Programs and Services


Spring into Literacy Conference

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Learn to Move...Move to Learn

Sensorimotor Intelligence is the modality in which infants understand the world around them. Once seen as a precursor for symbolic thought and high cognitive functions , new research is highlighting the importance of movement and physical literacy in the cultivation of critical thinking and overall school readiness. Delegates will be invited to experience how self-esteem/empowerment as well as community can be nourished and created in and through dance.

Creativity and physical literacy is a window to authenticity; they are mediums to celebrate and discover our identities. Drawing on child development, early childhood pedagogy and training in dance/fitness modalities, Alan will demonstrate the transformative power that dance has on young children’s emerging literacy and self-concepts.

Alan Faigal


Alan Faigal Diploma ECE (Sheridan College), BA (Ryerson), MA (OISE)

Alan Faigal is an educator and community animator who teaches for Ryerson University's Early Childhood Studies Program. Pedagogy centers on family support, holistic practices and social justice. His mentorship of practicum students includes the cultivation of self and innovation. Alan is also the National Youth Outreach Director for Culture Shock Canada, in that role he has designed and implemented community dance programs for ages 2.5 to 18 all across Southern Ontario. He has designed and delivered various professional development workshops for a wide range of educators and interdisciplinary fields. Alan has been a movement specialist in the fitness/wellness industry for over 17 years. As a canfitpro PRO trainer he trains and certifies group fitness instructors. He has recently become an ambassador for the Masala Bhangra Workout. Alan’s dance training has been in Hip Hop and Urban based genres. He studies and performs Bollywood Dance under the direction of Lopa Sarkar of Divine Heritage Artistry. Dance floors and academic lecture halls are avenues for his dynamic teaching methods.

Feel The Beat - Handout

Dendrite Dance


2. Sharon Chimming


 Sharon Chimming is a Speech-Language Pathologist with the Durham District School Board (DDSB).  Over the years, she has provided training and consultation to educators, parents and special education professionals, most recently through DDSB's Autism Resource Team.   She has supported students across a range of DDSB settings and also within specialized treatment programs through Grove School.  Social skills and play development is a current passion.  Through active membership on DDSB's multidisciplinary committee on Structuring Social Skills and Play, Sharon has helped to draft an assessment rubrics and programming guidelines for Board-wide use.

Fostering Social Skills & Play Development - Handout

3. Alishia Chamney & Melany Cox


Alishia Chamney and Melany Cox are speech-language pathologists with the preschool speech and language program at Grandview Children’s Centre.  They have an interest in literacy development and have been actively involved with Spring Into Literacy since the very first conference!

Vocabulary Tiers

Literacy Skills

Wonderful Words - Handout

4. Erin Clark, Music Therapist


Erin Clark is a Music Therapist living and working in Durham Region. In her 13 years as an accredited Music Therapist, she has worked with children with special needs, adults with developmental delays, adults with acquired brain injuries, seniors in long term care and individuals in inpatient mental health. Erin has worked in school, clinical and home scenarios and has two of her own children that have taught her a lot about how children think and learn. In her spare time, she writes songs, performs in the community and is a member of a professional acapella group in Toronto.    

Erin's Presentation

Music Therapy - Handout

5. Jill Ravelosa-Alvarez


Jill Javelosa-Alvarez is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a strong educational background and years of experience in working with children, families, and early learning professionals. She currently works as an Early Literacy Specialist for York Region in Ontario, Canada and has been nominated in the Educator of Character 2015 Category by the York Region Community Character Foundation. She is actively involved in mentoring children and youth in her community. She is passionate about enhancing children`s learning through play and her messages place a strong emphasis on the importance of parent engagement and quality interaction and connection with young children. She offers consultation training, and workshops to parents, caregivers, and professionals on how to support children’s early literacy and early numeracy development. Her life goal is to teach minds, touch hearts, and transform lives. She is the author of the books: ABC, ABC, What Do You See? And The Handbook for Busy Parents. Jill is a busy mom of two wonderful children whom she is totally crazy about.


Registration (Online)

Online Registration Here!

Durham Region's
Spring into Literacy Conference


6th annual conference for professionals and parents supporting early literacy development of children from birth to six years

Saturday, April 8, 2017



Durham District School Board offices
400 Taunton Road East, Whitby, Ontario

EventBrite Online Registration Link!

Spring into Literacy

Presented in partnership by:

Presenting partners for 2016 Spring into Literacy Conference