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Clarke Fest in the Kehl Center (4-7 p.m.)

Gather your friends and family and join us for Clarke Fest in the Kehl Center! Due to anticipated weather conditions, this event has been relocated to the Robert and Ruhl Kehl Center. From 4-7 p.m., indulge in an evening filled with food trucks, live performances, art, and a variety of fun activities. Experience the thrill of an inflatable obstacle course, take a ride down the giant slide, savor the sweetness of cotton candy, and much more!

Interdisciplinary Conference

Continuing Education Hours aligned with IA requirements for nursing, social work, and physical therapy are being provided by Clarke University Department of Nursing. Proof of completion for CDA and Foster Parent training provided by Clarke Social Work.

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 12

8 a.m.Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.Welcome
8:45 a.m.Child Dignity and a Child-Centered World by Lucien X. Lombardo, Ph.D.

Forty-years of experience teaching Violence in the World of Children points to the importance of linking dignity and childhood both for adults and children. Dignity is an inherent quality, it does not have to be earned, it cannot be taken away, it can only be supported or violated. Childhood is the longer period of our lives. Childhood stays with us throughout our lives. Centering on child-centered experiences with dignity in childhood (doing children’s work -development and meaning making) can transform life across generations from early childhood through adulthood.

Learning Objectives:
1: To learn the importance of dignity and experience in childhood
2: To learn dimensions of dignity
3: To learn how to distinguish adult and child-centered perspectives in adult/child interactions/transactions
9:45 a.m.Loving Little Kids: The Power of Attachment Science by Wendy Stokesbary, MA, LMHC

In this presentation, you will explore your personal and professional values and core beliefs about early childhood development, and the role of adults in young children’s lives. Learn how adult values are critical for the global welfare of children, as well as the primary importance of early child-caretaker bonds, in establishing the foundation of human health. This workshop will also provide skills practice for building relationships, competence, and emotional regulation in the children you care for.

Learning Objectives:
1: Understand several cultural and social influences on individual values towards children.
2: Understand some of the cultural and political influences on national policy towards children.
3: Learn how early brain development is improved with secure attachment.
4: Learn skills that improve the security and wellbeing of young children.
10:45 a.m.Break
11 a.m.Breakout 1

A. NO HIT ZONES: Support for Early Childhood by Lucien X. Lombardo, Ph.D.

NO HIT ZONES (NHZs) are a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to provide support for children and families in early childhood contexts. This presentation describes NHZs, their history, growth, and research on their effectiveness. Alternative strategies for implementation of NHZs and the work of the National NO HIT ZONE Committee (APSAC) are presented.
See contact information: https://nohitzone.com

Learning Objectives:
1: To learn the basics of No Hit Zones
2: To learn about the history and growth of No Hit Zones
3: To learn how to implement No Hit Zones


B. Nurturing Resilience in Ourselves and Others by Barbara Dunn Swanson, MS

Nurturing resiliency in ourselves is about “filling our cup” first so that we can be more productive and helpful to others. Through large and small group facilitated discussion, participants will learn how adversity affects our stress responses and mental wellbeing. Learn to recognize the signs of stress and discover tips, resources, and activities to nurture your own resiliency.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will learn how adversity affects stress responses.
2: Participants will explore how stress and mental wellbeing are related.
3: Participants will discover tips to nurture resilience.


C. The Basics of Typical Child Development (prenatal to 5) & How We Can Promote Healthy Growth of the Whole Child

This presentation delves into the fundamental aspects of typical child development, spanning the crucial prenatal period through the formative first five years of a child's life. Participants will explore the intricate stages of development, from prenatal factors shaping early life to the cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical milestones achieved during infancy, toddlerhood, and preschool years. The presentation places a strong emphasis on the holistic growth of the child, illustrating how interconnected domains contribute to overall well-being.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will describe physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional milestones of infants and children from prenatal stages to age 5.
2: Participants will identify red flags and developmental concerns while understanding the importance of early intervention in addressing these concerns.
3: Participants will translate gained knowledge into actionable steps to promote healthy child development.
NoonLunch
1 p.m.Breakout 2

A. Let’s Talk Autism and Supports: How to Engage Children in Challenging Moments by Lindsay Hardgrave Massena, LISW, BCBA

This presentation will provide foundational knowledge for early childhood educators and caregivers supporting children with autism. Attendees will review symptoms of autism and learn best practices to help young children develop communication skills, while decreasing challenging behaviors. Discussion will include special attention to trauma-informed practices.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will identify diagnostic criteria for autism and identify symptoms commonly observed in young children.
2: Participants will identify multiple strategies to support the development of communication skills in young children with autism.
3: Participants will describe methods of teaching replacement behaviors to decrease challenging behaviors.

B. LENS Neurofeedback and Body LENS: A Game Changer by Yvette Saeugling, LISW and Valerie Weiser

LENS Neurofeedback is a cutting-edge tool that reorganizes and resets brain waves. This safe and non-invasive technique is known for its ability to decrease anxiety, depression, and emotional reactivity. Physiologically, it decreases inflammation in the brain and body. We will provide a live demonstration of the LENS.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will learn about basic brain anatomy and the systems involved.
2: Participants will learn about low energy neurofeedback and how it can support emotional and behavioral dysregulation in children.
3: Participants will learn about the benefits of neurofeedback and how to access it.

