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Measurement & Impact

Rebecca Peretz-Lange, MS

​Rebecca joined Story Starters in the winter of 2019 to integrate research findings into the Story Starters curriculum and evaluate its impact. She is a fifth-year PhD student in experimental psychology at Tufts University, where she also earned her MS. Her research focuses on the cognitive developmental origins of prejudice. In particular, she studies children's early "essentialist" intuition that social disparities reflect intrinsic biological differences between groups (i.e., in intelligence, innate ability) rather than structural differences (i.e., in treatment, resources), and how this intuitive way of thinking can be disrupted. Previously, she conducted evaluation research for Facing History, an international history education nonprofit. She lives in Somerville, MA with her partner and cat. 

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As Story Starters sets out to design an at-home curriculum for PreK families, we are working with the following esteemed educators. Their expertise in anti-bias and childhood development is helping us think creatively about what children and parents need at different stages in their racial justice journeys.  We continue to want to learn and connect with experts in the following fields: habit building, racial identity development, racial learning and child phycology.  Get in touch with us if you'd like to be involved.

Dana Bentley, EdD, M.Ed,

​Dr. Bentley is an assistant professor in Lesley University’s graduate early childhood education program where she teaches Anti-Bias Communities in Early Childhood. Dana is also a PreK classroom teacher at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge. In her teaching and writing, Dana focuses on social justice work with young children, studying children’s emerging political literacies, as well as her own pedagogy as an anti-bias educator. Dana’s writing has been featured in a wide range of early childhood journals, as well in as her book Everyday Artists, from Teachers College Press.

Debra Gadsden-Holiday, M.Ed

Debra Gadsden-Holiday is an Early Literacy Interventionist for Cambridge Public Schools. She recently transitioned into this position after teaching grades 1-2 for 25 years. She has worked extensively on designing curriculum with other Cambridge teachers in the areas of Literacy, Social Studies, Math and Science.  Debra has focused her work on designing curriculum units and expeditions in the primary grades through the lens of social justice.  She is currently working with a group of educators in Cambridge designing ways to have conversations about race, and exploring Cultural Proficiency with their colleagues. Debra is passionate about looking at curriculum, and establishing a narrative across the school year that fosters and celebrates the diversity of our world. 

Binal Patel, M.Ed

Binal Patel is the Director of The Family Cooperative, an Early Childhood Center in Watertown which she helped start six years ago while working as a PreK teacher at BB&N.  She spent several years teaching preschool in California, New York and Boston before moving to her current administrative role. Binal is proud to share her Indian heritage with the children at her school, as an educator and parent in the community.  She has studied and continues to study anti-bias practices in early education, and strives to create a school community which authentically embraces those practices by engaging all families and educators in conversations around equity and social justice work.

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