Rebecca Nguyen and Sue Gottschall

Rebecca Nguyen and Sue Gottschall

Sue Gottschall has a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on conception through the early childhood years.  She is a Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator as well as a Birth and Postpartum Doula.  Throughout her career Sue has worked with children and families, supporting emotional development, literacy and literature for the very young, and learning through play.  Previously, she taught Child Development at UIC and City Colleges and was Director of Hug-a-Book, an early literacy organization, and Chicago Volunteer Doulas.   Sue is delighted to now be concentrating on the earliest periods of development and helping families determine what the right choices are for them.  Sue and her daughter, Rebecca Nguyen, have long dreamed of starting an early childhood organization together. They hope that Picnic: A Gathering Spot for Families with Young Children will offer support to families for many years.


Jen Guglielmi began taking dance lessons at the age of 3 and has been movin' & groovin' her way through life ever since.  She grew up having impromptu dance parties and performances whenever an opportunity presented itself. In 2006 she graduated with a BA in Dance from Denison University. In 2007 she moved to Chicago, where she continued sharing her love of movement with others through teaching.  Jen embraces a teaching style that provides a loving environment encouraging individual creativity, a cooperative classroom, and development of dance skills.  She can't wait to bust a move with you in class this session!

Lisa Zimmerman RN, CPN, IBCLC has been a postpartum and pediatric nurse for seven years. Her specialty is helping families cope after baby comes home, through the first year of life. She also has experience in the special care nursery with premature and medically unstable newborns. Lisa has worked in both hospital and public health settings, she has extensive experience working with women that are trauma survivors. Lisa created her business Maternal Child Connections to fill a gap in home-based assistance during the postpartum period, which focuses on the family bond along with maternal and newborn safety. 

Aimi Palmer is a certified child sleep consultant and owner of My Little Sleeper. Most importantly a mom to 2 daughters, so is in the sleep deprived trenches with all other parents. Aimi's philosophy is a gentle, no cry sleep solution and not cry-it-out. She believes children should go to sleep feeling happy, loved and safe in their sleep environment. Aimi works with families to help solve their little ones sleep troubles whether the child is a newborn or a kinder gardener. Aimi delivers sleep classes around the city to educate parents on how they can encourage healthy sleep habits with their children. As well as learning everything about sleep you will also have the opportunity during and after the class to ask specific questions about your child's sleep.

Picnic:  A Gathering Spot for Families of Young Children

You may wonder how this name came to be?  Picnic by Emily McCullough is a young children’s picture book loved by many over the years for its timeless theme and its lovely, detailed illustrations and almost wordless narrative.     
This classic tale of separation from one’s family and coming back together again, represents every child’s fears re-enacted in many ways over the early years.  We wanted our Picnic to be that place where families come together to understand and address the feelings and needs of young children.  We hope to support you as parents through classes and workshops; and to offer classes and gatherings that will promote parents and their children doing things together.

Rebecca Nguyen holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Before having her own two children, she taught preschool through 3rd grade for ten years becoming a Master Teacher, supporting other teachers in reading strategies and using high quality children’s literature.  With the birth of her children, Rebecca became interested in the earliest period of development, becoming a Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator.  Rebecca and her mother, Sue Gottschall had long dreamed of starting an early childhood organization together.  Combining their skills to open Picnic: A Gathering Spot for Young Families is the culmination of this dream.  It will offer Rebecca opportunities to teach new parents about childbirth and breastfeeding and provide many opportunities for her to support parents as their children grow and learn.  She is excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities.


Meet our talented Instructors and presenters:

Adriana Liwsky is a Certified Infant Massage Educator, a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Certified Lactation Counselor and Childbirth Educator.  She is passionate about new mothers and their babies.  Her goal in teaching Infant Massage is to enhance parent-infant bonding, improve and maintain the physical well-being of babies, and facilitate long term, positive emotional development. Her class is for both mothers and fathers/partners and their babies.  Adriana is fluent in English and Spanish and enjoys teaching Childbirth Education in Spanish.

Kim Wilschek is a registered nurse with years of clinical and education experience working at Prentice Women's Hospital, Swedish Covenant Hospital, and Edward Hospital.  She is a certified child passenger safety technician, childbirth educator, lactation educator, and CPR instructor. Kim is on the advisory council for Together with Baby & AWHONN's Healthy Mom and Baby magazine; as well as a board member for Health Connect One.  She is the Owner of Safety Squad, Chicago CPR, & Chicago Pregnancy. Kim teaches classes for families and professionals throughout Chicagoland.

Wendy Auffant has always been passionate about working with children and parents around communication and child development. She received a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Audiology and Speech Science and then went on to attend Saint Xavier University for a Masters degree in Speech Pathology. After graduation, she worked full time for the Chicago Public Schools as a Speech Language Pathologist. Two babies later, she has been able to unite her personal experiences as a parent with her professional work as a speech therapist and offer infant development, baby sign language and literacy classes specifically designed to enhance each child’s emerging talents and meet parent expectations. She is passionate about providing a fun and engaging environment for parents and their children to learn together.