image
 

StudentResources


Focus on Children 2018

    Ask BTC
     

    Registration opens Jan. 2
    Register {on or before} Jan. 19 to save!
    Limited scholarships for licensed child care providers
    Breakfast & lunch provided

    Questions

    Phone:
    360.752.8447

    Brochure

    Brochure image



Exploring our Roots: Supporting Children’s Connection to Place

test

We look forward to seeing you at our 34th Annual Focus on Children Conference!

  • Reflect on your practices
  • Gain new resources & strategies
  • Connect & share information
  • Contemplate culture, diversity & early childhood education issues
  • Earn .5 credit & 6 STARS hours

Keynote Speaker

Anna Lees, Ed.D
Keynote: Enriching Early Childhood Education with Indigenous Community, School & University Collaboration

Agenda

Focus on Children 2018 Agenda

Workshops

Focus on Children 2018 Workshop Sessions

Presenters

About Our 2018 Presenters

About Our Sponsors:


Bellingham Technical College provides student-centered, highquality professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Pacific Northwest Chapter of WAEYC acts on behalf of the needs and rights of all young children and their families and provides opportunities to improve professional practice in early childhood education.

The Opportunity Council is a private, non–profit human service organization that acts as a catalyst for positive change, both in the community and in the lives of the people it serves.

Whatcom Educational Credit Union has a strong commitment to the community and social responsibility. Its goal is to support education, health, and community concerns.


A Special Thanks to Our Vendors:


Creation Station
Launching Success
School Art Materials
Words Reflected



In the spirit of Zero Waste, please bring your own water bottle!

This conference is intended for professional development. In order for all participants to be able to devote their full attention to the presenters, we are requesting children do not attend. However, infants are welcome.

Esta conferencia es para el desarrollo professional. Para que se dediquen completamente todos los participantes a los oradores, pedimos que no asisten niños. Sin embargo se puede traer a los bebes.

    Ask BTC
     

    Registration opens Jan. 2
    Register {on or before} Jan. 19 to save!
    Limited scholarships for licensed child care providers
    Breakfast & lunch provided

    Questions

    Phone:
    360.752.8447

    Brochure

    Brochure image



Introducing Our Keynote Speaker: Anna Lees, Ed.D

Keynote: Enriching Early Childhood Education with Indigenous Community, School & University Collaboration

text

Indigenous communities hold knowledge and experiences around early childhood learning and development that are largely absent from early childhood curriculum. In this talk, we will consider ways in which Indigenous communities and early childhood educators may come together to create developmentally appropriate and culturally sustaining curriculum. We will reflect on the importance of collaborating across community and educational organizations to identify shared priorities and practices around the educational experiences of young children and families, and the need to include multiple perspectives and knowledge systems in such discussions. Anna will share examples of Indigenous communities engaged with early childhood educators to build and expand land, water, and place-based curriculum and depict a framework for developing and sustaining mutually beneficial partnerships.


Anna Lees (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, descendant) began her career as an early childhood classroom teacher in rural northern Michigan and the United Arab Emirates. Now, an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University, she partners with schools and communities to prepare teachers for the holistic needs of children, families, and communities. Anna is committed to developing and sustaining reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities to engage community leaders as co-teacher educators, creating spaces for Indigenous knowledges in early childhood settings and higher education. Anna studies Anishinaabe stories and teachings related to childhood and advocates for intergenerational relationships in educational settings, believing that decolonizing interactions with young children will begin the path toward a postcolonial future.

    Ask BTC
     

    Registration opens Jan. 2
    Register {on or before} Jan. 19 to save!
    Limited scholarships for licensed child care providers
    Breakfast & lunch provided

    Questions

    Phone:
    360.752.8447

    Brochure

    Brochure image



Agenda


7:45am–8:30am     CHECK IN


    Check in, light breakfast provided, visit vendors & displays


8:30am–8:40am     WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS



8:40am–9:40am     KEYNOTE SPEAKER


    Keynote: Enriching Early Childhood Education with Indigenous Community, School & University Collaboration
    Anna Lees, Ed.D.


