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OKFutures Moving Forward

2019 Professional Development Conference

About

On Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, OPSR hosted the first ever OKFutures Moving Forward: 2019 Professional Development Conference* to support early childhood education professionals and parents. This conference helped participants develop skills in managing behaviors, child/adult interactions, trauma and other existing barriers when working with children, birth to five-years-old.

Training

With multiple training opportunities this conference had something for every parent and provider in the early childhood field. Event attendees can choose between four different tracks. Each one highlighted an important part of developing better outcomes for children. In addition, by attending this conference, professionals earned six formal training hours through the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (CECPD) or six Continuing Education Units (CEUs)* and qualifying attendees* received a $40 stipend.

Track One:

Trauma-Informed Care

Unfortunately, many children have had traumatic experiences early in life. These children have a variety of developmental needs, and it can be a challenge for professionals to build effective strategies and provide appropriate support. In addition, parents and caregivers can play a very important role in helping children heal from traumatic experiences. As such, this six-hour session focused on broadening participants understanding of infant and early childhood mental health; improving participants ability to recognize signs of trauma and other relationship disruptions; and increasing participants skills to respond to children who've experienced trauma with empathy as well as create a nurturing environment.

Track Two:

Infant and Toddler Care

This six-hour session focused on the basic concepts of early social-emotional growth and socialization. With an emphasis on the impact relationships have on learning, Infant and Toddler Care used research to inform and faciliate responsive caregiving. By the end of this session, participants knew how early experiences effect brain development and be able to identify strategies for supporting positive behavioral outcomes.

This training is an excerpt from the Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC). Those interested in completing all PITC modules, free of charge, should email contact@okschoolreadiness.org.

Track Three:

Brain Development

Decades of research indicate that the early years are a period of exponential brain development. As such, participants in Tracks Three and Four enjoyed a morning session about this topic with emphasis on communication and language development. From communication milestones for children from birth to five-years-old to strategies that support early communication skills and multi-language learners, this session made everyone a better communicator.

The Importance of Play

Children learn through play, and in fact, play's importance on healthy development is grounded in a strong body of research. Presented by Lakeshore Learning, in this session participants dived into this research to gain a clearer understanding of how play promotes cognitive, physical, social and emotional development in children. They learned how to effectively plan and promote intentional play that sparks children's curiosity. Moreover, as a result of this training, participants are able to: 1) explain the importance of play on a child's development; 2) create an environment that empowers children to pursue creative play; and 3) provide high quality interactions with children to enhance play.

Track Four:

Brain Development

Decades of research indicate that the early years are a period of exponential brain development. As such, participants in Tracks Three and Four enjoyed a morning session about this topic with emphasis on communication and language development. From communication milestones for children from birth to five-years-old to strategies that support early communication skills and multi-language learners, this session made everyone a better communicator.

The Happy Teacher Project

Don't worry, be happy! Kyong-Ah Kwon, associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, and her collaborators presented their research findings as part of "The Happy Teacher Project." This project identifies ways to support early childhood teachers' physical, psychological and professional well-being. Specifically, this session detailed the team's work including surveys, health assessments, and interviews and give professionals the tools they need to build a positive, healthy work environment.

 

*Continuing Education Units

This event has been approved for six credit hours for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). 

*Qualifying Attendees

There were no specific OPSR requirements in order to have received the $40 stipend other than to have completed the day's training. Any attendee may have received this stipend unless barred by their employer. Please check with your employer if you have any questions about this stipend.

Presenters

All of our presenters brought their expertise and insight to create an engaging experience for attendees. We'd like to say a big thank you to each one of our presenters for their support of this conference!

Amy Huffer, Ph.D.

Trauma-Informed Care - Norman & Live Stream

Amy Huffer graduated with her master's in social work from the University of Oklahoma and earned her doctorate in human science from Oklahoma State University. She specializes in infant and early childhood mental health and currently supports efforts of Zero to Three to change the trajectory for infants, toddlers and their families impacted by the child protection system. Previously, she assisted with the research and dissemination of the Attachment and Bio-Behavioral Catch-Up (ABC) intervention through the University of Delaware and served as Oklahoma’s early childhood trainer and consultant where she worked to develop and strengthen infant and early childhood workforce across the state. Huffer has supported infant and early childhood mental health consultation for early education settings and additionally supported research efforts in the field of infant and early childhood mental health. Huffer has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Association for Infant Mental Health as an infant mental health mentor and regularly provides training and reflective consultation to professionals serving infants, toddlers and their families.

To learn about the rest of our presenters, click on each location below.

Ada

Norman

Durant

Tahlequah

Enid

Thackerville

Lawton

Tulsa

 

 

 

If you missed the conference or would like to reference what you learned, click on one of the presentations below.* 

 

Trauma-Informed Care

Presented by Amy Huffer

PDF

Infant and Toddler Care

Presented by Ava Armstead, Brittany Egger, Amy Fain, Joyce Hepler, Melissa Manning, Carol Rowland and Becky Taylor

PDF

The Growing Brain

Presented by Paula Brown, Lauren Cooper, Jane Humphries, Jan Jobey, Susan Kimmel, Amy McCain, Gay Snyder and Jennifer Tubb 

PDF (Coming Soon!)

The Importance of Play

Presented by Shalek Chappill-Nichols, Kathy Gomez, Jen Jackson, Marianne Kelley, Ron Mohl, Jessie Olson and Jamie Widerman

PDF

The Happy Teacher Project

Presented by Chris Amirault, Natalie Ellis, Timothy Ford, Mia Kile, Kyong-Ah Kwon, Adrien Malek, Ken Randall and Bethany Williams

PDF (Coming Soon!)

 

*Please note that while in-person presenters varied per location, the PowerPoint presentations were uniform across all event sites unless otherwise noted.

Agendas & Maps

No matter your location, we had everyone covered with a detailed agenda and map. Check it out!

With four different training tracks, our conference was a buzz of activity.

Ada

  • Agenda
  • Map (We were in the Memorial Student Union)

Norman

  • Agenda
  • Map (We were in the Main Hotel, the Franklin Bldg. & the MLC) 

Durant

  • Agenda
  • Map (We were in the Hallie McKinney (HM))

Tahlequah

  • Agenda
  • Map (We were in University Center)             

Enid

  • Agenda
  • Map                                                          

Thackerville

  • Agenda
  • Map (We were in the Convention Center)   

Lawton

Tulsa

 

 

 

 

Thank you!

We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you to all of the following partners for their support of the OKFutures Moving Forward: 2019 Professional Development Conference.

*Funding for this project was made possible by OKFutures, a grant known as the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five, Grant No. 90TP0037. This grant was awarded to the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services & Education and is administered by the Administration for Children and Families.

This event is solely the responsibility of OPSR and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.