JOSEPHINE & JACKSON COUNTY, OR – Early childhood educators and care providers received a booster shot of information and skill development at the recent Southern Oregon Chapter of Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (SOC-ORAEYC) annual conference. Rogue Community College (RCC) assisted in planning and facilitating the event, together with SOESD’s Child Care Resource Network, and SOU.
Over 300 attendees from Southern Oregon and across the state joined the two-day Together for Children conference held virtually. This year’s workshop sessions offered strategies and techniques for those working in classrooms with primary age, preschoolers, infants and toddlers; as well as home visitors, family advocates and others working in a variety of agencies.
“The last two years have been especially difficult for teachers and staff working in early learning and elementary classrooms, due to the pandemic,” said Eileen Micke-Johnson, RCC conference co-coordinator. “Being able to network and receive inspiration and motivation provided a much-needed boost for these essential workers and will definitely impact their work with children in the weeks and months ahead.”
Attendees were eligible to earn certificates for continuing professional development hours. RCC’s Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) Department faculty members Susan Hamilton, Deborah Murphy, and Micke-Johnson, served as conference leaders along with four additional adjunct faculty members. RCC ECEE students also participated in organizing the conference.
Conference-goers were treated to an inspiring keynote address from nationally-recognized early childhood education specialist and international trainer, Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., Founder and CEO of Ooey Gooey, Inc., author of five books and numerous training videos.
To broaden the accessibility of the conference, Spanish-language interpretation was offered for over half of the zoom workshops and both keynote speaker sessions, with one workshop offered entirely in Spanish.
Looking forward to next year’s conference, organizers hope to expand the positive impact gained from shared learning experiences with more families and professionals working with children across Southern Oregon. Check for further information on the SOC-ORAEYC website at https://socoraeyc.org/.
For more details on Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Family Support Services at RCC please contact Bridey Mendoza-Moore, Department Chair, at 541-956-7278 or [email protected].