9:50am–12:50pm     WORKSHOP SESSIONS (3-HOUR LENGTH)


    Tool Kit for Dual Language Learners & Their Families
    Presenter: Anastacia Vitovitz


9:50am–11:20am     WORKSHOP SESSIONS (1.5-HOUR LENGTH)


    Move It! Using Yoga-Based Movement in the Classroom
    Presenter: Pat Cavit

    A Literary Adventure
    Presenter: Kat Kayser

    Tots & Today’s Technology
    Presenter: Sarah Lytlez

    The Art of Making Noise: Rhythm, Drumming & Musical Play with Children
    Presenter: Ray Soriano

    Play & Learn, Jump Start & Kindergarten Readiness
    Presenter: Kim Hawes, Scott Brittain & Rachel Bowlden

    Nature Preschool: Integrating the Natural World into Your Preschool/Childcare Program
    Presenter: Laurie Saling

    Fostering Whole Child Health & Wellness in Indigenous Education: Engaging in Experiential Education to Learn About Coast Salish Ways of Life
    Presenter: Nahrin Aziz-Parsons, Dr. Anna Lees, Alicia Allard & Cynthia Wilson

    Fomentando y Desarrollando la Autoestima en los Niños y Sus Familias
    Presenter: Estela Carrera-Infante & Isabel Meaker


11:30am-1:00pm     Workshop Sessions


    Teaching Diversity: Sharing & Celebrating Differences
    Presenter: Kim Bogren Owen

    Nature Preschool: Integrating the Natural World into Your Preschool/Childcare Program
    Presenter: Pat Cavit

    Tots & Today’s Technology
    Presenter: Sarah Lytle

    Learning with "Loose Parts"
    Presenter: Stacie Anderson Ensley & Vesla Kazimer

    Mathematizing Play with Number Boxes & Story Boxes
    Presenter: Janet Mock & WWU's Early Childhood Cohort

    Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
    Presenter: Jess Robinson & Kat Kayser

    Teachers’ Drumming & Rhythm Workshop
    Presenter: Ray Soriano

    Mi Plato: Preparando y Ofreciendo Comidas Sanas en Cuidado Infantile
    Presenter: Melanie Coyne & Jeanne Lamphier


1:00pm–2:00pm     Lunch


    Lunch provided, connect with others, visit vendors & displays


2:00pm–4:00pm     Workshop Sessions


    Little Bodies Big Hearts: Leveraging Picture Books to Name & Explore Emotions with Young Children
    Presenter: Thom Barthelmess

    Building Bridges: Promoting Resiliency in the Classroom
    Presenter: Pat Cavit

    Teaching The Whole Child Through Play
    Presenter: Barbara Del Wraao

    Put Some STEAM into Your Literacy Program
    Presenter: Kim Bogren Owen

    Power of Connection: Building for Life in the First 1,000 Days
    Presenter: Kristi Slette & Vesla Kazimer

    Identity Development & Culture
    Presenter: Darcie Donegan

    Creating Successful Pre-K to Kindergarten Transitions & Bellingham Public Schools
    Presenter: Laurie Saling

    Preschool in Two Countries: Learning Together in Bellingham, WA & Chongqing, China
    Presenter: Marilyn Chu, Becky Curtis & Carolyn Mulder

    Promoviendo las Primeras Relaciones
    Presenter: Jess Robinson


4:00pm


    Sign out & submit the Focus Conference evaluation

    Connect with others & enjoy dessert

    Ask BTC
     

    Registration opens Jan. 2
    Register {on or before} Jan. 19 to save!
    Limited scholarships for licensed child care providers
    Breakfast & lunch provided

    Questions

    Phone:
    360.752.8447

    Brochure

    Brochure image



Workshop Sessions

9:50a.m. – 12:50p.m. (3-hour length)


    Tool Kit for Dual Language Learners & Their Families
    Anastacia Vitovitz

    This class will provide an overview of advantages and challenges of being bilingual: the progression of how children learn languages, strategies of how to effectively work with Dual Language Learners and time to discuss new information and reflect on the current practices in the classroom.



