WA FOI First 1,000 Days Learning Collaborative I: Program Innovation Accomplishments, Lessons Learned, and Resources

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:00am

To view the recording of this webinar, please click here (requires WebEx).  Meeting materials are located at the bottom of this page.

WA FOI First 1,000 Days Learning Collaborative I: Progam Innovation Accomplishments, Lessons Learned, and Resources

On Thursday, September 28th, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am Pacific Standard Time, Washington Frontiers of Innovation (WA FOI) hosted the first of a series of webinars generated by the Learning Collaborative idea brainstorm activity completed by attendees of the First 1,000 Days kick-off event in June 2017.

This webinar adds to the WA FOI Innovation Cluster overview presented at the kick-off event and aims to provide more information about the FOI program development portfolio of work. Presenters will discuss the program innovation journey – where it all began, emerging promising practices, lessons learned, and forthcoming opportunities – as well as provides a deeper look into a couple of the intervention strategies, and highlight resources available for innovation.


Jason Gortney, MA

Jason serves as director of the Office of Policy and Innovation at Children’s Home Society of Washington, the state’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization serving children and families. In this role, he leads the organization’s work in advocacy, systems reform and innovation to support children and families adversely impacted by poverty, systemic inequities and toxic stress. Since 2014 he has also served as the lead for the Washington Innovation Cluster in partnership with Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child with the goal of driving science-based innovation to seek breakthrough outcomes for young children facing adversity. Since 2011 he has collaborated with researchers from around the country to co-create and test new interventions in early childhood and behavioral health services. Prior to his current role, he worked in program leadership and direct service in the areas of home visiting and out-of-home care for more than 15 years. He has facilitated numerous trainings and has presented at conferences and events nationally and internationally. He appeared in the 2015 PBS documentary, Born to Learn: Brain Science and Early Learning, and he was recently interviewed for a story appearing in The Atlantic Magazine. Gortney earned a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1997, and he joined Children’s Home Society of Washington in 2001.

Beth Larson

Beth’s degree is in Elementary Education and she has been working in trauma informed early intervention and prevention services at Childhaven since 1990.  Beth has been engaged in the FOI work since Dr. Shonkoff came to Seattle to invite Washington State to join the FOI efforts.  Childhaven piloted the Learning Through Play game play intervention with children ages 3-5 and found great results in improving children’s cognitive flexibility.  Childhaven has now adopted the Learning Through Play into our annual curriculum.

Melissa Rivard, M.Ed.

Melissa officially joined the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University in 2015 as a Senior Project Manager on the Frontiers of Innovation initiative and works closely with the Washington Cluster. Melissa has extensive experience in the field of educational research and working with practitioners across educational levels and contexts on developing innovative approaches to putting conceptual frameworks into practice in diverse settings. Prior to joining the Center, Melissa worked at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on projects stemming from a long-term collaboration with early childhood educators in Reggio Emilia and using 'pedagogical documentation' as a tool to support learning for children and adults. Melissa received her undergraduate degree in visual communication from the University of Minnesota and her master's degree in individualized study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Have questions about an article, content to contribute, or a comment/suggestion for this page? Please contact us.