2017 Sessions

Workshop #1:
Parents Taking Action: A Parent Navigator Program for Latino Families in SC

Presenters: Amy Holbert and Alisa Bentley
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-35 months),and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home and community

Workshop Description:
South Carolina has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the United States.  Latino families with young children face many obstacles trying to navigate the medical, early education, and educational systems to have their infants, toddlers, and children identified as needing early intervention.  Learn from a Panel of Latino Families sharing their own stories and struggles.  Learn about a new free of charge, bilingual, bicultural home visiting program being offered by Family Connection of SC, called Parents Taking Action.

About the Presenter: 
Amy A. Holbert, LISW-CPMSW
, is the Executive Director of Family Connection of SC.  Family Connection is SCs Parent Training Information Center, Family Voices and Parent2Parent SC, specializing in providing families with children that have a disability, behavioral health diagnosis or a chronic health concern, assistance and support in navigating the complex systems of care for their children.  She’s a graduate of USC College of Social Work and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker of Clinical Practice.  She has over 20 years of experience in maternal and child health.  She is the mother to Andrew and Evan, both with ADHD and chronic asthma; and “Bonus Mom” to three other wonderful children. 

 

Alisa Bentley is the Director of Programs and Outreach for Family Connection of SC. She received her Bachelor of Social work from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Alisa has over 15 years of experience in the human services and customer service fields. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and two children. Alisa became an advocate for parents raising a child with a disability when her daughter was born in 2009 with a rare chromosome disorder (2q23.1 Microdeletion Syndrome). She is involved with several state and local committees to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities in South Carolina. Alisa is an active member of the Joint Council on Children and Adolescence, Transition Alliance of South Carolina, Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital Parent Advisory Council and Greenville Collaborative Action Network (CAN)’s Leadership team, working to promote inclusion of individuals with disabilities living and working in Greenville County.

Workshop #2:
Parents of Young Children with Disabilities: Resiliency, Coping, and the Future

Presenter: Amy Holbert
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-35 months)and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
This session will focus on learning the concept of resiliency and identifying elements that enable families to cope more effectively and emerge stronger from persistent stress. What can we as providers, educators, early care providers do to help encourage and support resiliency for families and children?

About the Presenters: 
Amy A. Holbert, LISW-CPMSW,
is the Executive Director of Family Connection of SC. Family Connection is SCs Parent Training Information Center, Family Voices and Parent2Parent SC, specializing in providing families with children that have a disability, behavioral health diagnosis or a chronic health concern, assistance and support in navigating the complex systems of care for their children. She’s a graduate of USC College of Social Work and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker of Clinical Practice. She has over 20 years of experience in maternal and child health. She is the mother to Andrew and Evan, both with ADHD and chronic asthma; and “Bonus Mom” to three other wonderful children.

Alisa Bentley is the Director of Programs and Outreach for Family Connection of SC. She received her Bachelor of Social work from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Alisa has over 15 years of experience in the human services and customer service fields. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and two children. Alisa became an advocate for parents raising a child with a disability when her daughter was born in 2009 with a rare chromosome disorder (2q23.1 Microdeletion Syndrome). She is involved with several state and local committees to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities in South Carolina. Alisa is an active member of the Joint Council on Children and Adolescence , Transition Alliance of South Carolina, Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital Parent Advisory Council and Greenville Collaborative Action Network (CAN)’s Leadership team, working to promote inclusion of individuals with disabilities living and working in Greenville County.

Workshop #3:
A Place For All

Presenters: Kim Archung, Ph.D., and Andrienne Troy Frazier
Age group(s): Toddlers (19-35 months)and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and communityWorkshop

Description:
Participants will explore their understandings of bias, stereotyping, and culture, and how they can work towards creating anti-bias classrooms, communities, and personal spaces. Presenters will engage participants by providing research based information, through small/large group discussion and hands-on activities. The goal of this session is to empower participants with tools to create culturally responsive learning environments for children and families.

