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Saturday SA Sessions 8:30am - 10:30am


SA01: The Secret Life of Materials, by Allie Pasquier, Play Lab

In this session, Participants will explore open-ended materials through play. Can materials do more than we expect them to? How can we curate materials in the classroom environment for children’s deep engagement? Participants will learn about sourcing free- and low-cost materials for their setting, and deepen their understanding of the endless potential of materials. This session includes an element of reflective practice, with educators making deep connections with their own play ideas and preferences to gain an understanding of how those personal values affect planning and implementing play-centered curriculum.

About the presenter: Allie Pasquier is an Early Childhood Educator, working with children, families, and teachers to promote play-centered curricular practices. She is the founder and curator of Play Lab, a Bellingham-based project aimed at creating opportunities for families to engage with hands-on, interactive play experiences.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Who Should Attend: ALL

SA02: Now More Than Ever: Recommitting to Anti-Bias Education, by Katie Kissinger, Threads of Justice Collective

This workshop will validate previous efforts to implement anti-bias education in early childhood classrooms along with inspiring new consideration for the importance of this work. Participants will share stories, learn the most current understandings of social identities, and gain tools and strategies for responding to the needs and inclusion of all children and families. Supporting young children in their positive identity development and in learning about differences is more critical in our society than it has ever been. Join us for an in-depth exploration of this important topic for teachers: ECE and Elementary.

About the presenter: Katie Kissinger, Educator, ECE Consultant and College Instructor and OCCD Master Trainer. Author of: “Anti-bias Education in the Early Childhood Classroom: Hand in Hand; Step by Step” Routledge Press, March 2017“All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color” Redleaf Press, 1994 and 2014. Winner of the Teachers’ Choice Award, 2014.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Who Should Attend: Leadership/Administrators | Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | P-3 Educators | Interested Professionals

SA03: Get Your Motor Running! Fun Physical Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers, by Sharron Krull, Play Power & Discount School Supply 

Join in cooperative group games and use simple equipment to promote motor skill development and increase moderate to vigorous physical activity. Learn strategies and techniques for creating movement opportunities inside or outdoors with limited space and equipment. Active play ignites brain function and learning!

About the presenter: Sharron Krull is a passionate, enthusiastic and inspiring early childhood educator. Sharron has a B.S. in education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her teaching experience spans over 45 years, encompassing nearly all areas of early childhood education. She is a veteran preschool teacher, having taught and directed at parent cooperative preschools for 20 plus years. Sharron has also taught park and recreation programs, school-age childcare programs, parenting classes, and elementary school. She has been an instructor of child development courses at several California community colleges and has been trained in Creative Curriculum, the HighScope® Education Through Movement Curriculum, I’m Moving I’m Learning Program, and The Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth and Development

Who Should Attend: ALL

SA04: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse at your School or Center, by Jill Goetz, Savvy Parents Safe Kids (CANCELLED)

Through this workshop, participants learn practical songs, games, rhymes & books to use everyday that focus on teaching children how to trust their instincts, recognize safe adults and keep themselves safe. The goal is to empower anyone working with children to recognize red flags and warning signs. Knowledge is what deters potential predators; safe adults need to know how to step in, model, guide educate, and protect the children in their care without scaring them.

About the presenter: Jill has an extensive background working with families and family-friendly companies as a previous preschool teacher, center director and private school administrator. She is a certified MERIT trainer, holding a Masters Degree in Education. Prior to joining Savvy Parents Safe Kids, Jill enjoyed working with moms groups, parents and early educators in the Seattle area. Having a unique perspective teaching young children and working with parents makes being part of the Savvy Parent Safe Kids team a pleasure. Since joining Savvy Parents Safe Kids, Jill has appeared on local TV shows and podcasts, spreading the message of prevention education throughout Washington and Idaho. As a parent, she knows the importance of keeping children safe and cherishes her role in sharing the prevention piece and educating teachers and families to raise kids who will be safer within our community.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Health, Safety, and Nutrition

Who Should Attend: ALL

SA04 Handout 1          SA04 Handout 2          SA04 Handout 3          SA04 Handout 4

SA05: Developing Cross-Cultural Competence: Understanding and Serving Muslims American Families, by Aishah Jalani, Medina Academy 

Participants will have a clearer understanding of Muslim families, their faith, and culture. This will help those working with Muslim families to better support and advocate for them. As global citizens, it is important for us to develop an empathetic viewpoint towards Muslim families and their struggle with Islamophobia.

About the presenter: Aishah Jalani is an Early Childhood Educator of 20+ years and is passionate about multi-cultural education. She holds a M.A. in Organizational Leadership. She is Montessori-certified in both early childhood education and early elementary. Her passion is to nurture, mentor, and coach teachers to do their best teaching and to help programs build strong partnerships with diverse families, especially immigrant families. She is involved in a study with the University of Washington on the value of child-pet interactions in the development of moral intelligence based on the teachings of Islam. Her educational philosophy: “There are two lasting bequests we could hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other wings” – Hodding Carter

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Families and Community Partnerships

Who Should Attend: ALL

SA05 Handout 1

SA06: Combining the Arts and Diverse Learning Styles, by Leslie Larkin, Epiphany School

Participants in this session will explore arts integration through several well-known Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. They will walk away with a greater understanding of how to differentiate for students’ learning profiles, deeper knowledge of participants’ own learning preferences, and strategies for using the arts to target important academic goals for all learners. All the while maintaining a sense of joy and inclusivity in the classroom.