9:50a.m. – 11:20a.m. (1.5-hour length)


    Move It! Using Yoga-Based Movement in the Classroom
    Pat Cavit

    Learn fun and effective ways to increase engagement and decrease challenging behaviors using yoga-based movement activities. Learn why it works and how to use it in your program.


    A Literary Adventure
    Kat Kayser

    Teachers will learn how to have fun with active communication centered around children’s literature. Teachers will gain skills in creating a prepared and relaxed atmosphere during large and small group reading.


    Tots & Today’s Technology
    Sarah Lytle

    Screens are everywhere! Learn what, when, and how infants and toddlers learn from screens. Participants will understand how children’s cognitive development affects screen learning and they will also learn how to support children’s media use.


    The Art of Making Noise: Rhythm, Drumming & Musical Play with Children
    Ray Soriano

    Children love drumming and rhythmic music and movement because it is good for the body, mind, and spirit…and because it's so fun! In this lively, interactive, and multicultural workshop we will explore drumming, songs, rhythm activities, and musical play ideas that Ray has been joyfully sharing with children for many years.


    Play & Learn, Jump Start & Kindergarten Readiness
    Kim Hawes, Scott Brittain & Rachel Bowlden

    Our workshop will explain the benefits of a child’s first teacher—their parent—engaging in a variety of community programs to ensure their child is prepared and ready for kindergarten. We hope to give all educators, parents, teachers and administrators, a snapshot into how the Ferndale School District benefits from our Play and Learn and Jump Start programs.


    Nature Preschool: Integrating the Natural World into Your Preschool/Childcare Program
    Laurie Saling

    This workshop will explore the concepts of ecological literacy and environmental stewardship in early education. Participants will gain a variety of ideas, strategies and possibilities for weaving nature into programs. Risk management and practical logistics of a “rain or shine” school will be addressed.


    Fostering Whole Child Health & Wellness in Indigenous Education: Engaging in Experiential Education to Learn About Coast Salish Ways of Life
    Nahrin Aziz-Parsons, Dr. Anna Lees, Alicia Allard & Cynthia Wilson

    Northwest Indian College recently launched its newest early childhood education project, the Restorative Teachings ECE Initiative. The initiative focuses on implementing practices that result in improved early learning opportunities and health benefits for Native families and their children. A group of presenters will share about NWIC’s three efforts: curriculum reform; professional development; and place-based education. Participants will be able to identify ways in which to engage Native families and Tribal communities in launching projects and initiatives.


    Fomentando y Desarrollando la Autoestima en los Niños y Sus Familias
    Estela Carrera-Infante & Isabel Meaker

    Los participantes practicarán estrategias y conceptos para fomentar y desarrollar un concepto positivo de cada niño en sus diferentes etapas. Aprenderán acerca de afirmaciones, las cuatro maneras de ser padres y el concepto de reciclar las habilidades aprendidas.



11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m. (1.5-hour length)


    Teaching Diversity: Sharing & Celebrating Differences
    Kim Bogren Owen

    Attendees of this training explore ways to integrate diversity into their programs in a meaningful and appropriate manner. Learn how to navigate the sensitive issues that teaching about diversity can expose, and how to respect all the individuals with whom you work.


    Move It! Using Yoga-Based Movement in the Classroom
    Pat Cavit

    Learn fun and effective ways to increase engagement and decrease challenging behaviors using yoga-based movement activities. Learn why it works and how to use it in your program.


    Tots & Today’s Technology
    Sarah Lytle

    Screens are everywhere! Learn what, when, and how infants and toddlers learn from screens. Participants will understand how children’s cognitive development affects screen learning and they will also learn how to support children’s media use.


