Recorded Sessions

These recorded presentations are from the virtual First Things First Early Childhood Summit 2020 that was broadcast on September 1, 2020. 

Block 1

101 Welcome 
Marilee dal Pra, First Things First

101 Featured Speaker
FLIP IT Instead of Flipping Out. You Can Transform Challenging Behavior!
Rachel Wagner, Devereux Center for Resilient Children
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In her session, Wagner applies her expertise to our current challenging, stressful and even traumatic times. As we manage the pressures in our own lives, we are often stumped by what to say and do when a child has done something hurtful, impulsive, disruptive or disrespectful.  FLIP IT® is four simple and effective steps (Feelings, Limits, Inquiries and Prompts) to help you transform a difficult moment into one where everyone can learn and grow. 

About Wagner
Wagner is a national speaker and author of FLIP IT! Transforming Challenging Behavior. She travels the country as a lead trainer and early childhood mental health specialist for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC). Wagner is also the co-author of Your Journey Together: Building the Resilience of Children and Families, and the Devereux Resilient Leadership Survey (DERLS). Rachel travels the country speaking to groups on topics related to social-emotional health and resilience.

Block 2

201 – How Professionals Can Support Young Children and Families in Managing Stress
Molly Strothkamp, Southwest Human Development
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The COVID-19 pandemic has added unexpected challenges and worries for many families and early childhood professionals. In this session, you’ll learn about the potential impacts of the pandemic on young children and their families. You’ll also explore the importance of trauma-informed, relationship-based services during uncertain times.

About the Presenter
Molly Strothkamp, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E®, is a child therapist at the Good Fit Counseling Center at Southwest Human Development. She is also a faculty member for the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute and teaches on infant mental health topics.

202 – Building Confidence and Trust with Parents and Staff During a Crisis
Barbara Milner, Consultants in Development and Kathryn Wauters
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You’ll learn about the importance of trust and why principles of communication are critical, especially during a crisis. You’ll explore the specific behaviors of trust as it relates to building confidence in relationships. These successful strategies, when demonstrated daily, can lead to rebuilding, strengthening and maintaining enrollment of families and retaining staff. This session is targeted to child care providers who have recently opened or are planning on opening soon.  

About the Presenters
Barbara Milner, with Consultants in Development, is an educator, facilitator and consultant. She is passionate about children and supporting the adults who care for them. Throughout her professional journey (work roles including teacher, family child care provider, director, program coordinator) she focused on strength-based approaches and the importance of being a life- long learner.

Kathryn Wauters is currently semi-retired and is a former Director of Lincoln Learning Center, a Quality First program. She is currently supporting community projects relating to children. Kathryn has worked in a variety of educational settings which include Head Start, the Child Development Associate program at Central Arizona College, and for-profit programs. She also owned and operated a private school for 11 years.

203: How COVID-19 is Impacting Services for Young Children and Families in Tribal Communities 
(Lanna Flood Memorial Address)
Rhonda Etsitty, Association for Supportive Child Care, Martha Guy, Head Start and Elizabeth Garcia, Cocopah Project LAUNCH
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COVID-19 has impacted the country and our lives in a number of ways. Businesses have been closed, stay-at-home orders initiated and non-essential government employees have been put on leave. In the state, many tribal communities authorized restrictions in addition to stay-at-home orders to flatten the curve which has also impacted how services are provided to young children and families. This session will provide an opportunity to learn how early childhood providers are continuing to provide services to young children and families in tribal communities during this challenging times.

About the Presenters
Rhonda Etsitty is a Quality First coach with the Association for Supportive Child Care, where she provides onsite coaching and mentoring to early education programs participating in the quality improvement process of Quality First. She is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation, her clans are Kinlichii’nii, born for Ta’neeszahnii and resides in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Martha Guy is program manager for the Ili Uusim Mahtawapo-Pascua Yaqui Head Start, where she oversees the day-to-day operation of the Head Start center and monitors the program to ensure compliance to Head Start performance standards and state, federal and Pascua Yaqui Tribal requirements. She is presently enrolled in a doctorate program at Fielding Graduate University.

Elizabeth Garcia is the program director for Cocopah Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health), a program that focuses on Whole Life Wellness for children and families within the Cocopah Tribal Community. Garcia has also worked as a child and family therapist serving families in Yuma and La Paz County.


Eddie Basha Award Presentation
Kim VanPelt, First Things First
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Join us for the presentation of the Eddie Basha Regional Partnership Council Excellence Award for Service and Leadership to a First Things First regional partnership council for exemplary performance in promoting positive and lasting change on behalf of young children. One of the 28 regional partnership councils will be selected and celebrated for their work with the award presented by Kim VanPelt, chief regional officer for First Things First.

About Eddie Basha Award
The award is given in remembrance of Eddie Basha, an iconic Arizona businessman, who spent his life championing children and the communities that nurture them. Basha also acted as a humanitarian and staunch advocate for public education. This year’s award will allow the winning council to host an early childhood forum, with a keynote speaker, in the regional council’s community. The forum will highlight the service, leadership and collaboration of the regional council and support the increased awareness of the importance of early childhood. Additionally, one member of the awarded council will be selected to participate in a leadership conference.

