opportunity to examine assessments that reveal diagnostic and prescriptive information for students they are currently working with. Participants will observe, practice, and identify specific phonemic awareness routines that can fit into a daily schedule, with attention being given to book titles that are useful in improving phonemic awareness.

This training will describe how activities with manipulatives can help children understand the relationships between mathematical concepts so that they can be flexible with numbers and demonstrate conceptual understanding. Participants will also examine assessments that can be used to identify present levels of mathematical understanding. These assessments can be used to diagnose and prescribe routines and procedures to help address number sense deficits in pre-kindergarten students. Lastly, participants will leave with a “menu” of activities or tasks to incorporate into daily routines that will help develop number sense and mathematical mindsets.

From Grace Fernald and Helen Keller to Maria Montessori, multisensory instruction has a long history in special education. Teachers tend to rely on visual and auditory modalities, but there is value in incorporating tactile and kinesthetic modalities to help students master literacy and math skills. The simultaneous use of all modalities contributes to long-term memory, increases student engagement, and creates a positive learning experience for young, reluctant learners. This session will provide both a high-level rationale, as well as specific examples of how to incorporate multi-sensory strategies throughout their Pre-K day.

This session will identify hallmark characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder. Participants will learn the similarities and differences between them, and focus on strategies that can help students learn despite these challenges. Specific attention will be given to visual supports that can help students compensate for difficulties with language processing.

Especially for Pre-K children, learning that is embedded in the context of play is critical. This session will focus specifically on games and routines that can help students who have difficulty with receptive and expressive language. There are common activities and games that help students understand sounds in sequence.

This powerful simulation will open your eyes to the daily struggles children can experience. It starts with a brief discussion of dyslexia, including the neurological basis, demographics, warning signs, and interventions. Participants will then take part in simulated activities which mimic the experiences and processing of those with dyslexia. A variety of topics are covered including: reading, spelling, auditory processing, visual motor, and challenges with math computation.

This session will focus on providing parents or family members with tools and strategies to help improve language in the home. This will be taught within the context of play and daily routines. Specific, enjoyable, read-at-home texts, that foster phonemic awareness, and language development will be shared and provided for participants to take home.

There are a variety of assessments that can be used in part, or in full, to assess early literacy or language skills. This session will explore several of these including the CTOPP (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing), TILLS Test (Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills), and Phonemic Awareness subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test. Other informal, non-standardized measures will be described as well.

Project Manager

Kimberly Conwell

Certified Teacher
Certified Wilson Reading System® Instructor

Educational Consultants

Maria Paluselli

CEO, Provident Charter School
Certified Wilson Reading System® Instructor
Certified Orton-Gillingham Practitioner/Trainer

Educational Consultants

Dr. Rachel Owens

Operational Compliance Officer
Provident Charter School