    Learning with "Loose Parts"
    Stacie Anderson Ensley & Vesla Kazimer

    Bring the fun of found objects to children! Consider safety, along with where and how to select appropriate materials. Photos and stories will provide the context for how this style of play supports children’s development and learning.


    Mathematizing Play with Number Boxes & Story Boxes
    Janet Mock & WWU’s Early Childhood Cohort

    Number boxes and story boxes can stimulate number sense development when play is guided by the right questions and opportunities. Examples of number boxes, an idea imported from Norwegian barnehage, and story boxes will be presented with handouts.


    Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
    Jess Robinson & Kat Kayser

    This training will support child care providers to bridge the gap between provider and family using a newsletter. Providers will learn how to create an engaging newsletter including how to choose topics and the format of the newsletter. At the end of this training providers will learn why a parent newsletter is an important source of information for parents throughout their child’s development.


    Teachers’ Drumming & Rhythm Workshop
    Ray Soriano

    Our work with children and families is rewarding, but often challenging. When we spend time rejuvenating ourselves through meaningful collective experiences, we are better able to bring our best selves to the children we serve. Drumming is a fun, powerful way to connect with others, relieve stress, rejuvenate energy, and express creativity. Join this lively and culturally rich workshop to feed the soul and reconnect with the art of playing. No experience necessary, just ready hands and an open heart!


    Mi Plato: Preparando y Ofreciendo Comidas Sanas en Cuidado Infantile
    Melanie Coyne & Jeanne Lamphier

    Los participantes aprenderán cómo diseñar comidas para niños que reflejen la investigación más reciente sobre prácticas nutricionales saludables. Los participantes crearán dos ejemplos de almuerzos saludables y aprenderán más sobre cómo aprovechar el programa de alimentos del USDA para hogares de cuidado infantil.



2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. (2-hour length)


    Little Bodies Big Hearts: Leveraging Picture Books to Name & Explore Emotions with Young Children
    Thom Barthelmess

    Youth Librarian Thom Barthelmess will share ideas about using picture books to help children name and explore emotions. Participants will learn about ways books address emotional literacy and will leave with a recommended book list.


    Building Bridges: Promoting Resiliency in the Classroom
    Pat Cavit

    This presentation will discuss the effect of trauma on child development and behavior, and effective ways of modifying behaviors and building resilience in children in a classroom setting.


    Teaching The Whole Child Through Play
    Barbara Del Wraa

    This workshop will focus on the benefits of play on the whole child. Participants will learn about play as an instructional strategy and how it can help close the achievement gap in the primary grades by increasing rigor in a developmentally appropriate way. Participants will learn about how play can support social emotional learning (SEL).


    Put Some STEAM into Your Literacy Program
    Kim Bogren Owen

    Learn how STEAM and literacy can go hand in hand during this session. Using picture books, attendees will explore ideas for integrating science and art concepts into their curriculum. Bring your favorite science or art picture book to use to create activities in addition to the ideas that will be presented for the books used during this session.


    Power of Connection: Building for Life in the First 1,000 Days
    Kristi Slette & Vesla Kazimer

    This overview and discussion of lifelong wellbeing is based on the research of healthy brain development, building resilience and minimizing toxic stress in the first 1,000 days of life.


    Identity Development & Culture
    Darcie Donegan

    Explore how young children develop identity (gender, racial, cultural, and more) as well as examine your own identity and culture. Learn more about yourself and ways to support positive identity development in children you care for and about.


    Creating Successful Pre-K to Kindergarten Transitions
    Laurie Saling & Bellingham Public Schools

    This workshop will explore the concepts of how to strengthen and create strong partnerships between early childhood providers and public schools as our students transition to kindergarten. Research has shown that this transition is critical to future academic success and family engagement. As educators we will explore strategies to strengthen this transition process beyond forms to relationship-based practices.


