Opening Plenary Session
The Ruby Bridges Story: Impacting a Nation
Featuring Ruby Bridges, America's youngest Civil Rights icon
On November 14, 1960, surrounded by armed U.S. Federal Marshals, Ruby Bridges became the very first black student to attend William Frantz Public School in New Orleans and the youngest foot soldier of the Civil Rights Movement. Ruby's extraordinarily brave story will discuss the impact her teacher had on her life, as well as diversity and inclusion in education and the collective impact teachers can have if they organize together.
Closing Plenary Session
Sesame Street: 46 Years of Diversity…and Counting!
"Children all over the country were singing beer commercials, so they were certainly learning something from television. It wasn’t a question of, “Could it teach?” The question was, “Could it teach something of potential use to children?”
–Joan Ganz Cooney, co-creator of Sesame Street
Featuring: Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop
To close this session of NAEYC’s annual conference, we’ll take an entertaining and musical look at the work of Sesame Street,
featuring celebrities and musicians from our 46 years of making a show that reflects the diversity of families’ experiences and research behind children's learning and development.
Music and diversity have been intrinsic to the magic of Sesame Street since the beginning. Even before there were Muppets, the educational power of music on TV was one impetus for the programming. When the first episode launched in 1969, its stunning diversity was what made the show relevant and relatable to the kids who watched it.
This presentation will follow the story of Sesame Street from 1969 through today by way of memorable segments from the show and more, with much that educators can take away both for their own work with children and for how they engage diverse families. The educational ideas of this presentation will be woven together by music videos, funny sketches, and poignant moments from the Sesame Street show and the Sesame Workshop’s social impact work.
Plus: a Sesame Street walkaround will be present before and after the session for photo opportunities!
More Featured Sessions
The Importance of Early Experiences: How Playing IS Kindergarten Readiness!
Presented by: Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady
This session will explore the seven things we need to do with children each day, which make up the foundation that supports the house of higher learning. There is nothing wrong with the “academic” expectations within this house: reading, writing, math… the trouble is that many early childhood educators are being pressured to build a house where there is no foundation. And you do not need to be an architect to know that if you build where there is no foundation, the house will come crashing down! Playing is “getting them ready,” and through an investigation of each of the “seven things,” participants will learn how to build this foundation. By making time to create, move, sing, discuss, observe, read, and play we are getting children ready not just for kindergarten, but for life!
Creating Educational Public Media for Today’s Children: Behind the Scenes with The Fred Rogers Company and The Jim Henson Company”
Presented by: Sara DeWitt, PBS Kids; William Isler, The Fred Rogers Company; and Lisa Henson, The Jim Henson Company
Long before an episode airs on PBS KIDS, months of research and testing, years of planning, and decades of experience have gone into the creation of high-quality, educational, and engaging programming for young children. Still, many parents and caregivers have understandable concerns about what children are learning from the media they consume.
Many of us grew up with a trusted guide, like Mister Rogers, from public television on our side, helping us navigate the sometimes difficult path to young adulthood. Today, Peg and Cat, Buddy and Tiny, and others continue that tradition on a growing number of platforms, including television and mobile. As technology and the ways families consume media evolve, we must continue to explore innovative ideas for engaging, educating, and entertaining America's children while keeping their well-being at the forefront. Join leading PBS KIDS producers from the Fred Rogers Company (Peg+Cat, Odd Squad, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and The Jim Henson Company (Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train) for a discussion of how they develop media for children, what and how children can learn from this media, and what the future of educational media for children may look like.
Sit Still, Pay Attention and Look at Me: Understanding and Developing Attention Skills in Children
Presented by: Becky Bailey, Loving Guidance/Conscious Discipline
Educators increasingly report children with limited abilities to attend, self-regulate, tolerate frustration, and delay gratification. Often both adults and children struggle with the skill of conscious, mindful attention. We frequently resort to demanding a child's attention (sit still and look at me!) or fall into the belief that if we get children to sit still and pay attention in circle time for ten minutes when they are two years old, they will be prepared for a 20-minute circle time at age four. Attention is a complex skill that does not develop through stamina training. This session will show you how attention develops in our social brain, interventions for those fidgeting, impulsive, "I can't wait" children, and fun activities and games that optimize the development of attention.
25th Anniversary - Meet the Authors and Illustrators: Children's Literature at NAEYC
Presented by: Holly Seplocha, William Paterson University; Kevin Henkes and Annie Potts, authro and illustrator; Diane Muldrow, author and editor; Marcia Goldman, author
Be your child's best teacher using children's literature. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this annual well- attended featured session brings award winning children's authors and illustrators to NAEYC to share their experiences and expertise with teachers. The authors and illustrators, all leaders in the field, will present how they create their books, what children have said and asked about their books, and share strategies to use their books with children. Additionally, they will share their own journey as writers, writing for publication and experiences in working with children in school.
