G. Increasing Early Literacy With Your Early Care and Education Programs

The Northlight Childcare Advantage Program (NCAP) was designed and developed for early care and education programs wishing to incorporate sign language into their daily routines. Participants will learn new strategies for incorporating sign language activities within their existing curriculum. You’ll leave with an understanding of the benefits of using signing for promoting Early Literacy with very young children, and when it is appropriate to teach these reading readiness skills with your children.


Virginia Flores

Virginia completed her certification as a Northlight Childcare Advantage (NCAP) network instructor with her most recent teaching experiences working with children who have apraxia, cerebral palsy and other communicative delays. On a more personal note, she states, “It’s not only important for parents of special needs children but for very young children across all communicative abilities to benefit from using a sign language curriculum such as the Northlight Childcare Advantage Program.”

Her goals of teaching sign language to very young children originate from being a small business owner for the last 25 years along with obtaining several certifications in the medical field, job coaching, and mentoring with deaf professionals.

Suzette Garay

A variety of experiences affected Dr. Suzette Garay’s educational and career choices. The fields of Psychology and Education seemed like natural choices to her as she made her way through numerous degrees. She holds a BA, MA, PSY.S and a Ph.D., and her major areas of study are Psychology, Sign Language, and Special Education- Learning Disabilities.

Dr. Garay is currently an Educational Psychologist, and recently retired teaching Psychology and Sign Language courses at Waukesha County Technical College. She also works with several private-sector programs related to sign language, mentoring, diversity and special education. She has taught distance education courses and workshops in ASL linguistics, special education, and disability issues throughout the Midwest and at the national level. Dr. Garay is also a national certified Sign Language Instructor and state certified master consultant and trainer who enjoys working with families and very young children.