    Preschool in Two Countries: Learning Together in Bellingham, WA & Chongqing, China
    Marilyn Chu, Becky Curtis & Carolyn Mulder

    Early Childhood faculty, teachers and students from Bellingham will share their involvement with a 1- to 3-year journey of getting to know Chinese preschools in Southwest China through reciprocal preschool visits between the US and China. Participants will be presented with an introduction into an arts integrated preschool emphasis in China and the ways Bellingham and Chongqing are influencing each other’s preschool practices.


    Promoviendo las Primeras Relaciones
    Jess Robinson

    Este Entreñiamento da conocimiento del dessarollo social, emocíonal temprano y ayuda proveedoras aplicar esta información en sus practicas. También promueve el asercamiento con niños desde el nacimiento hasta los tres años de edad y proporciona estrategias para las interacciones positivas entre cuidador y niño.

    Ask BTC
     

    Registration opens Jan. 2
    Register {on or before} Jan. 19 to save!
    Limited scholarships for licensed child care providers
    Breakfast & lunch provided

    Questions

    Phone:
    360.752.8447

    Brochure

    Brochure image



About Our 2018 Presenters

Alicia Allard is the Director of the Northwest Indian College Early Learning Center and has previously worked with Lummi Head Start and Teen Parent programs and the Maternal Child Health field. She has a master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration, Management and Leadership; a BA in Human Services; and is a CDA Professional Development Specialist.

Stacie Anderson Ensley is a graduate of WWU’s ECE program, certified to teach children 0-8. She is currently the lead teacher in the Mt. Baker Co-op Preschool program, serving 42 children and families. Her dedication to play-based learning is evident in her classroom and she is excited to share her success with early learning colleagues.

Nahrin Aziz-Parsons is the lead Early Childhood Education faculty member and Project Director of the Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative at Northwest Indian College. She received her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and served as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans, LA. Nahrin received a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership at University of Washington and served as an officer for the student organization, Educators for Social Justice. Nahrin also currently serves as a mentor to Teach For America corps members of color and a scholarship reviewer for UC Berkeley’s Cal Alumni Association Leadership Award.

Thom Barthelmess has a Masters of Library Science and has been a practicing librarian in public libraries around the country for 25 years. He also taught graduate-level courses full time for six years.

Kim Bogren Owen has worked in Early Childhood Education for over 30 years with experience working with diverse populations. Her BA is in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on Native American Culture. She also has a great deal of experience teaching STEAM. She has experience in a variety of programs and roles from teacher to coach to Quality Initiative Coordinator. She has been developing and conducting training on many topics since 1991.

Rachel Bowlden has been working with children and families for the past 13 years. Rachel joined Ferndale School District as Early Learning Family Resource Coordinator in 2015. As part of her role with the district, Rachel currently facilitates weekly Kaleidoscope Play and Learn classes and assists in coordination of the summer Jump Start program. Both programs aim to provide early learning opportunities for all children as well as providing support and education for caregivers.

Scott Brittain received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate at Western Washington University. He began his teaching career in the Puyallup School District teaching middle school science, math, and computers. Scott earned his administrative credentials and master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Puget Sound. He has had the opportunity to be a high school and middle school principal, serve as a Math Assessment Coordinator for OSPI, and a District Administrator. Currently Scott is the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the Ferndale School District.

Estela Carrera-Infante cuenta con más de 25 años de experiencia en el área de trabajo con familias a nivel estatal en Educación Migrante y Bilingüe. Su dedicación y pasión se demuestra en su estilo de presentar los temas tratados. Estela es Coautora del programa “Plática de Autoestima: Un Asunto de Toda La familia,” desarrollado y producido en español en la Universidad de Washington. Este será el material presentado en esta conferencia.

Pat Cavit has a BA in Child Development, MSW, and is certified to teach both adult and children’s yoga. Her social work career centered around working with children and families who experienced trauma and helping to facilitate solutions for the resulting behavior issues.

