B Workshops

SATURDAY MORNING – (11:15-12:30 p.m.)

Full descriptions of all our workshops are available online to help you in selecting your preferences.  Please remember to list a 1st and 2nd choice for each workshop block, as workshop spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


B1: Childhood Stress: Helping Adults to Understand (SESSION FULL)

Child stress is common and the evidence is everywhere! Participants will learn about common causes of childhood stress, everyday indicators and the detrimental effects that stress have on the developing brain and child development.  They will discuss effective strategies for reducing and relieving stress levels in young children that they can use in the classroom and offer to parents for use at home to minimize and manage childhood stress.

Participants will gain a new knowledge and understanding of childhood stress and childhood trauma that results from adverse early childhood experiences.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for parents, parenting educators, early childhood and elementary school teachers, and after-school professionals

Presenter: Katherine Begin, MA, Early Childhood Consultant


B2:  Social Media Trends & tips to help parents regain control

Topics include: The most popular apps; current online trends nearly every teen is being effected by;  ideas that will help empower parents in understanding their role as a guiding force in their child’s social media life.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for parents, parenting educators,  and middle school teachers.

Presenter:  Tina Roy, School Resource Officer, South Windsor Police Department


B3: How Rude! Manners & Etiquette for a New Generation

Let’s Face it good manners are an important skill to develop. One of the best ways to interest youth in what could be a dry topic is to keep them laughing while learning and use examples that they can truly relate to. This fun and interactive workshop geared to school age youth will focus on every day etiquette, manners, and not grossing people out.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for middle school teachers and after-school professionals.

Presenter:  Ebony D. Grace, M.F.T., NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey


B4:  Supporting Child Victims of Trauma and Creating Healthier Environments

This workshop will engage teachers and staff in understanding the implications of trauma and how it impacts long term life experiences, including academic achievement, emotional well being and our school environments.  

We will engage teachers in understanding the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, “Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/, para. 1).

At least one in four children have experienced child neglect or abuse (including physical, emotional, and sexual) at some point in their lives, and one in seven children experienced abuse or neglect in the last year.”  (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html, para. 2).

In understanding how to identify these victims of trauma and why supporting these victims of trauma is so important, we gain an understanding of how to improve the well-being of these vulnerable victims and also create an improved school environment impacting the safety and well being of all. 

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for parents, parenting educators, early childhood, elementary and middle school teachers and after-school professionals

Presenter:  Christine M. Cocchiola, MSW, LCSW, Christinecocchiola.com


B5:  Partnering for Crisis: How police and mental health partners help our children in crisis through de-escalation and diversion  (CANCELLED)

Overview on the nationally trending Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for Youth in which police train and partner with mental health clinicians to help children in mental health and/or behavioral health crisis.  Through group discussion, participants will discuss what a “crisis” looks like to our tweens and teens and the normal stages of adolescent development that impact a youth’s response to crisis. A review of the more common adolescent psychiatric issues and the myths surrounding these, will be conducted using interactive group exercises.  Finally, de-escalation and diversion that police are trained in will be discussed to both help caregivers and family members as well as promote awareness of best practices response. Discussion on the benefits and services provided by EMPS 2-1-1 responders will also be presented.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for parents, parenting educators, middle and high school teachers and after-school professionals.

Presenter:  Louise Pyers, MS,BCETS, CT Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE), Inc.


B6:  Once Upon a Game

By connecting games to a story, we can make the play experience richer for our young students.  As students make connections to the story, they will be able to better understand the rules and roles of the game.  In addition, we are making cross-curricular literacy connections that are helping students to access literature in an exciting way.  Participants will come away with several ready-to-use lessons for their PreK-2 students.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for early childhood and elementary school teachers, and after school professionals.

Presenter:  Amanda Amtmanis, Middletown Public Schools/CT After School Network


B7:  The Imaginative Mind of the Elementary Child

The audience will gain insight on the three different pedagogies that have similar outcomes of the elementary child (Montessori, Bruner and Dewey). They will also leave with a better understanding to a child’s “play” and how they use imaginative play to make connections to the real world. In addition, they will begin to see connections that children all over the world have similar tendencies. Educators will learn techniques on how to craft lessons towards the characteristics of the elementary aged child.

Target audience:  This workshop is relevant for parents, parenting educators, elementary school teachers and after-school professionals.

Presenters:  Christine Blais and Devon Eamiello, The Montessori School of Greater Hartford  


To view bios of our featured presenters, visit the 2017 Speakers page.