UNK Early Childhood Conference
The University of Nebraska at Kearney Early Childhood Conference will focus on how children learn and grow through play. Samuel J. Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute, will present the opening keynote, "Nebraskans' Views of Early Care and Education," on Friday the 16th. He will share findings of a statewide survey conducted by the Buffett Institute and Gallup. A team from the Buffett Institute including Amy Schmidtke, Darcy Heath, Mary Beth Pistillo and Kristy Feden will present "Relationships for Learning: Family-School Partnerships" on both days of the conference. Their session deals with the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan in the Omaha metro area and families' role within the comprehensive approach to closing achievement gaps. Saturday's keynote speaker is Kathleen Gallagher, the inaugural recipient of the Cille and Ron Williams Community Chair for Early Childhood Education at UNK. She will present "Transformative Early Childhood Care and Education: What It Means and What It Takes." Other topics at the conference include nutrition, social work, music, and speech and language. The event is intended for child care providers, Head Start and preschool teachers and staff, elementary teachers and administrators, college students, parents, and anyone who cares for or about children.