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In July of 2017 Riverbend Head Start & Family Services entered into a partnership with LUME Institute to develop a Practice Based Coaching Model. The LUME Approach is a transformative framework for providing high-quality early childhood care and education rooted in a deep understanding that children’s emotional development is the foundation for lifelong health, growth and learning. The Approach guides educators towards greater self-awareness and self-reflection, both which enable them to emotionally partner with children.

The initial goal was to introduce the LUME approach to all Riverbend staff through professional development and coaching for teaching teams and family advocates. LUME provided professional development designed to dive deeper into topics around the emotional development of children.

Year two of the partnership shifted focus to include the LUME Approach professional development series along with embedded more intentional coaching with the goal of helping teachers understand children from the inside out. LUME coaching takes it a step further and ask teachers to understand their own emotional development. Teachers who are attuned to themselves are better able to attune to children in their care.

LUME provides reflective coaching to build insight and understanding for staff, foundations courses to educate staff on emotional milestones, mirroring, next generation discipline and early literacy, self-reflection training, consults on staff personal issues related to families and classroom observations/reflecting.

A discovery we had in year one was that we bypassed our supervisors and their role with the development of staff and support to the coaching. Year two we added a 2 day training for leaders to develop an understanding of how to support staff using the LUME Approach. Leaders collaborate with the LUME coach for successful, ongoing coaching/mentoring of staff.


Cathy Blevens | Operations Director

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services

P: 618.463.5951 | F: 618.463.5959

550 Landmarks Blvd., 3rd Floor, Alton, IL 62002

O: 618.463.5952