C. Safe Sleep, Every Sleep: Even When it’s Hard by Casey Manser
Forever 12 weeks - The Life of Theo Wolf by Lisa Wolf


This presentation will share the tragic events of losing 12-week-old, Theo Wolf, from unsafe sleep practices at a registered Iowa daycare. The presentation will then focus on distinguishing and differentiating between SIDS and SUID, implementing infant safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, gaining knowledge in identifying safe vs. unsafe infant sleep products and practices and how to implement ways to reduce specific risk factors in real-life application.

Learning Objectives:
1: Distinguish and differentiate SIDS and SUID
2: Understand the scientific definition of SIDS and SUID and research-based facts as well as common myths/misconceptions.
3: Identify factors that increase an infant’s risk of SIDS and other accidental sleep related deaths.
4: Understand the ABCs of safe sleep and the other recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
5: Become equipped to implement ways to reduce risk through real-life application.
6: Use knowledge gained to be able to identify unsafe practices and products.

For parents and caregivers:
Become empowered to be able to identify child care options that enforce safe sleep practices.

For professionals
Understand the professional responsibilities surrounding safe sleep education and adherence.

D. Relating Behaviors to Trauma by Christa Hefel, MPH
Enjoy an interactive session relating behaviors to trauma. The presenter will share stories of children who have experienced trauma, their behaviors, and the tools used to decrease their behaviors. Attendees will learn practical ways to work with children, and will leave with tools to use in any setting.

Learning Objectives:
1: Understanding the sources of dysregulated and aggressive behavior.
2: Learning how to regulate yourself to deal with a dysregulated child.
3: Work on techniques to calm the situation.
2:30 p.m.Break
2:45 p.m.Your Brain on Burnout by Jessica Goltz
In this dynamic presentation, Jessica shares her personal story of burnout resulting from both postpartum depression and working in a demanding healthcare field. Drawing from experience, Jessica shares how she was able to overcome these challenges and improve her quality of life. Participants will learn how the brain responds to stress, tools to battle burnout, and how to embrace adversity, all while hearing an inspirational message that will encourage them to take action in their own lives.

Learning Objectives:
1: The role of the brain in burnout
2: The power of mindset to battle burnout
3: Tools to combat burnout
3:30 p.m.Breathe In Breathe Out: Breath Techniques to Promote Focus and Calm by Amy Jenkins, M. Ed, RYT 500, RCYT

Breathing is one of the simplest tools proven to positively influence health and well-being. And yet, most of us never learned how to breathe properly! In this session, participants will learn breath techniques to cultivate states of energy, focus, and calm; and how to easily implement them into the classroom.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will learn the scientifically-proven benefits of intentional breath on stress, energy levels, and mood.
2: Participants will practice self-awareness and self-management by determining what breathing techniques will help self-regulation based on their needs in the moment.
3: Participants will practice social awareness and relationship-building skills through partner breathing and learn about how this can be used to improve communication and empathy; and create a sense of belonging and acceptance.
4:30 p.m.Closing

Saturday, April 13

8 a.m.Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.Loving Little Kids: The Power of Attachment Science by Wendy Stokesbary, MA, LMHC

In this presentation, you will explore your personal and professional values and core beliefs about early childhood development, and the role of adults in young children’s lives. Learn how adult values are critical for the global welfare of children, as well as the primary importance of early child-caretaker bonds, in establishing the foundation of human health. This workshop will also provide skills practice for building relationships, competence, and emotional regulation in the children you care for.

Learning Objectives:
1: Understand several cultural and social influences on individual values towards children.
2: Understand some of the cultural and political influences on national policy towards children.
3: Learn how early brain development is improved with secure attachment.
4: Learn skills that improve the security and wellbeing of young children.
9:30 a.m.Breakout 1

A. Playing with Mindfulness: Fostering Young Learners with Tools of Peace and Resilience by Jordan Turner
This session will educate participants about the importance of supporting our young learners with the tools of mindfulness and resilience. Attendees will gain experience and knowledge in four different tools and will feel empowered afterwards to integrate new techniques into their personal and professional lives, as well as guide others to do the same.

Learning Objectives::
1: Educate participants with tools to support mindfulness
2: Actively engage participants in hands-on activities they can effectively implement tomorrow.
3: Promote the whole child, of any age, with tools to build resilience.

B. Play Naturally by Jacquie Montoya
Research has shown that time spent in nature not only improves mental health but grounds humans and creates a connection that also benefits the environment. Children are no exception to this. In fact, nature promotes risky play, along with improved mental and physical benefits. What holds adults back from giving children access to nature? How can we bring nature indoors when we might not be able to go outside? And most importantly, WHAT ABOUT THE MESS?!?!
Join the discussion about playing naturally.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will be able to name three benefits of playing in nature for children.
2: Participants will be able to identify new examples of engaging children in nature.
3: Participants will be able to identify local resources for nature play.

