OPSR to host professional development conference

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/23/2019 10:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Children look for guidance, security, encouragement, education and more. On Nov. 2, parents of young children and early childhood professionals will have the opportunity to gain skills to support the development of children.

The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness will host OKFutures Moving Forward: 2019 Professional Development Conference at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.

This conference will help participants understand child/adult interactions, trauma and other behaviors when working with children from birth to 5 years old. And for the first time in Oklahoma, this early childhood conference will occur simultaneously in eight locations, making access more convenient for parents and professionals. Other sites include Ada, Durant, Enid, Lawton, Norman, Thackerville and Tulsa. In addition, this event is supported by six tribal nations – Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Comanche Nation, Osage Nation and the United Keetoowah Band – demonstrating the commitment of partnerships between state and tribal governments in support of early childhood in Oklahoma.

“OPSR is very excited to bring this professional development opportunity to all of the state’s hard working child care workers, educators and parents,” Debra Andersen, OPSR executive director, said. “We’re also grateful to have the support of multiple tribal nations who want their citizens to have the tools and resources to improve the lives of young children. We hope this conference empowers every participant to feel confident in their ability to make a positive impact on children and families.”

From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will engage in four training tracks, each tailored to address an important aspect of early childhood. Featuring Amy Huffer, Ph.D., Track 1 will focus on trauma-informed care, such that participants will walk away understanding the signs of trauma as well as how to create a nurturing environment. Track 2 will concentrate on the basic concepts of early social-emotional growth and socialization for infants and toddlers.

Tracks 3 and 4 will emphasize brain development and communication milestones from birth to 5 years old. Track 3 will also focus on how children learn through play. Participants will gain a clear understanding of how play promotes cognitive, physical, social and emotional development in children. Lastly, Track 4 will identify ways to support early childhood teachers’ physical, psychological and professional well-being.

In addition, professionals can earn six formal training hours through the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development or Continuing Education Units for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.

This event is only $15 to register. Parents can register for free with promo code, PDPARENT19. In addition, qualifying attendees will receive a $40 stipend for their participation. To register, visit https://www.okschoolreadiness.org/events/okfutures-moving-forward-conference#registration.

For additional information, call 405-429-4219.

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