St. Vincent College faculty member to present to worldwide audience in Finland

Dr. Dana Winters to speak at Helsinki summit this week.

Dr. Dana Winters, assistant professor of child and family studies and director of Simple Interactions and academic programming at the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College, is spending the week of Nov. 4 in Helsinki, Finland, where she will present to a number of different constituencies of educators from across the world.

As part of Helsinki Education Week, Winters will spend Monday, Nov. 4, and Tuesday, Nov. 5, sharing the Simple Interactions approach with educators and classrooms throughout the city. She will then attend the HundrED Innovation Summit, where on Wednesday, she will share the work of Simple Interactions as a featured presenter at the invitation-only gathering of educational leaders from across the world.

The Simple Interactions approach integrates Fred Rogers’ emphasis on building relationships and finding what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in simple, everyday moments on a day-to-day basis. It was developed by Dr. Junlei Lei, formerly the co-director of the Fred Rogers Center and currently the Saul Zaentz Senior Lecturer in Early Education at Harvard.

Winters received the opportunity to present in Finland after Simple Interactions was one of 12 educational innovations chosen in May for the HundrED Spotlight on Pittsburgh, which identified the most innovative, impactful and scalable programs developed by educators in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. All 12 programs will be represented at the Helsinki summit.

In addition to her featured presentation on Wednesday, Winters will take part in a Thursday discussion on the HundrED Spotlight on Pittsburgh with Gregg Behr, executive director of the Grable Foundation, a local partner in the HundrED Spotlight.

Finland will now be the fifth country in which Winters will present Simple Interactions, while it has also been presented to 35 different states.

Established at St. Vincent College in 2003, the Fred Rogers Center “enriches the development of current and emerging leaders in the fields of early learning and children’s media by supporting the advancement of child-serving professionals; educational opportunities for undergraduate Fred Rogers Scholars; research and special collaborations by Rogers Center Fellows, and resources and information on the developmentally appropriate use of media to strengthen human relationships.”

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