About the Presenters:
Kim Nesta Archung, Ph.D., is a Senior Partnership Consultant for South Carolina First Steps. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. She has over thirty years’ experience working on education development projects and issues of educational equity for early childhood through secondary levels in various parts of the world including the past 11 years in South Carolina. She is specifically interested in quality multicultural early childhood education that provides equity, social justice and greater opportunities for diverse communities. Her many experiences and goals include building world class international multicultural schools across the globe.

Adrienne Troy-Frazier has worked in early childhood for over 30 years, holding positions as preschool teacher, director, mentor and trainer, specializing in early childhood anti-bias work, inclusion of children with special needs and leadership development. Ms. Troy-Frazier is the Executive Director of Berkeley County First Steps. Formerly, Ms. Troy-Frazier served as program administrator for the Easter Seals Child Development Centers in Chicago. Concurrently, she served as a professional mentor and trainer for the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. Ms. Troy-Frazier has lifelong interests in issues pertaining to, affordable and high quality inclusive early education and care.

Workshop #4:
Cultivating Emotional and Social Supports among families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Presenters: Dr. Robert Hock and Brittany Grooms
Age group(s): Toddlers (19-35 months)and Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
Navigating the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be complex and overwhelming; parents are often in need of support Research indicates that parent and child outcomes are linked to parent well-being and parent relationships.  The Parent Navigator program aims to meet the unique needs of families with children with ASD through evidence-based intervention.  

About the Presenters:
Robert Hock, Ph.D., LISW-CP, is a Distinguished Assistant Professor of Clinical Research at the USC College of Social Work, and the developer of the Autism Parent Navigator program.  He has been engaged in clinical work and research with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families for over 12 years.  He served these families by conducting diagnostic evaluations, delivering behavioral interventions in home and school settings, leading social skills groups for adolescents and adults, and providing family therapy to children and parents.  He has designed and evaluated several parent interventions for ASD, and facilitated a federally-funded strategic planning effort to help SC state agencies develop family centered services for youth (including ASD).  His current research focuses on understanding the factors that contribute to family adjustment, parent well-being, and treatment engagement in families of children with ASD.  

Brittany Grooms, is currently the Midlands area Autism Coordinator for Family Connection of South Carolina.  Brittany has worked with children and families for over 15 years.  Over her career she has worked as a Preschool teacher, Early Interventionist, and a Parent Educator.  Brittany’s work in the field of Early Care and Education has provided her with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  She continues to focus on working towards the health, happiness, independence, and wellbeing of children and families.  

Workshop #5:
Project Au-Some: A Journey into Building Empathy and Acceptance

Presenters: Bethany Reilly and Breanna Lamprey
Age group(s): Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
The focus of Project Au-Some is to promote and build empathy within the typically developing fifth grade students, while providing opportunities for preschool students with special needs to develop and practice social skills. We will take a look into the development and implementation of the program and the effects that it has had on students and the community. We will share the resources and tools used to support students and teachers.

About the Presenters:
Bethany Reilly is a National Board Certified Special Education teacher and has taught in the public education system for 10 years. The bulk of her teaching experience has been teaching students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in an elementary setting. In her classroom, she strives to create a positive and structured learning environment meeting the needs of all students. In 2015, she co-founded Project Au-Some, a collaborative effort to build empathy and acceptance of students with all abilities paring fifth grade students with preschoolers with special needs. Through this program, she has co-authored an article, co-written grants, and presented at conferences.

Brenna Lamprey is a 5th grade teacher at Harbison West Elementary School and is currently in her 8th year there. She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina in 2009. She has mentored for 8 years and co-founded two after school programs focusing on providing additional support for at-risk youth. In 2015, she co-founded Project Au-Some, a collaborative effort to build empathy and acceptance within our school, by pairing my students with special needs preschoolers. Through this program, She has co-authored an article, co-written grants, and developed lessons focused on social/emotional learning

Workshop #6:
Culturally Responsive Care Routines

Presenter: Jessica Sharp
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months) and Toddlers (19-35 months)
Environment(s): classroom

Workshop Description:
Care routines make up the largest part of the curriculum of infant and toddler care, and are wonderful opportunities to build secure, attached relationships between care teachers and children. Creating care routines that are individualized and culturally responsive can help infant and toddler teachers better meet the needs of the children in their care, as well as support healthy social and emotional development. In addition to building secure, attached relationships, which are the foundation of healthy social and emotional development, culturally responsive care routines can help infant and toddler teachers use children’s home cultures as a bridge to learning.

