Full Conference Schedule

Check out all of the classes, events and networking opportunities that you can take advantage of at the 2021 Gulf Coast Early Childhood Education Summer Symposium!

Day 1 –  July 5, 2021

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9:00am – 12:00pm

Sand Castle I

Pre-Conference Session – Pre-Registration Required

Nita Norphlet-Thompson

Leadership Essentials for a New Day

It has almost become cliché to say that we are living in uncertain and anxiety-provoking times as the coronavirus continues to endanger the financial viability and service capacity of early childhood education programs, imperils the field’s programmatic future, and impedes the workforce’s employment prospects. Simultaneously, though, the field’s commitment to confronting the damage incurred by COVID-19 is on full display. Our loyalty to children and families clearly has not diminished. In fact, it’s time for the ECE field to use this moment to rethink our trajectory toward improved educator competence, increased consistency in quality across ECE sites, and a more equitable future for children and the ECE workforce. 

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9:00am – 12:00pm

Sand Castle II

Pre-Conference Session – Pre-Registration Required

Tanya Dennis

Head Start, Are You Ready? Reframing, Rethinking, Responding

This 3-hour session will invite you to navigate the Head Start performance standards to promote discussion and decision-making about policies, procedures and practices to ensure safe, quality programs for children and families.

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12:00pm - 1:00pm

Grand Reef

Lunch

Lunch Ticket Required

Strolling Lunch - Available for Purchase

Strolling lunch is included with registration of Pre-Conference sessions. These lunches will be available to purchase to all other conference attendees and guests for $20.

Click here to order your lunch.

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1:00PM – 2:30pm

Ballroom

Opening Session

Enrique Feldman

Leading with a Spirit of Unity

Prepare yourself for an inspiring journey and learn how to create more unity with those you serve, and in your life. Be ready to experience, laugh, and actively reflect as Enrique takes you through strategies you can take and use immediately professional, and personally. From his patented iBG® musical brain games, to his original approach to reading with music, and his stories of finding the gifts in adversity, you’ll leave inspired to inspire others.

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3:30pm - 5:00pm

Ballroom

General Session

Ronnie Thomas – Fun Weird Science

STEAM Engagement for Young Children

Participants will observe and interact in a whole group setting presentations and discussions of hands-on science demonstrations.

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6:30pm - 8:00pm

Beach Deck

Opening Night Reception

Meet our Exhibitors!

Participants will observe and interact in a whole group setting presentations and discussions of hands-on science demonstrations.

Day 2 – July 6, 2021

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8:00am - 9:45am

Ballroom

General Session

Daniel Gartrell

Beyond Discipline to Guidance

Conventional discipline carries the baggage of punishment and pressures teachers to be technicians rather than professionals. Providers use guidance to prevent and resolve problems by building encouraging learning communities, and by using developmentally appropriate practice, positive communication skills and affirming relationships with children and families. EC professionals teach children to solve problems, rather than punish children for having problems they cannot solve, and guide toward skills that reduce and resolve classroom conflicts.   The session includes the use of video clips, group discussions, handouts, and friendly humor–all designed to make the session accessible and engaging.

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10:00am - 11:30am

Ballroom

Breakout Session Option 1

Dr. Calvin Moore, Jr.

Racial Equity in Early Childhood Education

Child care and early education policies are shaped by a history of systemic and structural racism. This has created major racial disparities in children’s access to quality child care that meets their cultural and linguistic needs and enables their parents to work. Early care and education workers are overwhelmingly in low-quality jobs with inadequate compensation. And workers of color are often relegated to the lowest-paid positions.

Racial Equity in Early Childhood Education will explore these critical racial equity issues in major early childhood programs, policies, and systems, including CCDBG, Head Start, and state pre-kindergarten programs. We will provide demographic and historical context for creating racially equitable early childhood policies and analyze policy issues related to access, quality, and the early childhood workforce. 

