The Children’s Guild Alliance in collaboration with Towson University’s department of special education will present the inaugural Kids First National Conference on Oct. 26 and 27, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT each day. The virtual conference will equip educators, child-serving professionals and families with strategies to support and engage children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we grapple with how to deliver education and care for our children and families in a COVID-19 world, we must rethink how we do our work and transform the way America cares for and educates its children,” said Andrew Ross, president and CEO of The Children’s Guild Alliance. “This year demands transformation and innovation, our focus at the Kids First National Conference, where we’ll present strategies that address the needs of the whole child.”
The conference will feature child and educational experts, including the keynote speakers:
- Robert Jackson will present “Power of the Educator: Becoming Culturally Aware of Staff and Students.” Jackson received the 2019 Motivational Educator of the Year Award and has written six books, including his latest book, “Becoming the Educator They Need: Strategies, Mindsets and Beliefs for Supporting Male Black and Latino Students,” released last year. An expert in teaching cultural diversity, restorative practices, socio-emotional learning and retaining troubled students in school, he delivers keynote addresses and workshops across the country.
- Joe Sanfelippo will present “Hacking Leadership: Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love.” Sanfelippo is the superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, which was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. He co-authored “The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story,” “Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age,” and “Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love.”
Other speakers include career child advocate Frank Kros, Stephen F. Austin State University Assistant Professor Jim Ewing, veteran administrator and author Shauna King and educator Steve Parese.
The conference will offer 150 workshops and panels to address challenges, innovations and transformation strategies in serving the whole child. Interactive sessions will cover topics on leadership; education; juvenile justice; mental health; and family, children and adolescent issues. Networking events and opportunity to review sessions on demand will also be offered.
In addition, The Children’s Guild Alliance will host a preconference from Oct. 18 to 25 with workshops and keynote presentations about innovation and transformation. Speakers come from organizations including The Children’s Guild Alliance, Zoom, Four Rivers Media, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Oral Roberts University.
Participants who register for the conference’s Leadership Track will join other leaders and sessions will present innovative ideas and promote reflection to help participants move their organizations forward in both the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 landscapes. Leadership Track participants will develop a work plan to drive transformation in their organizations, schools, districts, communities, states or nationally. Leaders will gain insight and ideas from outside of their fields, generating solutions from multiple perspectives.
Conference participants will receive a certificate of attendance and Category I social work continuing education units. For more information and registration, visit KidsFirstConference.org.