About Robots and Mud Pies π Preschool
Barbie Gallini, MEd, most recently owned and operated Barbie’s Family Child Care in Henrico County. Her child care program was nationally accredited for six years and became the first five star program in the state in the VA Star Quality Initiative program. After 22 years of working on her own with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, she is excited to join forces with Brenda Cubero to create this unique preschool program.
Barbie has a BA from The College of William and Mary. She has a Masters of Education from Lesley College with a specialization in preschool special needs. She also has a certification in Montessori education. Barbie attends a variety of trainings each year. Most recently, she completed a 30 hour online course called “Inspire Elementary Students with Engineering,” and a 20 hour course called “Child Care Administration.” Barbie also provides training for other teachers. Her favorite workshops to present are Let’s Go Outside: Creating Exciting Spaces on the Playground, and Add Some Spice to Your Dramatic Play Area.
Brenda Cubero owned and operated Brenda’s Playhouse, a family childcare business, for 9 years; a nationally accredited child care program for 5 years. It was during this time that she became interested in preschool science as well as the project approach. Brenda moved to Henrico’s west end in 1996 where she earned an Associate’s Degree from J. Sargent Reynolds Community College in early childhood education. She continues to attend early childhood education trainings including Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education conference each year. Most recently, Brenda worked for ChildSavers as a program coordinator where she managed the Voluntary Registration Program for the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Central Virginia area. She was also the Local Coordinator for the Virginia Star Quality Initiative and is a Master Star Quality Rater and state trained mentor. In this capacity, she mentored child care centers, preschool programs and family child care homes to help them improve the quality of their programs for the children they serve. She is a train the trainer for Special Quest; a program to help teachers support the inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families, in early care and education settings. She is also a train the trainer for the Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning; a program which coaches teachers for the State of Virginia. Brenda teaches numerous trainings for teachers, directors and others in the early childhood education field on a multitude of topics each year. Being able to teach others about child-directed curriculum and science is one of her passions. Brenda’s has been involved in robotics through school programs with her children for the last 9 years. Robotics is the technology dealing with the design, construction, and operation of the robot the teams create to compete in Robotic competitions; STEM education at is finest.