Ms. Hammer is a master teacher and coach who has strong track record of creating, growing and sustaining humanistic educational programs. She joined TeamBuilders Group in August of 2017 as “Head Coach” to help develop and deliver innovative professional development and collaboration practices.
Since 2009, Kenda has served at the University of Pittsburgh as an adjunct faculty member, assigned both to course teaching and supervision of pre-service teachers in Early Childhood Education
Prior to her current work, Ms. Hammer founded and directed the Family Literacy Center of the Fox Chapel Area School District in 2003. The community-based facility on Main Street in Sharpsburg operated for ten years (2003-2013) as a pioneering model that preceded the 2007 launch of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning and Remake Learning.
- Foundational programming required endless hours of focused and strong leadership. As the teacher who planned and directed the program at the Family Literacy Center, Kenda worked as a creative thinker, facilitator, and specialist in early learning, child development, play, literacy, and technology. This framework included strong advocacy for children with related policy and collaborative professional development. The model was successfully and innovatively implemented with these goals:
- To provide extended opportunities for children to think deeply, talk, read, play, engage, create with a focus on process over product and … connect firsthand experiences to guide learning and growth.
- To create a model that advocates for emergent curriculum-based projects through teaching practices that support children’s learning, development, and pursuits–then to be collectively shared by families, professionals, administrators, and decision-makers…i.e. all stakeholders sharing alignment to learning standards.
- To provide parents with skills and resources for children’s home carryover in reading, writing, and playing to promote oral language development and integrated content like science, math, technology, representation with “a hundred languages” and exploration of the outdoors. With added knowledge about how these supports create success, parents also enhance children’s capacity to enter kindergarten ready to learn.