F Workshops

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

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.


1.  Mind Games: Think, Learn & Have Fun!!! – Understanding human cognition is critical in order to effectively implement a social and emotional learning structure, improve safety, learning and communication among learning professionals, parents and students. Our session begins by presenting a basic model of human cognition followed by audience participation in 35 activities to illustrate human strengths and limitations. The activities have been described as amazing, awesome, cool, educational, endearing, insightful, fabulous, fascinating, fun, hilarious, insightful, interesting and mind-blowing. Concepts illustrated in this program may help you to be a better teacher, learner and communicator. You may also chose to bring these learning activities to your classroom, home or organization.

Target Audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals,

Presenter: Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD, Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD, LLC and Maria Gaskell, Rhode Island College


2.  Family Engagement in Early Childhood – Social and emotional learning starts at home. Parents and families are critical partners in helping their children develop social and emotional know-how. Family engagement means building relationships with families that support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships and ongoing learning and development of parents and children alike. In this workshop, participants will identify the components of family engagement, specifically how to build relationships with families that support family well-being, strong parent-child-teacher relationships and ongoing learning and development of parents and children alike. Family engagement, when done right, means that everyone has an understanding of beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and activities of families that support their children’s positive development from early childhood through young adulthood.

Target Audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Intervention Provider

Presenter: Bethanne Vergean, UCONN UCEDD


3. Trauma is Lifelong But Can Be Made Easier – We all live by our own experiences. Identity formation is an important part of normal development, and it takes place across the lifespan. Early trauma shifts the trajectory of brain development, because in an environment characterized by fear and neglect feelings of safety, security, and love become scarce. The earlier a child experiences distress, on average, the more profound the effect. This training will highlight the lifelong effects of trauma on to adulthood relationships, coping and navigating an ever changing world. It will also present simplified treatments and solutions to create a more positive outlook on an already disrupted brain formulation.

Target Audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider

Presenter: Kelly Porter, Town of Windsor Police Department


4. Social-Emotional Learning Through the Arts – Music, movement, literature, and art & crafts are not only great ways of expressing who we are, but also how we are feeling. This workshop will offer concrete songs, breathing and movement techniques, art projects, and books that can easily be an added component to a trauma-informed and social-emotional pre-school classroom. This will be hands-on, fun learning for ECE teachers, home visitors, or parents.

Target Audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers

Presenter: Barbara Vita, The Village for Families and Children& Ann Marie William, K La Rue Arts in Motion


5.  Building Social and Emotional Competence for All Children: How Standards Can Be Used to Prevent Challenging Behavior – All young children are building their social and emotional competence. Supporting them to learn appropriate and successful strategies for relating to others and expressing emotions helps prevent challenging behaviors. Hear about learning standards that can be used as a basis for building these skills and setting a strong social and emotional foundation. Explore resources that connect teaching strategies to social and emotional skills and consider how assessment information can inform this process. Reflect on common classroom challenges that stem from mismatched skills and expectations and brainstorm support strategies. Plan approaches to incorporate shared resources into your practice.

Target Audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Preschool Special Education Provider

Presenter: Michelle Levy, CT Office of Early Childhood


6.  The Core of Our Own Competence: Creating Professional Development Plans for Head Start Teachers and Others – Take a step back and think about what you know now and what you would like to know more about. Self-reflection as a confident and competent person takes intention and the willingness to ask some tough questions. Explore a self-assessment tool connected to the CT Core Knowledge and Competency (CKC) Framework for Professionals Working with Young Children and Their Families to create your own path for continued professional growth.

Target Audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Provider, Preschool Special Education Provide

Presenter: Deborah Adams, CT Office of Early Childhood


7.  Discovering the Untold Story of Childhood – Trauma The emotional backpack that our children carry with them across the span of their lifetimes can greatly impact their trajectory. When children experience trauma, their load becomes heavier. Social Emotional Learning is a conceptual framework for creating spaces for all people to be seen, heard, and valued. Within these spaces, and with stress-management tools, adults can be helpful in unpacking, rearranging, and lessoning the burden of the emotional backpack. Hear from a team of people who have navigated childhood trauma themselves. Through this dynamic workshop, audience members will learn strategies for engaging in conversation related to trauma to discover the untold story. Mindfulness-based practices will also be introduced, and resources will be shared for those who are interested in continuing to strengthen their skills.

Target Audience: Parents, Parent Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals

Presenter: Michael Thompson, LaTosha Taylor, and Michaela Fissel, Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.


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