Marilyn Chu, Ed.D, is the Program Director for the Early Childhood Education program in the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. She has a special interest in culturally relevant infant/toddler program partnerships, mentoring and relationship based professional development and recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations to teacher education.

Melanie Coyne ha estado proporcionando capacitación y entrenamiento a los profesionales de los servicios de aprendizaje temprano en inglés y español durante 5 años.

Becky Curtis is the Parent Education and Family Engagement Program Coordinator with Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center.

Barbara Del Wraa has 27 years of experience in a Title 1 school, and has experience as a first-grade and full-day kindergarten teacher. She is a Kaleidoscope Play and Learn facilitator and was a WaKids birth to third-grade pilot teacher.

Darcie Donegan has an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and 28+ years as an adult educator & trainer. She is an adjunct faculty member at WCC.

Kim Hawes received her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate at San Diego State University. From 2002-2011 she taught kindergarten and first grade. In 2011, she earned her administrative credentials and master’s degree in Education from Western Washington University. Kim has been a building administrator at all levels, K-12. She became Director of Early Learning in the Ferndale School District in 2016.

Kat Kayser has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development. She was a Head Start teacher with a love for children’s literature and sharing that love with children. She is currently an Early Achievers Coach working with family child care providers and child care centers.

Vesla Kazimer earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Texas and facilitates two Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups for the Mount Baker School District.

Jeanne Lamphier ha gestionado el programa de nutrición de cuidado de niños en casa de la familia durante 20 años después de ser dueña de su propio programa de cuidado infantil familiar.

Dr. Anna Lees is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. Her work in teacher education is drawn from experiences as a classroom teacher and engagement with teaching and learning in community-based settings.

Sarah Lytle has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and has published research on children’s ability to learn from screens. Currently, she is the Director of Outreach and Education at I-LABS at the University of Washington. In that capacity, she provides professional development to the early learning community on a variety of topics, including screen media.

Isabel Meaker es la Asistente Especial del Superintendente para Compromisos Familiares de las escuelas públicas de Bellingham. Ella inició su trabajo por primera vez en las Escuelas Públicas de Bellingham como Voluntaria de AmeriCorps trabajando como especialista en diversidad con Woodring College of Education en 2009. En 2011, Meaker fue contratada como la Asistente Especial del Superintendente para Compromisos Familiares. Meaker tiene una licenciatura en negocios de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo en República Dominicana y una licenciatura en español de WWU.

Janet Mock is a mathematics educator with experience teaching pre-K through grade 6. Early childhood mathematics is one of her interests and focus of study.

Carolyn Mulder is an Early Childhood Program Specialist 3 in the Child Development Center at Western Washington University. Jess Robinson has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a master’s in Psychology. She was a family child care provider for 16 years, and has created numerous engaging newsletters for families in her child care.

Laurie Saling is the Director/Owner of The Madrona School for 9 years. Prior to founding The Madrona School, she was an elementary school counselor and started her career in education teaching first and second grade. She holds a M.Ed. and a B.S. in Education and just completed a UW Certificate Program in P-3 Executive Leadership.

Kristi Slette, M.Ed., is the Director of Whatcom Family & Community Network and is a leader and trainer in mobilizing resilience in communities to promote wellbeing for children and families. She taught at WWU in the Human Services Program for 15 years and has been a local parent educator and coach, most recently relating to why hope, resilience and toxic stress matter.

Ray Soriano has a Master of Social Work (MSW) and 25+ years of experience working with children and families, including preschool teaching, child care administration, Head Start administration, and public child welfare. He has also been an early learning trainer and presenter for over 15 years.

Anastacia Vitovitz has a degree in Pedagogy with specialization in teaching the second language. She is a bilingual professional and has raised a dual language learner. She has been successfully presenting to early learning professionals for the last 4 years.

Cynthia Wilson has worked in education for 30 years and enjoys working with children of all ages. She received her master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, and completed an internship with the Lummi Early Learning Center while working towards her CDA certification.