Download the full Conference Catalog (PDF) here.
SESSION I (10:15 AM – 11:45 AM)
- Music, Movement, & Literacy in Early Education – Al deCant’s interactive workshop is fast paced and filled with tons of music, stories, and strategies that teachers, librarians and parents can immediately use with their children. No musical expertise necessary! Teachers will learn how to use music, movement, and props to aid in early literacy, teaching, and classroom management. The workshop will explore the elements that have made books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Pete the Cat so popular with teachers and children. Participants will leave with access to songs and activities designed to teach across the curriculum.
Al deCant The Singing Principal, Half Moon Music/Music for Little Superstars
- Childcare Incubator Project – Talking about a new innovating model, Childcare Incubator Project, that has been pilot in different communities to support childcare and address the childcare shortage.
Tracey Madden-Hennesey & Nicole Villanueva, YWCA of New Britain
- Social Emotional Learning 101 – Social Emotional Learning 101 will help participants gain insights and skills about emotional intelligence and core SEL concepts. The workshop will also reveal how emotional intelligence can be developed and cultivated through social awareness and personal awareness.
Tiana Brown, Norwalk Housing Authority
- Strengths-Based Practice (SBP) – Strengths-based practice (SBP) is a paradigm shift that calls for a greater attention on the families potential versus focusing on the problems. This session will focus on SBP origin and current research to provoke dialogue on the topic with the hopes to reflect on programming approaches to elicit parents and environmental strengths and challenges. SBP does not ignore the challenges families may face but “If we ask people to look for deficits, they will usually find them, and their view of the situation will be colored by this. If we ask people to look for successes, they will usually find them, and their view of the situation will be colored by this.” (Kral, 1989). Participants will also be the first to hear highlights from the Early Childhood Home Visitors perceptions on SBP and engage families.
Dr. Luz M. Rivera, CT Office of Early Childhood
- Parent Voice Leading: Co-Creating a State Parent Cabinet – Parent Cabinet Members of the CT Office of Early Childhood (OEC), Parent Cabinet members and Design Team parent leaders will describe the journey of co-creating the first ever OEC Parent Cabinet, the current work of the Cabinet, and how connections and relationships are critical to this work. The workshop will be interactive and will lead participants through a process of how to use specific strategies to partner with and honor the role of parent voice at decision-making tables. Participants will leave with tools and strategies that can be applied within state agencies or programs.
Elena Trueworthy & Chenae Russell, CT Office of Early Childhood
SESSION II (12:45 – 2:15 PM)
- Positive Discipline – Helping Children through Big Emotions. – Positive Discipline teaches tools to help adults build an environment of encouragement, cooperation, communication and mutual
respect with the children in their lives. In this participative workshop, we will focus on tools that help us guide children though their big emotions. Teachers, parents, and caregivers will learn about what happens in the brain when we get upset and practice a positive approach that focuses on
solutions rather than punishment.
Marcela Ramos, Positive Discipline Educator
- Building Early Childhood Connections: Parent by Parent – This workshop is about valuing the lived experience of parents and caregivers to: create community, build early childhood connections, develop supportive relationships with other parents with young children, and improve knowledge about the developmental domains of children five years and younger. Historically, parents and caregivers have learned about early childhood resources from neighbors, friends and family. How do we lift up and value the lived experiences of everyday community members including parents? How do we support and respect community members who want to support other parents to create needed community systems change? In this workshop, we will share the work of a couple Early Childhood Community Advocates who are building early childhood connections parent by parent in Norwalk.
MJ Chironna, Norwalk ACTS
- Focusing on the Strengths of Others for Success – We live in a society in which we are always trying to improve and acquire new skills; basically to get better, or “fix” someone. This workshop focuses on a different approach, that of what is already working well and is inherently a person’ strengths. When we focus on a person’s strengths, we can learn to have a more positive approach to supporting others, communicate more effectively and focus on the positive.
Tracy Cheney, Three Cheers Consulting with TLC
- Building a Positive Mindset from a Social-Emotional Perspective – In this workshop, participants will learn ways to build a positive mindset. This also includes skills to improve self-talk and how to use social emotional learning skills to improve self-esteem and self-worth.
Dr. Noel Casiano, Casiano Clinical Services, LLC
- The Pyramid Model – The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children is a positive behavioral intervention and support framework. Early childhood practitioners, caregivers, and families can use the model to promote young children’s social and emotional development and prevent and address challenging behavior. In this training we will review the pyramid model, foundations for success and how you can continue the work in your programs.
SESSION III (2:15 – 4:00 PM)
- Building Strong Connections Through Social Emotional Learning Effective Tools to Foster Home-School Partnerships and School Belonging – The focus of our presentation is to equip teachers and caregivers with effective tools to foster and enhance students’ connection with their school, their family and their community. After the COVID-19 pandemic we see students (and adults) becoming increasingly more disconnected. The lack of human connection is at the center of an international mental health crisis. It is absolutely imperative that we find and implement effective strategies to strengthen students’ connection with their schools, communities and families. Participants joining our presentation will be able to learn and practice efficient strategies that will foster students’ resilience, connection and promote a growth mindset. We will share resources and tools that could be used at home and in the classroom to promote a positive climate and sense of belonging.
Dr. Stacey Heiligenthaler & Dr. Alina Agiurgioaei Boie and Dr. Fabian Agiurgioaei Boie, Greenwich Public Schools
- Arise and Shine, We Have Work to Do – The colorless, odorless, tasteless, silent cloud of the pandemic and the accompanying stressors are slowly lifting. It’s time to re-discover ourselves and each other and connect. Using a multi-sensual approach, with research, music, photos, and videos, we’ll have a lively interactive conversation. We will look back at our early childhood and learn the importance of bringing those experiences forward to weave them into our work with a fresh sense of enthusiasm and joy. The principles of adult learning will be used, and different teaching modalities will be employed to meet different learning styles.
Doug Edwards, Real Dads Forever
- To The Moon and Back – Supporting children with special needs in the home, in the classroom, and beyond – All children require support to become healthy well-adjusted adults. Children with special needs, however, can have exceptional challenges in achieving this goal. During this workshop Ronda Thorington, LPC will use her clinical knowledge in conjunction with her own lived experience as a mom to a child with specialized medical needs to identify some of the unique social-emotional considerations for these children and some concrete strategies that their caring adults can use to support them.
Ronda C Thorington, MA, LPC, Parent Coach
- Creating a Professional Development Plan for Yourself & Your Staff – In this workshop, we will explore how to help staff that we supervise develop skills in the areas of goal setting, skill development, and self-awareness as related to their professional development and in their work with youth. The importance of having a well-trained staff will be delved into and participants will develop their own professional development plan, while gaining skills in guiding their staff through a similar process.
Patricia Pugliese, New Jersey School-Age Child Care Coalition
- Music and the Indomitable Human Spirit – The Blues and Beyond details how music and history go hand in hand. We will perform music and discuss the history of our country from the 1600’s to the present day. Participants will learn rhythms from West-Africa, engage in lively discussion, and leave with a lesson plan on the topics that were discussed.
Eric Finland & Adam Taylor and Noe Socha, The Blues and Beyond