About the presenter: Leslie Larkin has been the music and drama specialist at Epiphany School in Seattle, Washington for 17 years. A native of New York City, she worked as a freelance flutist, coach and flute teacher, before discovering her passion for music education. Leslie recently received her Master of Education in Arts Integration from Lesley University and is excited to further explore innovative methods of reaching all kinds of learners.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment

Who Should Attend: All

SA07: Mealtime Matters, by Katy Levenhagen, Snohomish Health District

Children spend up to a third of their time in child care preparing to eat, eating and cleaning up after eating. Mealtime is important for children to learn how to accept new foods, and practice social, physical and self-help skills. We will explore the attributes of a mealtime environment that contributes to food acceptance and school readiness and minimizes struggles and food rejection.

About the presenter: Katy Levenhagen has been a Child Care Nutrition Consultant serving early learning and child care providers for 18 years. She has dined with over 1000 children in Snohomish,King and Pierce counties. Her consultations and trainings focus on promoting and demonstrating mealtime practices that impact a child’s growth and development and influence food acceptance.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency:

Who Should Attend: Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | Parents/Relatives | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | Family Resource Coordinators | Home Visitors | Interested Professionals

SA08: Simplicity, Systems & Self-Care: The Keys to Running An Effective Childcare Business, by Lyndsay Morris, Generation Wellness 

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the never-ending to-do list that comes with running a business? Are you working harder, spending more time on getting it all done, but somehow it feels like you’re spinning- doing more, but not seeing the results? This session is sure to help! Find out the five best business tools on the market for creating solid systems that increase productivity and save time. Bonus: Learn how social media and video grew my business 5x in one year. By the end of this session, you will have the tools needed to create more space for abundance in your business, resulting in a healthier, happier you. Get back to enjoying what you do with these simple systems.

About the presenter: Lyndsay Morris, M.ED is a mover and shaker who traded teaching for entrepreneurship in 2013. Lyndsay trains educators around the country in cutting-edge teaching and counseling strategies, hosts the Wellness Warrior Show and mentors other heart-centered business owners, focusing on maximizing strengths, simplifying processes and systems and creating businesses that positively impact the world, while making money.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Who Should Attend: Leadership/Administrators | Child Care Center

SA09: What is Relational Health? Why is it important in ECEC? What do we look for? How do we talk about it? (Part 1 of a 2-part session), by Marie-Celeste Condon, Private Practice 

We know relationships are the center of quality work and outcomes for children in ECEC. It’s harder to know how to focus observations in classrooms and conversations with teacher-caregivers in ways that shift thinking and behavior and hearten relationships with tricky children and adults. Relational health (RH) is a new, unifying, transformational concept in pediatric care. During Part 1 of this 2 part session, we’ll explain its relevance in ECEC. We’ll watch brief video clips of interactions between teachers, caregivers, infants and young children, and practice identifying indicators of mutual capacities that are the hallmarks of RH during the first 1000 days of children’s lives, and precursors of executive functioning during the preschool years. These are key concepts and practices in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health-informed work in ECEC settings.

About the presenter: Marie-Celeste Condon, PhD, is an Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant in private practice. Dr. Condon has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Early Childhood Special Education through the University of Houston, certification in Infant-Family Habilitation and Infant Mental Health, and a Doctorate in Social Welfare through the University of Washington. She did her post-doctoral work at the Center for Health Care Improvement for Marginalized Populations. She is applying for endorsement as a Level IV Clinical Mentor in Infant Mental Health. Dr. Condon’s research focuses on reflective practice consultation and relational health during the first 1000 days of life.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Interactions

Who Should Attend: Leadership/Administrators | Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program
(ECEAP) | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | P-3 Educators | Home Visitors | Therapists | Adult Educators
| Interested Professionals

This session has a $10 materials fee, and participants will receive handouts, article reprint, materials that participants will use during interactive activities.

SA10: Language of Leadership - Enhancing Your Leadership Potential, by Paul Figueroa, Peace Enforcement LLC

We’re all leaders! During this session, you will discover the importance of positive communication. You’ll develop skills in using positive speech in your work place to inspire, motivate and create the changes you want, empowering others along the way.

About the presenter: Paul Figueroa is an award winning and highly sought after inspirational speaker, trainer, facilitator and coach. He served as a police officer with the King County Sheriff ’s Department in Seattle, Washington for over 12 years. He left law enforcement in 1998 and has been helping people young and old to live happier lives ever since. Paul travels all across the country providing workshops and keynotes at numerous conferences that support children and he’s also provided parent support workshops and staff, manager and leadership training for Head Start, Early Head Start, ECEAP, Public School, Preschool and Child Care organizations all over the United States. He’s received “The Governor’s Child Abuse Prevention Award” in recognition of his work with children and families and has appeared on Radio Disney along with the Today Show. His first book, “Listen, Your Life is Calling – The Journey Home” is now available on his website and at

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Who Should Attend: ALL

SA10 Handout 1