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30th Annual Parent Conference & Family Engagement Institutes

NHSA's 30th Annual Parent Conference, taking place in Atlanta, GA from December 9-12, 2013, is the only national event to provide training and educational opportunities focusing on how parents, families and Head Start program staff can work together to promote parent and family engagement. This event, like no other, highlights and explores best practices for parent involvement straight from the programs successfully implementing them.

But these educational opportunities begin even before the conference! On December 9th, we will be holding both the Head Start Health Institute on Weight and Wellness and a number of Pre-Conferece sessions on important topics for the Head Start Community. These topics range from the role of policy councils in Head Start to the use of modern technology in early childhood development. Come spend the day before the conference in these specialized sessions to take away even more best practices from the Parent Conference!

Register for the special Health Institute track or choose a Pre-Conference session.

 

NHSA HEALTH INSTITUTE ON WEIGHT AND WELLNESS

$100 (Members)
$125 (Nonmembers)

ABOUT THE HEALTH INSTITUTE:
The Head Start Health Institute on Weight and Wellness, co-hosted by NHSA and the Head Start National Center on Health, will be a day-long event on December 9th, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, prior to NHSA's Parent Conference. In line with national findings, data collected about Head Start children in the 2011-2012 school year showed that 23% were overweight or obese and 4% were underweight. There are also health concerns among adults in Head Start communities; a 2012 Temple University study found that about 37% of participating Pennsylvania Head Start staff were obese. While recent CDC findings are promising, parents and programs need strategies and resources to address and promote healthy weight among children and among the adults who are their role models. The Health Institute Track comprise the following sessions:

  • Farm to Head Start: Bringing Good Food to Kids and Families (Diane Harris)
  • Healthy Food Can Be Cheap and Yummy? Believe It! (Christine Berman)
  • It Starts at the Cart: Grocery Shopping Skills for Healthy Eating on a Budge (Christine Berman)
  • Motivating Families to Develop Healthy Habits (Monica Griffin)
  • Moving and Learning at Home: IMIL for Families (Linda Carson)
  • How families and programs can partner to help children develop healthy eating and activity habits (Dianne Ward)

 

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSIONS

$145 (Members)
$165 (Nonmembers)

FLASH! FATHERS LEADING A STRONG HEAD START
Head Start has done a good job of engaging fathers in the education of their children. It is now time to train up fathers as leaders in their families, their communities and in Head Start.  This training will help parents and practitioners understand the strengths that fathers bring to the children and to the strengthening of the Head Start. Participants will leave with a better understanding of working with families and ideas on how to develop leaders through their father engagement activities. They will:

Learn about the differences of masculine and feminine parenting styles

Learn about the opportunities to better engage fathers and develop leaders within the context of Head Start father engagement programs.

Learn about the barriers to father and family engagement
Presenter: J. Michael Hall, M.Ed. is a father of two sons and the husband to a very successful middle school reading teacher. J. Michael is a former special education teacher and a “recovering” middle school principal and is the Founder and President of Strong Fathers-Strong Families, LLC in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

FLIP IT: TRANSFORMING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR
FLIP IT is designed to help young children learn about their feelings, gain self-control and reduce challenging behavior. The four steps are embodied in the FLIP IT mnemonic which stands for Feelings, Limits, Inquiries, and Prompts. This strategy is nothing new, but transforms best practice into an easy to remember and applicable approach to reducing challenging behavior in young children. Perfect for teachers, parents, and administrators alike!
Presenter: Rachel Sperry, MSW, is an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and Trainer for the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative.Rachel is currently responsible for providing professional development and technical assistance to early childhood programs throughout the nation. Rachel is a certified trainer for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children

 

POLICY COUNCIL’S ROLE IN HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START
Participants will learn more about Head Start/Early Head Start’s unique governance structure, which shares decision making between the Governing Board and Policy Council Participants will:

  • Understand the history of Head Start.
  • Learn the governance structure including specific details of the powers, functions and roles of the Policy Council
  • Understand reporting and in-kind in regards to the Policy Council


Presenter: Tammy Jelinek has spent over 20 years working in and with grantfunded and fee-for-services nonprofit organizations.

 

PROMOTING FAMILY LIFE PRACTICES TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
The session outlines Acelero Learning's award-winning family services approach, and provides concrete information on using contracting with families to close the Achievement Gap, using individual goals and group strategies, and building a program-wide culture that promotes positive family-life practices throughout the year

Participants will:

  • Understand the relationship between FLP and the Achievement Gap
  • Understand key components of creating individualized, FLP-related goals with families
  • Take away concrete strategies for implementing the FLP-centered culture and approach in their own Head Start programs


Presenter: Jenni Brasington, M.Ed. Acelero Learning, Inc. An expert in training, assessment, and curriculum development, Ms. Brasington specializes in building organizational capacity for quality-based early learning programs and effective and sustainable family engagement practices.


THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE FOR HEAD START PARENTS
Aspiring to make a difference in your agency or community, or just seeking an opportunity for personal growth and leadership within your family? This one-day workshop is for you. James Kouzes and Barry Posner's model starts with the premise that "leadership is everyone's business." Guiding principles include the belief that leadership development is self-development, takes practice, and is both an aspiration and a choice. Participants will:

  • Understand and begin using the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
  • Identify the essential qualities that people admire in leaders and understand the implications
  • Employ at least one method for improving your capacity to engage in each of the Five Practices


Presenters: Robin Bozek, Edward Condon


TRANSFORM STRESS TO SUCCESS! STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINING HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS AND THRIVING PROGRAMS
Take a replenishing time away from your everyday life, while experiencing a breadth and depth of fun and effective techniques to relax and stay balanced. These activities are also excellent for creating healthy programs and helping children focus and experience success. Participants receive MP3s of instructor’s relaxation audio program and handouts detailing activities. Leave refreshed, with new tools!

Presenter: Zoe Sameth, M.S., is a bilingual (Spanish/English) educator, trainer, speaker and consultant with a Master’s degree in Experiential Education and over twenty-five years experience working locally, nationally and internationally with educators, program staff, parents, and students of all ages in early childhood education and after-school programs, schools, and colleges to raise well-being, increase positive outcomes, and build strong and supportive classrooms, groups, and teams.


USING TECHNOLOGY FOR 21ST CENTURY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Using Technology for 21st Century Childhood Development is a highly interactive, skills-based multi-media training designed to educate and inform parents, caregivers, and educators on the impact of our Digital Media Culture. This workshop helps participants navigate through the challenges of technologies (i.e. Social Media, SMS/Text Messaging, Apps), and its connection to Bullying, Conflict Resolution and Advocacy. Participants will develop skills to assist in their child's academic achievement as well as:

  • Identify five different forms of media, their codes, their functions and purposes
  • Develop one strategy on integrating new media within their daily activities
  • Learn two educational programming apps that engage children in an out-of-school environment
  • Identify, interpret and communicate using 21st Century Children and Youth Culture’s language and digital lingo
  • Create a plan for “A Well Balanced Media Diet”™

Presenter: Alonzo Edmundo, BS  Alonzo is the co-founder and COO of Clarity Creative Institute, a digital literacy organization, specializing in educational consulting, multi-media presentations, professional development and digital citizenship advocacy.


VIP: VERY IMPORTANT PARENTS - REVIEWING - REVISING - RENEWING THE PARENT COMMITTEE
This session will focus on two primary learning blocks: Program Design and Management and Program Governance, and Parent, Community and Family Engagement. The session will address the importance of the Parent Committee as the grassroots building block of a Head Start’s governance structure. Attendees will:

  • Understand the importance of the Parent committee as it relates to school readiness
  • Increase knowledge of regulations, guidelines and best practices relative to the Parent Committee
  • Discuss creative strategies to get more parents engaged in the Parent Committee as a significant decision making experience
  • Explore myths, facts and perceptions of the Parent Committee and the roles parents play that incorporate leadership, advocacy, and networking

Presenter: Gail Elleby is a Management Specialist and Certified Literacy Specialist with Training & Technical Assistance Services located at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

 

FREE SESSIONS

YOGA: A POWERFUL TOOL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
This highly interactive session will both show participants how to use yoga to make a difference for the exceptional child, and train caregivers in the calming effects of yoga. Through yoga the child recognizes and learns to control the feelings of anxiety, frustration and fatigue. Yoga enhances the natural development of a child in a holistic mindful manner through stretching, body awareness, breathing and posture.

Presenter: Carla Tantillo, MA, CYI, founder of Mindful Practices,  is the author of the book Cooling Down Your Classroom and Student Wellness in 8-10 Minutes Each Day.


ENGAGING FAMILIES USING MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING
This workshop combines lecture and activities to help staff envision when and how they could implement Motivational Interviewing to engage families. We will explore techniques to find out people’s motivations and empower them to make change to meet their own goals rather than trying to persuade them to change. We will discuss and practice specific techniques, including open ended questions, reflections, affirmations, and summaries to develop the group’s Motivational Interviewing skills

Presenter: Rachel Galanter, MPH is a certified Parenting Educator with 20 years experience with children, youth, and families in a variety of settings including shelters, transitional housing, home visiting, crisis intervention, and schools.

 

PARENT LEADERSHIP IN AND BEYOND HEAD START
Child and family policy without the parent voice behind it is like a family without generations, one-sided, lonely and not as efficient. Parent leadership is particularly vital due to the current social and economic landscape. Parents, as leaders, can assure clear voice for best practices and policies. Participants will learn:

  • How to lead for your child and other children
  • How parents impact the schools, safety and health for children
  • Strategies to embed parent leadership in neighborhood, community and schools
  • How parents can acquire leadership skills once we transition from Head Start to the K-12 school system


Presenter: Elaine Zimmerman is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Children. She is nationally recognized for her public policy acumen and commitment to community and families, and designed the Parent Leadership Training Institute, a democracy school for parents that teaches parents how to lead successfully for good child outcomes in the community.

 

READING BETWEEN THE LINES: SELECTING AND USING CULTURALLY AUTHENTIC LITERATURE IN HEAD START
The OHS National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness has developed a resource to support adults in selecting and using culturally authentic literature. Culturally authentic literature not only supports children's social emotional development, but also enhances their acquisition of literacy and school readiness skills. Through hands-on activities, participants will learn steps to evaluating books, sources for locating authentic books, and ways to create responsive learning environments that reflect the diversity of their community.

Presenter: Tarima Levine is a Co-Director for the Office of Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness at Bank Street College.