Archaa Shrivastav, M.Ed.
Archaa is an educator and published author dedicated to creating and curating books featuring intersectional identities. As a former first grade teacher and a first generation Indian-American, Archaa is passionate about putting identity-affirming and -expanding stories in the hands of children. When she’s not knee-deep in children's books, Archaa can be found cooking vegan food, gardening, and building community in Oakland, CA.
Joslyne Decker, MSW
Joslyne began developing Story Starters in the spring of 2017 as an expansion of Building Diverse Bookshelves, a project she started at her daughter's school. In designing that program she was inspired to bring her vision for diverse books to a broader audience in Massachusetts. In March 2020, Joslyne transitioned from her role as Story Starters Co-Director to Board Member. Joslyne is a SEED trained facilitator and is on the DEI Task Force for USA Climbing. Joslyne lives in Olney, MD.
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.
Sara Hampton, M.Ed
Sara has worked with young children for over 25 years. After 10 years of preschool classroom experience and a degree in Early Childhood Development, Sara became a mom and started my own home-based preschool program called Big Trees Play School. Throughout those joyful years of serving families while raising her own two babes, Sara became a Positive Discipline educator - supporting families with parenting workshops and one-on-one coaching. Sara is a teacher at a nature-based, outdoor preschool in the Bay Area of CA. I live with my partner and two children on unceded Ohlone territory in Oakland.
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.
Kelli Wingate, M.Ed
Kelli Wingate, an experienced teacher with over 15 years of experience and a passion for curriculum development. With certifications in NY, Maryland, and Delaware, and experience teaching grades K-8, Kelli brings a wealth of knowledge to the table as a curriculum writer. Currently teaching 6th grade language arts, Kelli believes in creating a curriculum that is inclusive of all races and is committed to teaching to the whole child. Kelli has developed a keen understanding of how children learn and grow, and this expertise is reflected in their ability to create engaging, relevant, and effective curricula.
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.
As Story Starters sets out to design an at-home curriculum for parents and educators, we have the privilege to work 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 psycology. Get in touch with us if you'd like to be involved.