Project Approach KC is an early learning initiative to create awareness, education and advocacy for developing intellectual teaching, learning and coaching in early and primary classrooms. Research evidence suggests The Project Approach is a promising approach for increasing teachers' use of highly effective teaching strategies (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) and optimizing academic and social outcomes for early and young learners.

Certified Project Approach Trainers in Western and Central Missouri

Carol Bolz

Certified Young Investigators Training Information: Carol facilitated numerous projects with young investigators when she served as a Head Start teacher. She has coached teachers and school leaders on the implementation of the Project Approach since 2008. Carol coordinated The Coaching Project research along with Principal Investigator Dr. Sue Vartuli and Consultant Dr. Catherine Wilson during 2011-2016. She has written about the Project Approach for educational blogs, and is a co-author on a research publication about The Project Approach & the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). In addition, Carol has presented about The Project Approach at national conferences. During 2017-18, Carol completed a year-long process with Dr. Judy Harris Helm to become a certified Young Investigator trainer.

Professional Information: Carol Bolz, M.A., is the Education Specialist for Mid-America Head Start in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Emphasis from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Carol has worked in the field of early childhood education since 1987.

Tricia DeGraff

Certified Young Investigators Training Information: Tricia is a school leader, coach and trainer in The Project Approach, and completed the Certified Young Investigators certification course with Dr. Judy Harris Helm during the 2017-18 school year. She has experience as a classroom teacher, teacher educator, and school leader. Tricia was drawn to the Project Approach, because she believes in student-centered, inquiry-based learning that is transformative for students and teachers. In her current role, Tricia leads her school community in implementing the Project Approach across all grade levels in a PK-6th grade arts integrated, public charter school.

Professional Information: Tricia DeGraff, Ph.D., is currently the Executive Director of Academy for Integrated Arts (AFIA), a PK - 6th grade, public, arts integrated charter school. Tricia has 20 years of experience in urban schools as a classroom teacher, teacher educator and school leader, as well as international teaching experience as a teacher of English in El Salvador and Japan. In her current role, Tricia is interested in determining how to best facilitate professional learning for teachers that is meaningful, inquiry-based, authentic and teacher-centered, leading to transformative learning for children and teachers.

Karrie Snider

Certified Young Investigators Training Information: Karrie is a teacher educator, researcher, coach, and trainer in The Project Approach, and completed her year-long certification with Dr. Judy Harris-Helm during 2017-2018. When she first began her teaching career in 1995, Karrie implemented inquiry-based teaching & learning in her elementary and early childhood classrooms. Karrie enhanced her knowledge and skills with The Project Approach while completing her Master's & Doctoral Degrees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, under the direction of Dr. Sue Vartuli. Karrie was a coach and research assistant during the Mid-America Head Start Coaching Project. During 2016-2017, she was the Principal Investigator for Project ABC2. Karrie's passion is working to support teachers, coaches, leaders and agencies in examining Project work in their classrooms and programs.

Professional Information: Karrie Snider, Ph.D., is currently Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Central Missouri. She has held a variety of roles in PK-8th grade and higher education settings including classroom teacher, school administrator, teacher educator and researcher in the fields of early childhood and elementary education in rural, suburban and urban settings. Karrie's most recent national presentation featured her research and stories of coaches, teachers and children conducting Project work in preschool settings.

Pegi Stamps

Certified Young Investigators Training Information: Pegi completed her year-long certification for becoming a Certified Young Investigators Trainer with Dr. Judy Harris-Helm during 2017-2018. Pegi has been supporting the implementation of The Project Approach through the many roles she has held in the field of early education.

Professional Information: Pegi has had a diverse career in the field of early childhood education including professional experiences in teaching, coaching, training, and leadership. Pegi has been an early childhood education faculty member at Penn Valley Community College Kansas City, Missouri and University of Central Missouri (UCM) Warrensburg, Missouri teaching undergraduate courses in child growth and development and curriculum studies. Her university experiences also included directing the UCM Child Development Laboratory preschool while supporting early childhood education practicum students. Additionally, Pegi is a leader in the Kansas City Head Start community holding multiple positions including classroom teacher, education coordinator, inclusions/mental health manager, and federal reviewer. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in early childhood education from the University of Missouri Kansas City and post graduate hours from the University of Kansas. Pegi is a dynamic trainer, presenting numerous early childhood education topics at local, state, and national professional development events and conferences.