C. Child Dignity and a Child-Centered World by Lucien X. Lombardo, Ph.D.

Forty-years of experience teaching Violence in the World of Children points to the importance of linking dignity and childhood both for adults and children. Dignity is an inherent quality, it does not have to be earned, it cannot be taken away, it can only be supported or violated. Childhood is the longer period of our lives. Childhood stays with us throughout our lives. Centering on child-centered experiences with dignity in childhood (doing children’s work -development and meaning making) can transform life across generations from early childhood through adulthood.

Learning Objectives:
1: To learn the importance of dignity and experience in childhood
2: To learn dimensions of dignity
3: To learn how to distinguish adult and child-centered perspectives in adult/child interactions/transactions

D. Safe Sleep, Every Sleep: Even When it’s Hard by Casey Manser
Forever 12 weeks - The Life of Theo Wolf by Lisa Wolf


This presentation will share the tragic events of losing 12-week-old, Theo Wolf, from unsafe sleep practices at a registered Iowa daycare. The presentation will then focus on distinguishing and differentiating between SIDS and SUID, implementing infant safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, gaining knowledge in identifying safe vs. unsafe infant sleep products and practices and how to implement ways to reduce specific risk factors in real-life application.

Learning Objectives:
1: Distinguish and differentiate SIDS and SUID
2: Understand the scientific definition of SIDS and SUID and research-based facts as well as common myths/misconceptions.
3: Identify factors that increase an infant’s risk of SIDS and other accidental sleep related deaths.
4: Understand the ABCs of safe sleep and the other recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
5: Become equipped to implement ways to reduce risk through real-life application.
6: Use knowledge gained to be able to identify unsafe practices and products.

For parents and caregivers:
Become empowered to be able to identify child care options that enforce safe sleep practices.

For professionals
Understand the professional responsibilities surrounding safe sleep education and adherence.
10:45 a.m.Break
11 a.m.Breakout 2

A. Trauma-Resilience-Equity in Early Childhood Experiences by Jennifer Ryan
Participants will learn how to recognize behaviors in children 0-5 years old that may be a response to trauma; how resilience factors are used to help prepare for and overcome adversity; and what we can do to ensure that everyone is given the tools they need to be successful.

Learning Objectives:
1: Understand the signs and how to respond to young children who have experienced trauma.
2: Learn the foundations of resilience and how to use a strength-based approach on those foundations.
3: Gain knowledge of equity practices and become leaders in equity.


B. Conscious Discipline: Understanding Behavior as Communication by Cassie Gerst
There is a fundamental flaw in many discipline approaches: The expectation that adults can teach skills we struggle with ourselves. We cannot effectively teach skills we do not practice ourselves. Empower yourself to change the “do as I say, not as I do” dynamic with Conscious Discipline’s adult-first approach to working with our youngest mindsets.

Learning Objectives:
1: Understanding what the Brain State Model is: the key that unlocks an understanding of children’s behavior and our own
2: Active Calming and Wishing Well: Two core strategies for regaining composure and bringing the best of ourselves to each moment
The Skill of Noticing: a simple technique for replacing brain-depleting judgement with brain-building language


C. Let’s Talk Autism and Supports: How to Engage Children in Challenging Moments by Lindsay Hardgrave Massena, LISW, BCBA

This presentation will provide foundational knowledge for early childhood educators and caregivers supporting children with autism. Attendees will review symptoms of autism and learn best practices to help young children develop communication skills, while decreasing challenging behaviors. Discussion will include special attention to trauma-informed practices.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will identify diagnostic criteria for autism and identify symptoms commonly observed in young children.
2: Participants will identify multiple strategies to support the development of communication skills in young children with autism.
3: Participants will describe methods of teaching replacement behaviors to decrease challenging behaviors.

D. The Brain Architecture Game by Lee Johnson
The Brain Architecture Game is a hands-on activity that explores how childhood adversity negatively impacts brain development, and how positive relationships and support systems serve as a buffer. Participants will work together in groups to help support the growth of a child's developing brain over its first eight years. Each child begins with its own genetic makeup and supports, and then its development takes shape with positive and negative life experiences. In the end each group shares their brain model and child's story.

Learning Objectives:
1: Participants will recognize how adverse experiences in childhood can disrupt brain development.
2: Participants will gain an understanding of the impact of early childhood experiences over a lifetime.
3: Participants will learn how positive supports and relationships can help foster resiliency.
11 a.m. FREE Parent/Caregiver & Child Activity provided by Centrally Rooted
12:15 p.m.Closing

Note: Parents/Caregivers are invited to attend all sessions on Saturday at no charge.

Conference Refund Policy

We hope that everyone who registers for the conference will be able to attend; however, we know extenuating circumstances do occur. Conference registration canceled on or before March 8, 2024, is refundable (less any credit card transaction fees). Registrants canceling on or after March 9, 2024, will NOT receive a refund.

To request a refund, please complete the following form: https://forms.office.com/r/Zxm5AZbngJ

For questions regarding the refund policy, please email samantha.hicks@clarke.edu