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Knoche unveils preliminary results of project evaluation

Coaches typically develop game plans designed to achieve success on the field, court, diamond or ice. CYFS Research Associate Professor Lisa Knoche is helping to ensure that Nebraska adds “classroom” and “home” to that list.

Knoche, CYFS Consultant Sue Bainter and several graduate student affiliates offered a glimpse into their year-long evaluation of the Early Childhood Coaching Project during a Sept. 29 meeting in Lincoln, Neb. The project – developed by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Early Childhood Training Center – prepares early childhood professionals who work with teachers and families to enhance young children’s development.

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CYFS helps jump-start after-school club

They may lack a driver’s license and ride the bus to school, but students at Lincoln’s Culler Middle School are using other forms of transportation to reach destinations further down the road.

With the support of the Nebraska Center for Research on CYFS, the Nebraska Transportation Center and the Mid-America Transportation Center, Culler recently concluded the first year of an after-school engineering club that illustrated how math and science make modern transportation possible. Dubbed Roads, Rails and Race Cars, the weekly club offered interactive activities that helped Culler students grasp the diverse applications of the algebra, geometry and physics they learned in class.

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Swearer participates in White House conference on bullying

Susan Swearer, associate professor of educational psychology and CYFS faculty affiliate, participated in the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention held March 10.

Swearer was one of four national bullying experts who joined President and First Lady Obama, along with members of the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss the causes, consequences and prevention of bullying. Teachers, parents and students from across the United States were also on hand to lend their perspectives.

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Plata-Potter focusing on Latinos’ early literacy

Sandra Plata-Potter wants to help first-generation Latino parents give their preschoolers a head start on literacy – and the resources to keep pace with their peers.

The CYFS doctoral student affiliate is collaborating with Faculty Affiliates Lisa Knoche and Helen Raikes to determine whether Latino parents’ engagement in a Head Start project encourages them to become more involved in literacy-related activities with their children. The researchers are also examining whether these home-based activities bolster children’s “emergent literacy” – the knowledge and skills that serve as foundations for reading and writing.

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Student affiliate Koziol receives thesis award

Natalie Koziol

Natalie Koziol, a CYFS graduate student affiliate in educational psychology, recently received the 2010-2011 Folsom Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. The award recognizes distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.

Koziol’s thesis is titled “Evaluating Measurement Invariance with Censored Ordinal Data: A Monte Carlo Comparison of Alternative Model Estimators and Scales of Measurement.” In it, Koziol addresses the statistical testing of measurement invariance, which assumes that a scale measures the same construct when used across time or groups. She specifically evaluates how several factors, including sample size and the non-normality of data, influence the validity of statistical conclusions. She also examines how the effects of these factors vary according to measurement models and estimators.

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