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Featured Sessions

Wednesday, May 4th at 10:30-Noon

The Power of Play: Stacking the Building Blocks of Learning
Let’s re-examine what takes place during play. This session will reveal the learning “underneath” – the learning that fuels young children’s growth and development and will consider the importance of playful learning as a catalyst for developing 21st Century Skills.

This session features:
Roberta Golinkoff, Director, UD Infant Language Project at the University of Delaware
Tovah P. Klein, Ph.D. Director, Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and Associate Professor, Psychology
Engaging Parents: From Customer to Advocate, Parent Voice Matters This session features:
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, ED/CEO & Co-Founder of MomRising
Dr. Valerie Alloy, Ohio Department of Mental Health's Office of Children, Families and Prevention
Nancy Peeler, Early Childhood Health Section Manager at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Moderated by:
Pennie Foster Fishman, Michigan State University
Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth: 3rd Grade Policies that Support Strong Readers How can state policymakers lessen the achievement gap and improve literacy outcomes for all children? A new report from New America’s Education Policy Program -  Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth: 3rd Grade Policies that Support Strong Readers – examines the state of birth through third grade policy across the nation. Report author Laura Bornfreund will discuss the report’s framework, which includes state policies in seven areas that are essential for supporting children’s literacy development. Panelists represent two states leading on key policy areas.

This session features:
Laura Bornfreund, Director of the New America Foundation’s Early & Elementary Education Policy
Monica DellaMea, Executive Director Office of Early Learning West Virginia
Donna Traynham, Early Learning Team Lead, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Moderated by:
Matt Gross, Policy Director, The North Carolina Partnership for Children

Wednesday, May 4th at 1:30-3:00

From Grassroots to Grasstops: Early Childhood as a Political Platform As early childhood continues to gain momentum as a key issue, how do we effectively support candidates and voters in a way that continues to build on the excitement and provide clear direction on the issue?

This session features:
Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director, National Association for the Education of Young Children
Katie Kelley, Executive Director, PRE4CLE
Tom Lamb, Government Affairs Director for PNC 

Moderated by:
Scarlett Bouder, Vice President, Advocacy and Communication Solutions
Care and Education for the Early Care and Education Workforce This session features:
Marica Cox Mitchell, Deputy Executive Director for Early Learning Systems, National Association for the Education of Young Children
Karen Brandi, Director of System Performance, Quality Child Care, Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County  
Dan Haggard, Deputy Director for Program, New Mexico Early Childhood Services Division Children

Moderated by: 
Todd Dalrymple, Program and Research Analyst, The Duke Endowment

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For sponsorship opportunities at the 2017 National Smart Start Conference, please contact Yvonne Huntley at 919-821-9573 or [email protected]