The Power of the Profession Starts with You
Presented by: Valora Washington, Council for Professional Recognition; Rhian Evans Allvin, NAEYC; Marie Enochty, Boston Public Schools; Arthur Noble II, Chicago Public Schools; and Pam Perrino, Perrino Consulting and University of Dayton
Now, more than ever, there is unprecedented attention on the importance of high quality early learning and care. As momentum builds on the recognition of early childhood educators as professionals, we all must be prepared to act as agents of change to propel the field forward. Join Valora Washington, Council for Professional Recognition and Rhian Evans Allvin, NAEYC, as they showcase early childhood professionals across the United States who are leading the movement and making significant impacts. This session will weave inspirational stories with practical steps for action, allowing you to create your own roadmap for success.
Building Healthier, Safer Children & Families: New Information and Approaches to Managing Environmental Impacts on Health
Presented by: Laura Probst & Christopher Gavigan, The Honest Company
The Honest Company has teamed up with Safe Kids Coalition and the Center for Environmental Health to create a new health and safety curriculum specifically geared to preschool and childcare centers, with easy to follow steps and approachable solutions for non-toxic cleaning and injury prevention. The purpose of this session will be to give practitioners a glimpse into this curriculum; to support their best, healthiest, safest care environment; and offer tips for how they can share this information with their families.
Takeaways from the 2015 White House Symposium on Early Learning, Cultural Relevant Care and Teaching Panel “Fulfilling America's Future: Research, Practice, & Policy Advancing Early Childhood Education for Hispanics”
Presented by: Ida Rose Florez, Vice-President, NAEYC Governing Board and Elementary Institute of Science; Martha Muñoz, Northern Arizona University; and Sylvia Acevedo, White House Iniative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics
This session will highlight "model" practices and teacher preparation programs that successfully prepare the workforce. More information to come in the upcoming weeks, and this session is part of the Grandes Comienzos special language track.
President’s Seminar: The Challenge to Move an Anti-Bias Agenda Toward the Future
Presented by: Carol Day, President, NAEYC Governing Board; Luis A. Hernandez, TTAS/Western Kentucky University; Julie Olsen Edwards, Cabrillo College; and Megan Madison, Brandeis University
The early childhood anti-bias work, inspired by the NAEYC publications Anti-Bias Curriculum and Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, has served as a component of the movement for social justice—a concerted endeavor to organize our efforts, build on the lessons we learn while engaged in anti-bias work, and use the momentum generated by our work to help bring about an evolution in our thinking and our actions. The President’s Seminar will explore how the early childhood field’s focus on promoting a new generation of early childhood leaders must include a focus on their growth as champions of social justice. How can we move toward the ultimate goal of someday achieving a society—even a world—free of all forms of institutional bias? How can we continue to build toward the greater goal of social justice throughout all NAEYC activities as we implement the Association’s Strategic Direction?
Using Traditional and Emerging Technologies as Tools to Support Creativity
Presented by: Luisa Cotto, United Way of Miami-Dade and Brian Puerling, Catherine Cook School
Children develop creativity through their experiences with the process, rather than concern for a finished product. During this interactive and hands-on presentation, early childhood professionals will be presented with examples of integration of technology in classrooms where children play, problem solve, collaborate, and experiment. Participants will engage in hands-on exploration of some of the tools presented such as robots, digital cameras, projectors, electronic circuits, digital microscopes, and apps.
Sharing New Research on Early Learning: Creating an Early Learning Nation
Presented by: Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute, & Jackie Bezos, Bezos Family Foundation
Research is at the center of this movement to create an Early Learning Nation. This session will share videos of some of the best new research that features strategies to help children deal with challenging or frustrating moments by distancing themselves and pretending. These strategies have been shown to promote children’s executive function skills. Panel members will include some of the architects of this movement, as well as the scientists whose work has shaped its practices. The how-to implications of this work for educators will be central to the session.
America’s Best and Brightest: New Research on Attracting Early Childhood Professionals
Presented by: Rhian Evans Allvin, NAEYC; David Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates; Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies; and Frank Gettridge, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation, NAEYC engaged in a national marketing and behavioral research project to learn how early childhood professionals and other stakeholders view the viability, impact, and depth of a career in early childhood.Hear NAEYC’s Executive Director, Rhian Evans Allvin, and experts from Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates present the data and analysis of the research.