Karen DuBois-Garofalo has a Masters in Education, has been working with children for over 30 years, specifically in the field of Early Childhood Education for 28 years, and holds an experienced educator certificate in the state of New Hampshire. For the majority of her career, Karen taught at the Child Study and Development Center, the University of New Hampshire’s Lab school. The educational philosophy and pedagogical approach at the CSDC was inspired by the ideas of early educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, emphasizing the social construction of knowledge, the inquiry process of long-term investigations by learners, the role of symbolic languages in developing understanding, the importance of relationships and community, and the importance of reflecting family and culture within our environments. While Karen taught preschool for a few years, she primarily taught in the Kindergarten program as a Facilitating Teacher and an expert practitioner both in and outside of the classroom as she continued her own professional development. Karen had the honor and privilege to participate in the Reggio Emilia Study Tour which only reinforced her passion for the educational philosophies and practices of these Early Childhood Communities. She is trained as a School Reform Initiative Critical Friends Group Facilitator, a role that has allowed her to serve as a leader among colleagues and within educational communities. She has spent her teaching years engaging children in meaningful discussions around diversity, utilizing storytelling as an engaging tool spanning all content areas, and creating and implementing authentic guided play opportunities for children. Karen has presented at the national level, focusing on meeting standards through authentic literacy practices and engaging children in meaningful inquiry, in addition to presenting at the state level offering interactive workshops related to storytelling, environments, communities of learners, and play-based learning. Karen transfers her extensive knowledge and expertise as an educator to her role as an instructional coach where she serves as a passionate advocate for the importance of play-based learning in early childhood classrooms, supporting teachers throughout the state as they strive to integrate true best practices into their Kindergarten classrooms.