Gesell Institute of Child Development
310 Prospect St
2nd floor
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 310 Prospect St
2nd floor
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 777-3481 xx702
Fax 203-776-5001
E-mail peg@gesellinstitute.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
The Mission Statement of Gesell Institute is to promote the principles of child development as the basis for all decision making for young children.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1951
Former Names
Gesell Institute of Child Development
Gesell Institute of Human Development
Gesell Institute of Child Development
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Margaret Oliveira
Board Chair Carole Weisberg
Board Chair Company Affiliation Charter Oak College
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission
The Mission Statement of Gesell Institute is to promote the principles of child development as the basis for all decision making for young children.
Background
The Institute’s namesake, Arnold Gesell, Ph.D., MD, began his groundbreaking work in the early 20th century. He developed a set of norms illustrating sequential and predictable patterns of growth and development, which were used as the basis of the original Gesell Developmental Observation. Dr. Gesell was the first Director of the Yale University Clinic, now known as the Yale Child Study Center, as well as becoming the nation’s first school psychologist. He was the founding member of the National Association for Nursing and Education, which is now known today as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Following Dr. Gesell’s retirement from Yale in 1950, his colleagues opened Gesell Institute in New Haven, Connecticut to continue his life’s work. Since that time, the Institute has offered a variety of medical and educational programs and services to promote the healthy development of children worldwide. Today, the work of the Institute is focused on educating and supporting teachers and parents in order to ensure the future success of all children throughout the United  States and abroad.

Gesell Institute of Child Development is now an independent non-profit organization located directly on Yale University’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut. It has been associated with understanding how children grow and learn since 1950. Gesell programs and publications help parents and educators understand the ages and stages of childhood.

Understanding the stages of child growth and development, and then using this knowledge to interpret behaviors, to plan appropriate curricula, and to manage the classroom are essential to quality teaching practices. Gesell professional development workshops, seminars and webinars link the continuum of growth to the use of an effective screening tool, the Gesell Developmental Observation – Revised ©2011 and the new Gesell Early Screener ©2011.

Our mission is to promote the principles of child development as the basis for all decision making for young children.

Gesell Institute provides multiple sources of information for parents, teachers, and schools to assist them in making important decisions about children. We do not set policy or provide recommendations surrounding issues of retention, placement, or readiness “scores” in association with the Gesell Developmental Observation –Revised.
 
Impact

1) Gesell Institute celebrated its 65th Anniversary year of promoting the principles of child development. In honor of this anniversary, Gesell hosted a series of free advocacy events, described below.

2) Leaders Forum on Economic Development and Early Childhood: Co-chairs Mayor Tony Harp and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro welcomed experts in the intersect of early education and fiscal policy to share research on the return on investment on early childhood spending.
 
3) Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood: Gesell hosted Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to discuss the importance of focusing on SEL in addition to academics.
 
4) Latest Information on Brain Growth in the EArliest Years: Gesell produced a compilation of writing and research on what we now know about the brains of our youngest children, birth to three, and how that can impact learning in later years.
 
5) Endangered Play, Endangered Development: Child development expert Diane Levin presented to a full house of child care providers on the age old understanding, supported by new research, that play is still the best learning. 
 
 
 
 
Needs

Support to replicate, in high need child care centers across New Haven, a pilot in progress at The Friends' Center for Children, where we assessed all preschoolers in the fall, and are now repeating the assessment in the spring, to measure the impact of high quality early learning on children's development and the importance of screening early and often to detect developmental delays, especially among our most vulnerable children. 

CEO Statement
Throughout this year, we at the Gesell Institute of Child Development celebrated our 65th Anniversary. Anniversaries are a time to reflect, recommit and renew. 
 
I would like to personally renew the Institute's longstanding promise to support families and teachers, both nationally and here in our hometown of New Haven. The extraordinary dedicated staff of the Gesell Institute and I are bringing new content to old friends, historic theory to new friends and continue to promote the principles of child development across the country, inspired by the commitment of Arnold Gesell to innovation and objective wonder.  

