E 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.

E1. Lyme Disease in Children and the Trauma They Face

Discussion regarding the symptoms of Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses in children. The trauma they and their families must deal with in regards to medical costs, special educational needs that could include homeschooling, shortened school days, tutors, wheel chair access and other changes to their normal school day. School nurses, teachers and school counselors must understand the symptoms associated with this traumatic illness and how they must understand the need for emotional support for the children with the illness, the siblings, friends and family members.

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

Presenter: Bonnie S. Waterhouse, Voices Against Lyme Disease CT

E2. Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through the Strengthening Families Framework

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. The Strengthening Families framework is a research-informed approach that enhances protective factors in families by increasing their strengths, combating the effects of toxic stress and reducing the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

Target audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Providers

Presenters: Allison Matthews-Wilson, LCSW & Katherine Ramirez, MS, Center for Care Coordination, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

E3. Mindful Yoga Breaks Breaks in the Pre-k – 3rd Classroom

This workshop will help teachers, librarians, social workers, therapists and anyone working with children to bring focus, self-regulation & fun to your classroom, home or office while fostering social emotional learning. You will learn tools such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga poses, yoga & mindfulness games & relaxation. Participants will leave with dozens of ideas to add to your teaching tool box that can be used in 1 min, 5 min, 10 min or 15 min breaks throughout your day. A manual is provided with descriptions of everything you learn as well as sample lesson plans.

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

Presenter: Lani Rosen-Gallagher, Full of Joy Yoga/Mindful Yoga Breaks

E4. Defining Quality in Your Program

In order to understand quality, we need to define it. Research shows that a supportive relationship between staff and the children you serve, along with rich
and varied programming leads to positive outcomes. In this session, we will discuss the Connecticut After School Network’s five Essential Competencies of
Quality and how to engage staff, parents, and children in program improvement efforts. Programs attending this session are encouraged to bring your daily,
weekly, or monthly program calendar or schedule as you will be using this in the practice part of the session.

Target audience: Parent Educators, Elementary Teachers, After School Professionals

Presenter: Ken Anthony, Ed.D., Connecticut After School Network

E5. Supporting Sensory Integration through Music

When we think of the senses, we often think about our five main senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling. Our body actually has a total of eight sensory systems. For children with special needs, the sensory system may seek additional input or pull away from it resulting in poor attention to task, avoidance, meltdowns and more. We will examine the various sensory systems and how to support sensory integration through the use of music. This workshop will focus on children with special needs but sensory experiences can assist in learning for children of all abilities.

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

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

E6. Dealing with Different Minds: Steps for Ensuring IEPs Address the Needs of Children facing Trauma, Anxiety and Other Social/ Emotional Issues

Anxiety, school avoidance and other issues are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s schools, and students facing these challenges have the right to an appropriate education. Good effective IEPs are vital to ensuring their needs will be met. In this section, we will explore the steps that parents and educators can take to ensure these students’ needs are appropriately addressed. We will explore child find needs, the impact on educational progress, the data needed to craft effective goals, and accurate measurement of achievement. Participants will learn the important steps to craft IEPs that address these needs and to monitor progress toward achieving meaningful goals.

Target audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Elementary Teachers

Presenter: John Flanders, Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center

E7. The Mindful Classroom: Transforming Theory into Practice, Words into Action

This workshop will discuss the definition of toxic stress, how stressors linked to poverty contribute to the development of toxic stress in a child and to be more aware of spotting students who may have been affected by toxic stress. Participants will learn the neurological, physical, and psychological effects of toxic stress on a child and how the effects can be reversed and healed. Participants will learn the definition and techniques of mindfulness and how it heals toxic stress. Participants will receive a Mindfulness Packet full of ideas and suggestions on how to create a safe, peaceful space for children to learn in, whether it is before, during, or after school hours.

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

Presenter: Barbara Vita, M.Ed., The Village for Families and Children

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