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10:00am - 11:30am

Sand Castle II

Breakout Session Option 2

Enrique Feldman

Brain and Mental Fitness: How to Inspire Peak Performance, Wellness and Improved Relationships

Be prepared to experience a unique and active session in which you’ll experience the difference between brain fitness and mental fitness. You’ll learn about your inner sage and your inner saboteurs, how to intercept negative thoughts and emotions, activate your sage, and greatly improve the quality of your professional and personal life. Based on decades of work with children, and research in neuroscience, you’ll walk away with life-changing strategies which have been used with over 500,000 individuals, schools, and organizations.

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11:30am - 12:30pm

Grand Reef

Lunch

Included with Conference Registration

 

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12:30pm - 2:00pm

Ballroom

Breakout Session Option 1

Tanya Dennis

Letting Loose! Using Loose Parts to Enhance Gross Motor Play
Many of us grew up with some adult yelling, “Go outside and play!”  That was our green light and gas to creativity, adventure as well as fostering our gross motor and fine motor skills. This session will invite you to enhance your understanding of motor development and how to integrate loose parts to promote play-learning for young children! You will strongly encouraged to Let Loose and go down memory lane!!!
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12:30pm - 2:00pm

Salon FGH

Breakout Session Option 2

Panel Discussion with Invited Guest Speakers

What Lies Ahead? A Leadership Panel Q&A Session

Join us as we talk to some of our state and national experts on changes emerging in ECE and what that means for your programs. Led by Dawn Owens, you will have the opportunity to ask your questions about things that matter to you, such as new initiatives and resources, policy changes, funding opportunities, and more. This session is perfect for program administrators and directors, industry advocates, quality enhancement contractors and other leaders.

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2:00pm - 4:00pm

Ballroom

Breakout Session Option 1

Council for Professional Recognition

CDA Professional Development Specialist Training

The Council for Professional Recognition is a leader in the credentialing of early childhood educators worldwide. Professional Development Specialists are a crucial resource for CDA Candidates. As advances in the nation’s early childhood education plan come to light, credentialing will take on a new emphasis. This training session is for advanced educators who currently are PD Specialists or want to learn more about becoming CDA PD Specialists. 

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2:00pm - 4:00pm

Salon FGH

Breakout Session Option 2

Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Alabama Quality Stars: Updates and Information for the New System

Professionals from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education will be presenting information about the new QRIS system and updates. This session is perfect for program administrators, directors, and advocates, as it will also be a time to ask questions about system details and how those will affect your program. 

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2:00pm - 4:00pm

Sand Castle I

Special Session – Pre-Registration Required

Ronnie Thomas, Fun Weird Science

Sip and Science

Participants will engage in fun, interactive science learning with Curated Engagement Kits from Fun Weird Science!

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2:00pm - 4:00pm

Sand Castle II

Special Session – Pre-Registration Required

Telea Cobb and Miranda Lambert

Crafting a Teacher's Toolkit: Using Crafted Materials for Every Developmental Domain

Learn fun, inexpensive ways to enhance your classroom materials!

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2:00pm - 5:00pm

Grand Reef

Special Event

Invited Authors – Charles Ghinga, Enrique Feldman, Clean Horizons, Alma Louise, and more!

Blast Off with Books!

We’re shining a spotlight on early literacy and authors of children’s books! Come by Grand Reef to enjoy some afternoon snacks, hear book readings and get signed copies for the little ones in your life!

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8:00pm - 10:00pm

On the Beach

Special Event – Pre-Registration Required

Beach Bonfire

End your final night of the beach with a relaxing bonfire, your favorite beverage and some s’mores!

Day 3 – July 7, 2021

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8:00am - 9:30am

Ballroom

General Session

Erynn Lusk; Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Discoveries of Infancy

Join us as we explore the six discoveries of infancy and ways to structure the classroom environment to promote children’s learning and development.

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8:00am - 9:30am

Sand Castle I & II

Special Event – Pre-Registration Required

Dr. Calvin Moore, Jr. and Invited Guests

Prayer Breakfast

Join us for a time of fellowship with community leaders, faith-based program directors and invited guests. We will explore strategies for unifying sectors of the early childhood education community.

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10:30am - 12:00pm

Ballroom

Closing Session

Comer Yates; Atlanta Speech School

Register Now!

Learn more about conference passes and ticket prices. Registration deadline is Monday, June 21, 2021!

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