 

Board Chair Statement I have been associated with the Gesell Institute at several junctures in its history, in the mid-1980's as an organizational consultant and again in 2009 when I joined the Board of Directors. During the 80's the Institute was facing challenges with regard to the assessment instrument (the Gesell Developmental Observation - GDO) which was based on Dr. Arnold Gesell’s work and was in need of updating. In addition the size of the staff had grown too large and was moving in too many directions to be financially efficient. Staff was then drastically downsized and the Institute’s buildings on Prospect Street in New Haven were sold to Yale, creating an endowment to support the future of the organization. For the next 20 years the program operated with a staff of two in New Haven. When I returned to Gesell in 2009 a new executive director, Marcy Guddemi, had been hired and the GDO was in the process of being renormed and republished. It was an exciting and optimistic time to be joining the Board and I was eager to get involved. My own career as a teacher and educational consultant started in 1975. From 2001-2012 I was the principal of Darcey School in Cheshire. As principal I was very concerned about the direction our educational system was taking and was particularly worried about the movement away from letting young children learn through facilitated play. Learning to read had become a expectation for all kindergarten students. I saw in my career how kindergartens were now mirroring First Grade curriculums. I spoke with parents who were very anxious about the success of their children. The grade level expectations from the state department of education had dramatically increased from when I began my career.

The results of the Institute’s study in 2010 affirmed Dr. Gesell's original understanding of how children learn and development. The big news is that children's learning hasn't really changed in spite of how much the culture has. Everyone at the Institute had been holding its breath to find out if the huge changes in lifestyle, the influence of technology, families with both parents working, the preponderance of daycare, etc would have changed the way kids learn. It turns out that children still learn the way they always have, and yet our schools are making big changes and have expectations of children that are not in sync with this information. So a big challenge for Gesell is getting this information out there and advocating for the rights of children to play, learn and grow at their own pace. This is not an easy sell in 2012 when the culture and the educational system is decreasing the opportunities for play and increasing the use of standardized achievement tests to measure academic growth.

An additional challenge is that the GDO-R & GES were released during the Recession and school districts were cutting back funds for professional development of teachers. The Institute had used some of its endowment to fund the renorming study and its national conference.

I am committed to working with the Board and staff to get the Gesell voice out there and hope to help guide them find additional financial support for the endowment.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Primary & Elementary Schools
Areas Served
New Haven
National
International

Gesell Institute helps to support schools and families locally within the city of New Haven, CT but we are a nationally recognized non-profit organization. We host professional development workshops across the country. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

California has just enacted legislation requiring every school district to provide developmental (or transitional) kindergarten for children with late birthdays or developmental needs. “As goes California, so goes the nation.” Not only should we heed this popular idiom on this issue, we should embrace it and promote it! Every child across the nation, not just CA children, deserves a kindergarten experience that meets his/her developmental needs. The “one size fits all” curriculum in so many schools, districts, and states does not promote or ensure learning for all children---rather only those children who “fit” the curriculum. Gesell would like to promote the universal passage of such a law for developmental kindergarten in all states; and especially in CT where our cut-off date for Kindergarten entrances is the latest in the nation and our standards for Kindergarteners are unrealistic. Promoting this philosophy and message requires money.

Programs
Description

Gesell Institute offers workshop training on how to properly administer our Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised ©2011 assessment tool, which can be used with children ages 2 ½ to 9. Our workshops are hosted by schools and child care centers all across the country. A Gesell representative from our National Lecture Staff (NLS) travels to the location and hosts the 3-day workshop. Gesell Institute pays for the NLS’s travel and housing expenses.



Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / Infants to Preschool (under age 5) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

We have programs and products that help teachers and parents understand their child’s development which can contribute to a smoother transition when starting school and deciding what is and is not appropriate curriculum.   If schools, public and/or private would learn the information we have to offer, and use our assessment tool, the GDO-R, they would have a more solid understanding of the children in their classrooms and be in a better position to navigate the chasm that often exists between the expectations and curriculum of a particular grade and the abilities and readiness of the actual children who are expected to master the information. 

