Saturday Workshops

PANEL (9:00 AM – 10:30 AM)

Where Do We Grow From Here? Taking a Village Approach to Post-Pandemic Recovery in Communities

Join us for an interactive cross-sector panel discussion on how to move forward from the COVID-19 Pandemic. This past year we have witnessed the vast divides in our social fabric that include the lack of access to remote technology, mental health services, resources to our public schools and early childhood system.  Additionally, there has been a disconnect to community health organizations, as well as systemic and institutional racism.  All of this has spotlighted the inequities that families must navigate to ensure their family’s safety and health.

Now is the time to reimagine what community means and how we care for our children and their families. It is clear that these systems and structures need to be updated and improved.   This will require us to examine social policies and past practices: now is the time to reimagine, and rebuild. How we choose to heal will have a lasting impact on our communities, children, and society for decades to come. We are excited to have you join the conversation.

Saturday Moderator:  Elena Trueworthy, Director of Head Start State Collaboration Office
Saturday Panelists:
Randi McCray, Social Justice and Equity Consultant
Paquita Jarman-Smith, Consultant, State Education Resource Center of Connecticut
Dawn Dubay, Middletown School Readiness Liaison
Roslyn Sotero, Director of Community Schools, Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership
Kristine Cicchetti, Director, Northeast Early Childhood Council
Emily Ross, School Readiness Site Coordinator, Killingly Public Schools
Stephan Palmer, Founder & CEO, Youth on Fire


SESSION I (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM)

WORKSHOP A
Lessons from the Field: Parent Engagement Strategies in a Pandemic and Beyond

In this workshop, participants will explore strategies that move beyond common channels of family engagement.  Randi McCray will share some creative strategies implemented by local early childhood collaboratives and parent organizing groups to remain connected during physical distancing during the pandemic.  Participants will also explore opportunities to enhance current family engagement practices to support and uplift parent voices once we safely transition back to in-person social interactions.

Randi McCray, Social Justice & Equity Consultant

WORKSHOP B
Regional Approach to Supporting Basic Needs for Children & Families

The Northeast Early Childhood Council and our community partners in Northeast CT are part of a long-standing regional effort to support children and families through various programs that address basic human needs. By building strong relationships with key partners in our communities, we assess needs, coordinate efforts, and share resources, skills, and ideas. In working together, our region has created programs, services, and resources to meet families’ basic needs like the Northeast Regional Family Resource Guide, Killingly Free Community Store, IHSP Diaper Bank, Developmental Screenings, Vision Screenings, Emergency Food programs, and more.

Kristine Cicchetti, Northeast Early Childhood Council & Emily Ross, McKinney Vento Liaison


SESSION II (1:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

WORKSHOP C
Mindfulness For You and Your Classroom

Join me as we bring our bodies and minds to a greater sense of clarity and calm with mindfulness and some yoga too! This workshop will present you with research based mindfulness techniques for you to practice and easily incorporate into your daily life and classroom setting. Mindfulness and yoga has been scientifically proven to help regulate children’s emotions, attention and behavior provide lifelong skills for long-term health benefits. This workshop will help support you with self-care and provide you with tools for dealing with stress and anxiety that Covid has exacerbated for all of us, as well as promoting a positive, peaceful learning community for all!

Dawn Dubay, Middletown School Readiness Liaison

WORKSHOP D
Let’s Talk! A Time To Heal… A Time To Hope

Let’s talk about how families can face the challenges of our times through healing and hope. Please note, this session is a facilitated discussion for families and caregivers and not clinical counseling. We will focus on: · The family – the key to supporting our children during the COVID-19 and racial pandemic; · Un-packing tears and fears – the journey toward hope; · Engaging the whole family in self-care; · Resources available at the State Education Resource Center

Paquita Jarman-Smith, Consultant, State Education Resource Center of Connecticut