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2020 Kids First National Conference to Address the Needs of the Whole Child During COVID-19

2020 Kids First National Conference to Address the Needs of the Whole Child During COVID-19

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.

Celebrating Family Appreciation Week

Celebrating Family Appreciation Week

We are excited to celebrate ​The Children’s Guild Alliance’s first “Family Appreciation Week,” June 8-12, 2020 to thank our families for your role in providing distance learning to your child/ren during the sudden closure of schools due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Family Appreciation Week is designed to show our deepest appreciation for your continued partnership in your child/ren’s education.

Our families are our heroes in so many ways, and we value all of you. We have always known families play a vital role in the education of our students, as you love, nurture, protect, teach, provide for, and serve as role models for our students. Strong families, such as yours, provide much needed support and guidance to ensure our students succeed as leaners and members of a global community.

The Children’s Guild Alliance and our schools have always celebrated and honored our families as a key partner in your children’s education. Now, more than ever, families have stepped up, during a time when your child/en need you most. We want to recognize the incredible job our families have done, and the many sacrifices you have made, to ensure your children’s education continued in as meaningful a way as possible, during these truly unprecedented times.

Additionally, follow us on our social media channels with hashtag #FamilyAppreciationWeek2020, as we celebrate our families throughout the week through. You can share too on your social media using #FamilyAppreciationWeek2020.

We thank you for choosing one of our Children’s Guild Alliance schools as the school of choice which allows your children to excel and achieve.

We celebrate you for your vision to see, the courage to try, and the will to succeed. Together, we will create a brighter tomorrow for each our students, transforming the way America cares for and educates its youth.

With gratitude,
Kathy Lane
Chief of Educational Services

Commemorating Juneteenth

Commemorating Juneteenth

A message from Andrew L. Ross, President and CEO, The Children’s Guild Alliance:

Today we commemorate Juneteenth, the day that slavery ended in the U.S. on June 19, 1865. As we paused to reflect on racial injustice and inequalities, Juneteenth reminds us there are many events and contributions by African Americans that were never taught in school.

In order to respond to this meme that has been as much a part of The Children’s Guild Alliance, as it has been part of our society, our educators, under the leadership of Kathy Lane, Chief of Educational Services, will be reviewing our curriculum to look for areas in which we need to add the “real complete” American History to it.

Over the summer, our instructional coaches will be attending a university course that teaches a comprehensive African American History. Our goal is to ensure our faculty have a complete set of the facts and embed them in our curriculum to make them available for our students this fall.

As an organization, this is one way we can make sure that the spirit and meaning of Juneteenth gets passed on to all children. There may be a long way to equality and justice, but it is important that we take this vital step, given it is readily in our power to do.