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

Gesell Institute's Director of the National Lecture Staff is Sally Keller. She says: the ideal “ultimate” change would be that the curriculum would reflect a child’s readiness to learn and not an arbitrary skill or task someone who does not know how children grow and learn expects children to master. For example all the research on learning letters and pre-reading reveals that 4 ½ to 5 year olds (the age many children enter Kindergarten) recognize only 10 to 12 letters however the curriculum for most all Kindergartens expects that entering Kindergarteners know all their letters and even their sounds.  This huge disconnect between application and research/best practices causes many of the problems in schools today. My ideal state would be that the curriculum would be a better match to the developmental levels of the students in that grade. I would expect that referrals for reading support would decrease, retention rates would decrease, as would referrals for Special Needs evaluations.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

We will know what is and is not working by whether or not we have established an ongoing relationship with schools. Another way to assess our effectiveness is thru the evaluations we give at the end of our 3 day GDO-R workshops. On the last afternoon of the 3 day GDO-R workshops we pass out an evaluation form which asks questions about the presenter, the material, and the Institute. Evaluations are made regarding relevance, communication, and presentation. These evaluations are used to improve communication or product, and/or to assess the person presenting the information. We also have a facebook page which tracks “hits” and interest as well. 

 

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

As with many organizations there are times of much activity and times of less activity. Because we have invested many of our resources in updating our product(s), we are looking forward to an increase in demand. Our current materials are being very well received as evidenced by comments on our evaluations over the summer workshops. Our information is timeless and always applicable however updating to reflect current education concerns and issues is essential. Many schools could not use our product because we could not show a current “renorming” or data collection. Now that it has been completed, we are positioned to move into many areas that we did not have access to previously. Evaluations included comments like : “I can’t believe I ever taught 1stgrade without this knowledge! I am so much more equipped to understand my students than I was. This will change how I teach,” and “Understanding the Ages and Stages of development has totally changed how I teach and parent. I did not understand how knowledge grew in; I just thought I hadn’t taught it yet! Now I know how the whole child grows!”

Program Comments
CEO Comments

The biggest challenge facing our organization is the plight of education in our country. States are cutting funding for programs that they mandate and leave local school districts very strapped financially. Furthermore, due to the unemployment rates and the trouble with our economy, tax increases to run schools are not very popular. This challenge is also our opportunity. We have programs and products that help teachers and parents understand their child’s development which can contribute to a smoother transition when starting school and deciding what is and is not appropriate curriculum.   If schools, public and/or private would learn the information we have to offer, and use our assessment tool, the GDO-R, they would have a more solid understanding of the children in their classrooms and be in a better position to navigate the chasm that often exists between the expectations and curriculum of a particular grade and the abilities and readiness of the actual children who are expected to master the information. Another challenge to us is the increasing costs to produce a workshop . The participant fees have to cover the materials (a Manual and numerous brochures, and postage costs for sending items to the sites), the National Lecture Staff fee and travel expenses. We are cautious about raising our participant fees in fear we will price ourselves out of the market, at the same time that our expenses are increasing.

CEO/Executive Director
Margaret Oliveira
Term Start Feb 2016
Email peg@gesellinstitute.org
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 10
Number of Volunteers 0
Staff Retention Rate 50%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Dr. Marcy Guddemi Jan 2007 - Jan 2016
Elyse Waterhouse Jan 2003 - Dec 2007
Senior Staff
Title Director of Education and Development
Title Office Manager
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation No
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
SchoolChapters
Albertus Magnus College
New Haven Public Schools
Defending the Early Years
 