Block 3

301 Welcome
Marilee dal Pra, First Things First

301 Featured Speaker
David Dickinson, Vanderbilt University
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In his session, Dickinson explains the importance of building vocabulary among young children and uses his latest research to give suggestions for how games can be used to teach vocabulary. He’ll show videos of actual teachers using educational games to illustrate his many methods. Attendees will gain a variety of new techniques to engage children in learning.

About Dickinson 
Dickinson is the Margaret Cowan Chair of Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.  He studies the association between language and literacy development and has created curricula and interventions that help preschool teachers support language development, with special interest in children from low-income homes. His recent research involves how games and music can be used to teach vocabulary to preschool children.

Block 4

401: Coming to Terms with Germs
Beth Giacalone and Patti Longman, Association for Supportive Child Care
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In this session, you will get a brief overview of what germs are, why some are beneficial and others produce illnesses and how germs, including viruses such as COVID-19, are transmitted. You’ll gain an understanding of how exposure to germs of all kinds can be mitigated in programs for children. You’ll learn how to implement health and safety procedures to protect the staff and children.

About the Presenters
Beth Giacalone works as a division director at the Association for Supportive Child Care, giving support to the Early Learning Professional Support team. Working in both the private school and publicly-funded arenas of early childhood, she has a variety of experiences to draw from with 22 years of experience in the early childhood field. Patti Longman works as a trainer for the Association for Supportive Child Care. She has 24 years of experience in the early childhood field, including working as a family child care provider. As a military spouse, she has traveled and worked at many early childhood facilities around the nation and gained knowledge of a variety of methods and practices.

402: Addressing Your Own Stress: Self-Regulation and the Trauma-Informed Approach
Claire Louge, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
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How does stress negatively impact your life? In this session, you’ll learn about the body’s natural response to stress, and use this as a lens for understanding the impact of trauma and times of heightened stress (like a pandemic) on human thinking and behavior. You’ll learn simple stress-reduction techniques that you can use anywhere, and learn how to apply the trauma-informed approach to your work with children, families and all people.

About the Presenter
Claire Louge is the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, a statewide non-profit organization that collaborates, educates and advocates to strengthen families and protect children. She is also a Certified Trauma Support Specialist through the Arizona Trauma Institute, certified by the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds to teach the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework, and an authorized Stewards of Children® facilitator.

403: Empowering Families to Support Early Literacy Success During COVID-19
Terri Clark, Read On Arizona, Nicol Russell, Teaching Strategies Gold, Lori Masseur, Arizona Department of Education and Jenny Volpe, Make Way for Books
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In this ongoing time of crisis, stress and disruption, families are playing an even deeper, more central role in their children’s learning. This session will guide you through some effective at-home tools and resources available to Arizona families to support their child’s language and early literacy development.

About the Presenters
As Arizona Literacy Director, Terri Clark leads Read On Arizona, our state’s early literacy initiative. Launched in 2013, Read on Arizona is a unique collaboration of the key agencies, philanthropic partners and community stakeholders working to improve language and literacy outcomes for Arizona’s children from birth through age 8, with strategic focus on school readiness and third-grade reading proficiency.

Nicol Russell currently serves as director of Head Start Research and Support for Teaching Strategies, LLC., supporting Head Start and Early Head Start clients and providing content expertise in the development of curricula and assessment products, services and support. She is currently serving a four-year term as an at-large board member for the National Association of the Education for Young Children.

Lori Masseur currently serves as the early childhood and education director of the Arizona Department of Education, supporting districts, providers and practitioners. Her professional background includes more than 20 years in early childhood and elementary education, having previously served as an educator, preschool director and vocational rehabilitation counselor.

Jenny Volpe is chief executive officer of Make Way for Books, an early childhood literacy nonprofit organization that impacts 30,000 children, parents and educators annually. A passionate believer in the power of literacy to change lives, she began her educational career as a Teach for America teacher for five years before entering the curriculum development and nonprofit sectors.

404: Equitable Engagement in Action (Not Just Buzzwords)
Sharifa Rowe, S. Rowe Consulting and Sarah Gonzalez, Gonzalez Consulting
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Do you value lived experience when planning programming or providing services? You should and we will show you why. Join us and learn how to use lived experience to help communities thrive. We will share a case study of how a community came together to address the health and social service needs of students and their families. This discussion is useful for all levels of participation whether you are a regional council member, early child care provider, home visitor or a community provider. Learn how to effectively engage communities to promote community driven solutions and sustainability.

About the Presenters
Sharifa Rowe is the founder and principal consultant at S. Rowe Consulting. She works with organizations to drive outcomes through neutral facilitation practices, collective impact frameworks and continuous improvement strategies. She has facilitated initiatives with the STRIVE National Partnership, Phoenix Union High School District and local foundations such as Arizona Community Foundation.

Sarah Gonzalez is the founder and principal consultant at Gonzalez Consulting. She works to build healthy communities where children and families can thrive and has worked with the City of Maryvale and Isaac School District.