Building Strong Foundations for the Future
Onsite Registration is still open.
"Mini Masterpieces" to celebrate Week of the Young Child
Early Childhood Connections and The Rapid City Arts Council will collaborate to celebrate young artists with an art exhibit titled "Mini Master Pieces” at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. There will be a reception to celebrate the “Week of the Young Child” at the Dahl, in conjunction with the SD Early Childhood Conference Thursday, April 9, 2015 5:00 – 7:00pm
featuring the artists.
Thursday, April 9th 12:30 pm MST
Barbara Kaiser: "Where is the Fairy Dust?"
When you are prepared – able to prevent challenging behavior and respond to it in a manner that supports the child and teaches him appropriate ways to meet his needs when it occurs – it becomes possible to make the commitment that everyone who works with children wants to be able to make: to welcome and help each child in your class. You, too, will benefit as you acquire competence and confidence, gain pride and satisfaction in your job, and feel more positive about the children you spend many hours with each day. This keynote is about the journey and what we learned along he way.
Friday, April 10th 8:00 am MST
Kevin Carnes - Successful Outdoor Classrooms in Both Urban & Rural Environments
Purpose: Many early childhood programs are in both urban and rural area, far from natural or native eco-systems.Kevin Carnes, Lakeshore’s President, will demonstrate how Lakeshore took their on-site preschool, located in a highly industrial and urban environment, and easily and successfully become a Certified Nature Explore Classroom.Through his experience and those of other diverse centers, he will demonstrate how regardless of your terrain, your location, and your inherited environment, you can turn your outdoor area into a successful working outdoor classroom.
Background: Surrounded by train yards and import/export shipping facilities, Lakeshore’s on-site preschool Kids and Company is not in an ideal location for natural outdoor play.Although the school’s playground was fun and developmentally appropriate, it only had a small grassy play area and a few small shade trees, and it was butted up against a busy warehouse with large shipping containers stacked near by.The idea of a Nature Explore Classroom seemed a tall order considering the available resources.
As the playground evolved into a Nature Explore Classroom, we learned many things to pass on:
- Parents were engaged with their children to plant, weed, and donate recycled goods, thus saving on labor costs.
- The natural environments created a calm yet stimulating play area separated from the outside industrial world.
Kevin Carnes will demonstrate how bringing an organic outdoor play area into your environment is not only desirable but very achievable, and can be a positive experience for children, teachers, and parents; and regardless of the current state of your outdoor area, whether in the midst of a concrete jungle, or seemingly settled on a vast and desolate prairie, or in a simply bland suburban play space, you can achieve a nurturing and stimulating natural outdoor classroom.
An outdoor classroom spurs outcomes in all curriculum areas, but you can guarantee a child will learn to observe and discuss differences and comparisons among objects and materials, and as they explore the outdoors they will develop independence and confidence, enhancing their own concept of self and the greater world around them.
With high level support of our Nature Explore Classroom, Lakeshore was recognized on April 24, 2013 by the Arbor Day Foundation with the prestigious Rachel Carson Award for their dedication to connecting children with nature and then inspiring educators across the country to do the same.
Saturday, April 11th 8:00 am MST
Kim Ratz: Building Strong Attitudes for the Future (from "Tips & Tunes for Thrivers")
Description: It's not so much what happens, it's more what you do." Easier said than done, especially when you face a change, challenge or conflict regarding someone or something important to you. And especially if you start to feel like you are losing that "passion" that drives you to do what you do for children! It's about making good choices so that at the end of the day when you look back on your choices - what you did/said and how you did/said it - you feel content, not regret. Because sometimes you only get one chance; there's no "do-ever." So if it's important, it's about being Congruent, by aligning your Attitudes (beliefs & values), with your Aptitudes (skills & abilities) and your Actions (words & deeds), and doing what you think is the right/best thing, and doing the best you can. This program is designed to help participants:
- Get inspired again about what you CAN do better by understanding your "WIIFMs" (what's in it for me) to keep growing and improving in your key life roles and goals,
- Learn several techniques to help you "Reframe the Situation" so that you feel more confident and competent about what you CAN do,
- Learn tips to help you "Manage your own Morale," pick yourself up when you get knocked down, and deal with difficult people or tense situations involving a change and "the unknown,"
- Develop a personal goal that helps you be even more congruent in your job, and relate even better with others.
About our Conference
For 17 years the South Dakota Head Start Association and South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children have been partnering to bring professional development to South Dakota's early childhood education professionals. Our conference is held in April of each year and always features an array of nationally renowned keynote speakers, great workshops, networking opportunities and fun!
The South Dakota Head Start Association (SDHSA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting the work of Head Start programs and their partners through education, advocacy, training and networking for quality early childhood education and services to families. They strive to be a positive voice, powerful advocate and promoter of quality programs for children, families, and communities in South Dakota.
The South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children (SDAEYC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to creating a quality system for early childhood education through collaboration and partnerships, leadership and professional development. They serve and act on behalf of the needs, rights, and well-being of all young children while fostering the growth, development, and collaboration of the professionals who care for, and educate, our young children.