 
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
New Haven's Finest Top 12 OrganizationsProactive Resources2011
Dr. of Play AwardIPA USA American Assoc. for the Child's Right to Play2012
Article "Kids Haven't Changed; Kindergarten Has"Harvard Education Letter Online2010
Educator's Voice AwardThe Academy of Education Arts and Sciences2013
Dr. Guddemi awarded to National Advisory BoardDefending the Early Years2014
Comments
CEO Comments Gesell Institute is at a crossroad.  We completed in 2011 our national study on approximately 1200 3-6 year olds.  We found that children have not changed much over the years in reaching important developmental milestones.  This is an important message for educators and parents as national standards expect more and more from younger and younger children.  In the past we have been more of a provider of products and services for teachers and parents.  We want to be more than that.  We want to be a thought leader and advocate for the importance of respecting the principles of child development in decision making about children.  In addition, as with all nonprofits, we are constantly looking for strong Board Members as current members retire.  Our goal is to seek new members with a national prominence such as someone from Highlights for Children.
Board Chair
Carole Weisberg
Company Affiliation Charter Oak College
Term Sept 2015 to Aug 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Judy August, MS, CAS Board Vice President; Retired school psychologist from Cheshire Public Schools
Nancy Blackwell-Todd
Linda Calarco (Member Emeritus) Past Board President; Retired Teacher
Gladys Deutsch, MS (Secretary) Board Secretary; Director of Leila Day Nurseries, Inc.
Adele Edgerton
Kathleen Higgins
Barbara Stern
Carole Weisberg President
Dr. Robert Windom
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 8
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 70%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Risk Management Provisions
Employment Practices Liability
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Marketing
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
NameAffiliation
Joan Almon Gesell Institute Advisory Council Member
William Crain, PhD Gesell Institute Advisory Council Member
Stanley Finkle, MS Gesell Institute Advisory Council Member
Kathy Fite, EdD
Joe Frost, EdD
Martha Garcia-Sellers, PhD
Walter Gilliam, PhD
Jim Grant
Carla Horwitz, PhD
Sharon Lynn Kagan, EdD
Ming Li, MD
Tina Mannarino, PhD
Dot Marsden, MEd (Emeritus)
Linda Mayes, MD
Rae Pica
Rima Shore, PhD
Jerome Singer, PhD
Fred Volkmar, MD
CEO Comments
Gesell Institute is at a crossroad. We just completed in 2011 our national study on approximately 1200 3-6 year olds. We found that children have not changed much over the years in reaching important developmental milestones. This is an important message for educators and parents as national standards expect more and more from younger and younger children. In the past we have been more of a provider of products and services for teachers and parents.  We want to be more than that.  We want to be a thought leader and advocate for the importance of respecting the principles of child development in decision making about children. 

In addition, as with all nonprofits, we are constantly looking for strong Board Members as current members retire.  Our goal is to seek new members with a national prominence such as someone from Highlights for Children.
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Sept 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Aug 31 2018
Projected Revenue $369,000.00
Projected Expenses $483,700.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Documents
Audit Documents
Audit file2011
Audit file2010
Audit file2009
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Name Change2013View
Community Early Childhood LEADership E-Kit2011View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$317,663----
Administration Expense$85,855----
Fundraising Expense$25,753----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.90----
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue74%----
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$530,665----
Current Assets$105,914----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$19,040----
Total Net Assets$511,625----
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.56----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments Our goal currently is to balance our need to be financially solid with our desire to be a strong voice on behalf of children. As with all non-profits and business too, the current economic situation has not been kind to our bottom line over the last three or four years.  Our challenge is to do more with less. This past fiscal year one position here in the office had to be eliminated. Our opportunities include developing our relationships with other organizations such as the one with the Department of Education in DC. We co-hosted a one day seminar there May 8, 2012 along with the Alliance for Childhood.  We are also looking for a publisher in China to distribute our assessment. Our popular 10-book series starting with Your One Year Old and up to Your 10-14 Year Old is currently being sold in China.
 
Gesell Institute of Child Development does not have an audit for 2012 or 2013.  We no longer perform annual audits.  The 2013 990 is in progress.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation.  Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 310 Prospect St
2nd floor
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 777-3481 x702
Contact Email peg@gesellinstitute.org
CEO/Executive Director Margaret Oliveira
Board Chair Carole Weisberg
Board Chair Company Affiliation Charter Oak College

 

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