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Child trauma to be discussed at conference

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County will be hosting a conference for early childhood educators Saturday.

The conference aims to better educate teachers on how to help students who struggle with traumatic events in their lives.

Featured speakers will discuss methods to help children who suffer personal struggles get the most out of their education. There will also be breakout sessions offered to teachers about trauma in the lives of young people.

“Everyone wants to stay on top of their profession” said Alicia Hazelwood, TFTGC board member and executive director of United Way of Grant County, “it all feeds back into staff receiving professional development to really give our children the best we can.”

Hazelwood said that by attending conferences like these are important for educators to attend and educators are able to stay up to date on best practices for helping struggling students.

Among those attending will be pre-kindergarten educators. Cathy Weatherspoon, executive director of Thriving Families, said the conference would provide an opportunity for educators to run their pre-schools more effectively.

She added that pre-K educators will have their registration fee waived.

There are 165 educators registered for the event. Registration fees alone will not cover the full cost of the event, which Hazelwood said would be between $10,000 and $15,000.

She said the conference could not have happened without generous grants from the United Way of Grant County as well as support from the Early Childhood Working Group, a part of Thriving Families.

“This is a regional conference so I am really excited to be able to host people from not only the surrounding area, but also people outside Grant County to come in and explore the community,” she said.

The conference is being hosted by Mississinewa Community Schools. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the conference lasts from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.