About the Presenter:
Jessica Sharp, is an Infant/Toddler Specialist and Field Manager with the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care. Her previous early childhood experiences include direct service with children and families as an Infant/Toddler Teacher, and as the Director of a nationally-accredited center, as well as indirect service through her work on community-level educational initiatives for the United Way of Greenville County. Jessica has a BA in Art from Furman University, an MAT in Early Childhood Education from Converse College, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina.

Workshop #7:
A Walk Through the Milestones: Social-Emotional Edition

Presenter: Lorraine Cragan-Sullivan
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months) and Toddlers (19-35 months)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
Participants will be immersed in interactive social-emotional activity experience where they will identify typical social emotional milestones utilizing Learn the Signs., Act Early materials and identify atypical or red flag behaviors.  Theories that frame behavior within an appropriate developmental context, along with strategies and evidence-based resources to target challenging behaviors in the home, child care setting, or preschool will be explored.  

About the Presenter:
Lorraine Cragan-Sullivan has 20 years of experience working with individuals and families in diverse settings.  Lorraine received her Bachelor and Master degree in Psychology from Marist College and Master of Social Work degree from the University at Albany. Lorraine is a licensed Master Social Worker (SC), a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (NY).  Lorraine is the Developmental Screening Program Coordinator for Help Me Grow South Carolina (HMG SC), with the Children’s Hospital of the Greenville Health System.  She is involved in state-level initiatives promoting developmental monitoring and universal screening and is the CDC’s Act Early Ambassador to South Carolina.  

Workshop #8:
Utilizing Sensory Integration Strategies To Promote HealthySelf-Regulation And Caregiver Bonding Throughout Early Development

Presenter: Jacqueline Schafer
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-35 months)and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
Development of early arousal regulation and healthy self-regulation is critical for successful adaptation to the environment, sensory stimuli and caregiver bonding (DeGangi, G. 2000; Golding, K., 2008; Schore, A., 1994). Participants will practice strategies to become confident and skilled in the use of sensory integration techniques which promote healthy self-regulation and caregiver bonding. Strategies can be generalized for use with newborns, infants, toddlers, and throughout early childhood in any caregiver setting.

About the Presenter:
Jacqueline Schafer graduated from Duquesne University’s Weekend MOT program in the spring of 2002. Since graduation, she has worked solely in the field of pediatrics and is licensed in Georgia and South Carolina. She has practiced in a variety of settings, including: early intervention, private practice, school based therapy, outpatient clinic, and hospital
outpatient treatment. She is certified in a variety of special practice areas related to pediatric treatment including: Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing; therapeutic listening; hippo-therapy; and therapeutic yoga. She is also certified by the American Heart Association as a BLS, Heart Saver and First Aid instructor.

Workshop #9:
Using Culturally Responsive Practices to Meet the Needs of ALL Children

Presenters: Rosemarie Allen
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-35 months),and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home, classroom, and community

Workshop Description:
Culturally responsive practices show the most promise for reducing disparities in early childhood. Participants will engage in culturally responsive Pyramid Model practices as a tool to address the challenging behaviors of young children.This workshop will provide hands on experiences that will help participants, (a) address challenging behaviors in young children, (b) address personal biases that impact teaching and decision-making, (c) connect with children and families and, (d) create a culturally responsive environment.

Workshop #10:
Addressing Trauma in Early Childhood:  How Early Childhood Providers Can Support Resilience Building Activities

Presenters: Neal Horen
Age group(s): Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-35 months),and Preschool (3-5 years)
Environment(s): home and classroom

Workshop Description:
This session will introduce participants to key concepts in identifying and addressing trauma and more importantly what can be done to build resilience.