D Workshops


Please remember to list a 1st and 2nd choice for each workshop block when registering, as workshop spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

D1. Impact of Engaged Parents, Families, Schools, Communities and Provider Networks on Students’ Academic Success and Social and Emotional Development

Students across the nation are performing poorly, due in part to academic curriculum design, instruction and classroom climate and culture issues, students’ adverse childhood experiences, exposure to persistent and adverse community trauma and lack of appropriate interventions and inadequate school/community infrastructure support. The fragmented children and adult mental health and substance abuse treatment systems, lack of access to evidence based parenting information, resources and supports and challenges in general with students’ social and emotional development further advances this problem.

Parents, family members, schools, community based organizations, faith based institutions and communities must foster value based working relationships directed toward the success of all children.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Providers

Presenter: Dr. Alice Farrell, Olive Branch Clinical and Consulting Services, LLC

D2. Emotional Ladder of Success: Identifying and Coping with Emotions

“Calm Down”….it is a simple phrase but it is not always effective. We try to give our children coping strategies to get through times of anger and frustration but it doesn’t always work. Why? Sometimes the strategy doesn’t fit the body’s reaction to the event. Or even deeper-does the child even know they are upset? We will be digging into the hierarchy of emotion regulation to help caregivers identify where their child is with emotional literacy and what strategies they can use to deescalate a situation at various stages of emotional growth. Music and non-music based strategies will be explored.

Target audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/ Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Intervention Provider

Presenters: Jona Jeffcoat, MT-BC & Emily Pope, MT-BC, Infinity Music Therapy Services

D3. Inside the Resilient Child

Children can be exposed to a range of traumatic experiences. When discussing early childhood trauma, the general refers to the traumatic experiences that occur to children aged 0-6. Children within this age category experience reactions can be different from older children’s reactions. These children may have difficulty verbalizing their reactions to threatening or dangerous events. To make matters worse, the adults in the lives of these children may believe that the young age my prevent children from the impact of traumatic experiences. It’s thought by such adults that young children who experience or witness a traumatic event, are “too young” to understand. Therefore, the experience or event is not discussed with these children. The fact is that young children are affected by traumatic events, even though they may not understand what happened. We must fulfill our role as caregivers and educators to help in their time of need.

Target audience: Parents, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider

Presenter: Michael Ruzza, MRUZZA Consulting

D4. Trauma-Informed Home Visiting

Information and ideas on how parenting educators can adjust their home visit plans to address trauma-caused issues in parents and children while still providing support and child development information.

Research has shown strong relationships between histories of childhood abuse and parenting stress, parenting behavior and early child development. While home visiting models such as Child First address resulting issues in a clinical manner other home visitation programs can also be instrumental in supporting parents and children. Breaking the cycle of maltreatment can resolution improved outcomes for all member of the family. This workshop will focus on how personalizing home visitation services to meet the needs of mothers and children rather than utilizing a curriculum that isn’t flexible can result in both the program staff and the family meeting their goals.

Target audience: Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers

Presenters: Pamela Langer, ConnPat & Phyllis McLafferty, PAT

D5. Homelessness is Toxic Stress: The Significant Impact on both the Social Emotional Health and the Development of Very Young Children

The person in the US who is most likely to experience homelessness hasn’t yet reached their first birthday. The next person most likely to experience homelessness is between the ages of 1-5; and almost half of the children living in shelters in this country are under the age of 6. The traumatic experience of being homeless, or the risk of becoming homeless, is characterized by instability, a lack of consistency and predictability, and loss of control over one’s daily life. All of this can have profound and lasting effects on early attachment relationships; as well as the overall health and social emotional development of a very young child. But, what are the causes of homelessness; how is homelessness defined; what are the social emotional and health impacts on young children and families; who meets the eligibility criteria; what services and supports are children and families entitled to under the federal law; and how can providers successfully engage with those who are parenting under such stressful conditions?

Target audience: Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Providers

Presenter: Anne Giordiano, MA, DSP, IMH-E, EdAdvance

D6. Demonstrating Mercy to Yourself and Others by Using Teachable 6 Step Strategies

Meeting human needs requires engaging in effective listening, self-regulation, and discernment of what is beneath the presenting behavior. The 6 step teachable strategies for demonstrating mercy enable both children and adults to move from a state of agitation to an effective exchange that meets the needs of both the listener and the speaker.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals

Presenter: Heather Lagace

D7. Always Caring for Others—How About You?

You have devoted your professional career to caring for, educating, and assisting in the development of youth, but no one told you how difficult of a job it would be! Teachers, childcare providers, and like-minded professionals are natural nurturers and caretakers, but who takes care of you? Join us in this workshop to learn techniques for self-care and self-preservation in your career.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, After-School Professionals

Presenter: Ebony Grace, NJSACC: Statewide Network for NJ’s Afterschool Communities

For a full list of our presenters and their bios, visit the Speakers page.