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Connecticut Children's Collective

Find Recording Here from Childhood Conversations Together We Will Virtual Conference 2021

On April 16 & 17, 2021 the Connecticut Children’s Collective was pleased to be an integral part of this years CCTWW Conference. On Saturday the panelist and workshop presenters were completely comprised of our local partners and parents! It demonstrated all the many ways in which community collaboratives all across Connecticut are working to better the lives of the children and families they serve.

In addition to the workshops facilitated by our local partners you will also find recordings from the panel discussions from both Friday and Saturday.

Panel Discussion Friday April 16, 2021

An interactive cross-sector panel discussion on how to move forward from the COVID-19 Pandemic. This past year we have witnessed the vast divides in our social fabric that include the lack of access to remote technology, mental health services, resources to our public schools and early childhood system.  Additionally, there has been a disconnect to community health organizations, as well as systemic and institutional racism.  All of this has spotlighted the inequities that families must navigate to ensure their family’s safety and health.

Moderator: Commissioner Beth Bye, CT Office of Early Childhood

Panelists: Gil Noam, Ed.D, Ph.D, Founder and Director, Institute for the Study of Resilience in Youth (ISRY) at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Merrill Gay, Executive Director, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance; Adriana Fontaine, M.Sc, Early Childhood Programs Manager, Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center; Cailin O’Connor, Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy; Claire Conroy, Consultant, State Education Resource Center of Connecticut

Panel Discussion Saturday April 17, 2021

Now is the time to reimagine what community means and how we care for our children and their families. It is clear that these systems and structures need to be updated and improved.   This will require us to examine social policies and past practices: now is the time to reimagine, and rebuild. How we choose to heal will have a lasting impact on our communities, children, and society for decades to come. We are excited to have you join the conversation.

Moderator: Elena Trueworthy, Director of CT Head Start State Collaboration Office Presenters

Panelists: Randi McCray, Social Justice and Equity Consultant; Paquita Jarman-Smith, Consultant, State Education Resource Center of Connecticut; Dawn Dubay, Middletown School Readiness Liaison; Roslyn Sotero, Director of Community Schools, Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership; Kristine Cicchetti, Director, Northeast Early Childhood Council Emily Ross, School Readiness Site Coordinator, Killingly Public Schools; Stephan Palmer, Founder & CEO, Youth on Fire

Saturday April 17, 2021

Workshop A: Lessons from the Field: Parent Engagement Strategies

Presenter: Randi McCray, Social Justice & Equity Consultant 

In this workshop, participants will explore strategies that move beyond common channels of family engagement. Randi McCray will share some creative strategies implemented by local early childhood collaboratives and parent organizing groups to remain connected during physical distancing during the pandemic. Participants will also explore opportunities to enhance current family engagement practices to support and uplift parent voices once we safely transition back to in-person social interactions.

Workshop B: Regional Approach to Supporting Basic Needs for Children & Families

Presenter: Kristine Cicchetti, Northeast Early Childhood Council & Emily Ross, McKinney Vento Liaison

The Northeast Early Childhood Council and our community partners in Northeast CT are part of a long-standing regional effort to support children and families through various programs that address basic human needs. By building strong relationships with key partners in our communities, we assess needs, coordinate efforts, and share resources, skills, and ideas. In working together, our region has created programs, services, and resources to meet families’ basic needs like the Northeast Regional Family Resource Guide, Killingly Free Community Store, IHSP Diaper Bank, Developmental Screenings, Vision Screenings, Emergency Food programs, and more.

Presenter: Dawn Dubay, Middletown School Readiness Liaison

Join me as we bring our bodies and minds to a greater sense of clarity and calm with mindfulness and some yoga too! This workshop will present you with research based mindfulness techniques for you to practice and easily incorporate into your daily life and classroom setting. Mindfulness and yoga has been scientifically proven to help regulate children’s emotions, attention and behavior provide lifelong skills for long-term health benefits. This workshop will help support you with self-care and provide you with tools for dealing with stress and anxiety that Covid has exacerbated for all of us, as well as promoting a positive, peaceful learning community for all!

Presenter: Paquita Jarman-Smith, Consultant, State Education Resource Center of Connecticut
Let’s talk about how families can face the challenges of our times through healing and hope. Please note, this session is a facilitated discussion for families and caregivers and not clinical counseling. We will focus: The family – the key to supporting our children during the COVID-19 and racial pandemic; · Un-packing tears and fears – the journey toward hope; · Engaging the whole family in self-care; · Resources available at the State Education Resource Center

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