Second Annual CFK Parenting Conference “Let’s Celebrate Again” – November 2006

The Second Communities for Kids Parenting Conference was held in Penticton on November 4, 2006. Fifty-two participants enjoyed a day of sharing ideas and learning about the importance of early childhood development for children from birth to age 6.

Participants chose three workshops from important topics such as Building the Village, Effective Parenting, Parenting with Purpose, Strengthening Attachment, Recreation is M.A.G.I.C., Today’s Father, Storysacks and Setting Goals for Success. Joanne Schroeder, Community Liaison Coordinator with the Human Early Learning Partnership and the Provincial Advisor with the Children First ECD Community Development Initiative, gave the key note address on Vibrant Communities, Vibrant Children.

Display tables offered information on many aspects of caring for children, and wonderful door prizes donated by local businesses and agencies were given away throughout the day. Delicious refreshments and lunch were provided by a local caterer. Participants were thrilled to receive canvas tote bags full of valuable early childhood information and activity suggestions to take home.

Comments from the conference evaluation like, “Tons of fun. I learned so much today”, “Awesome courses, great prizes, and giveaways. Will be back next year”, have encouraged us to continue offering this dynamic opportunity to anyone interested in caring for young children.

Workshops and Presenters

Vibrant Communities, Vibrant Children – Key Note Speaker, Joanne Schroeder

We now know that a child’s development is influenced not only by personality and family, but also by communities or
neighbourhoods. Joanne’s keynote address will discuss community features that influence child development. Some
community features (e.g., poverty) have an obvious influence on development, other features (e.g., attitudes) are harder to
identify as influential. Joanne will present information to help us understand the character of our communities, and
suggest what can be done to shape neighbourhoods into the best places they can be for healthy child development.

Building the Village, Joanne Schroeder

There is an old proverb that says it “takes a village to raise a child”, but what can that mean for most of us as we struggle
just to keep up with our daily lives as parents, as grandparents, as early child professionals and as citizens of our
community. This workshop will look at some concrete, every day strategies that can be used to help you build and be part
of a village that promotes the development of young children. We will talk about identifying and using the existing early
childhood assets in your community, everything from mud puddles to pediatricians, to build a community where children
Joanne Schroeder wears two professional “hats”. She is the Community Liaison Coordinator with the Human Early
Learning Partnership and the Provincial Advisor with the Children First ECD Community Development Initiative. She
works with communities throughout B.C. to assist them in developing capacity to support young children. Using early
child research, community building and advocacy, she supports local coalitions in developing plans for their children.
Joanne has worked in the area of community development and strategic planning for many years. She is trained as a social
worker and also has considerable front line experience in working with children and families. Joanne lives in the Comox
Valley with her two teenagers.

Effective Parenting, Now and Tomorrow, Laurie Rockwell

This workshop introduces a program that coaches parents to focus on their children’s assets to create early, positive
communication, mutual respect, and trust between parent and child that will last for generations.
Laurie Rockwell began a very rewarding 25 year career as a family and child service social worker and supervisor in
1972. In 2003 he graduated from Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC) Executive Coaching Program. Laurie feels that
coaching is the newest and most effective helping profession, which works with people’s assets, not their deficits. In 2004
he started his business, Know Thyself Coaching. As a Life Purpose Coach, Laurie helps people develop their own action
plan to define who they are and their purpose in life.

Parenting with Purpose, Kelly Moog

This workshop will show you how to raise children full of life and spirit, maintain your sanity and have fun at the same
time! Get involved and explore how to bring your deepest values to life in your family. Enjoy stories, anecdotes and
interactive learning experiences as you gain practical tools that bring out the best in you and your child.
Kelly Moog is and always has been involved with children and families. She is a mother, aunt, foster parent, family
support worker and friend to many children and families. She has facilitated a large variety of parenting classes over the
years, as well as many different children’s groups. Currently she is a Communities for Kids community facilitator and for
this session will lead a discussion on building relationships within your family.

Strengthening Attachment, Myrna Martin

Attachment is the relationship between a parent or caregiver and child. This special bonding forms the basis for
emotional and physical health, learning, and the ability to develop healthy relationships. This workshop presents
information on how attachment is formed, and its effect on the developing brain prenatally and through the early years.
We will discuss ways to recognize and support secure attachment and how to recognize conditions that threaten secure
attachment. Please note: This workshop will be presented over two sessions in the afternoon.
Myrna Martin
has 35 years experience working as a nurse, public health nurse and family therapist. She was Director of
Nelson Mental Health for many years. Myrna has been studying and practicing early trauma resolution work with babies
and young children for the past twenty years. She is currently doing infant/child focused family therapy on attachment
with pregnant couples and families with children age 12 and under. Myrna also works with individuals and groups of
adults on early trauma resolution. She is a registered clinical counselor and registered craniosacral therapist, and teaches
seminars in prenatal/birth/attachment therapy internationally.

Recreation is M.A.G.I.C., Carol Flynn

Join Carol Flynn in using a “hands-on” approach to investigate the benefits of recreation in the healthy development of
children aged 0-6. Carol will demonstrate that with a little “M.A.G.I.C.” (Mystery, Adventure, Games, Inspiration, and
Creativity) parents, caregivers and educators can daily provide infants and toddlers with high quality, enjoyable
experiences. Come ready to play, sing, and share new ideas!
Carol Flynn started working with children at a young age as a swimming instructor and residential camp counselor. She
has been enjoying working as a Recreation Programmer in the Okanagan Valley since 1995. She has worked in
Okanagan Falls, Vernon, Osoyoos, and is now the Recreation Coordinator for the City of Penticton. Carol was an active
member of the Communities for Kids Steering Committee and has participated in community table meetings in Penticton
and Osoyoos.

Today’s Father, Doug Werry/Mike Gladman

This workshop will offer support and ideas to fathers who want to transform the nature of their relationship with their
children, resulting in increased self confidence, cooperation, communication and respect. The information presented is
relevant to all fathers including those who are separated or divorced.
Doug Werry is co-founder and Executive Director of Building Healthy Families Society in Kelowna. He has provided
parenting education for hundreds of families over the past 18 years. In 2002 he created the Nurturing Fathers program
which quickly became an integral component of the service delivery system in the Central Okanagan.
Mike Gladman has worked as a family therapist for 20 years. He currently works for the Kelowna Family Centre and
has, for the past 11 years, facilitated a Men’s Relationship Group. The group supports men in developing effective skills in
response to relationship conflict, emotional distancing, threatened separation, and divorce-related conflicts. Mike is a
Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Storysacks, Pat Buckland

Storysacks is a community family literacy project. A Storysack is a large cloth bag full of wonderful ideas for reading to
children. Come and find out what treasures are in a Storysack and how it can be used as a fun reading tool. Learn how
groups can participate in making Storysacks for their community. We’ll make a Storysack during the session, and then
draw a name to see who will take it home with them.
Pat Buckland has been involved in adult and family literacy since 1987, and with Communities for Kids since 2003. She
considers reading to be the best activity in the world! Her literacy work began at Frontier College in Ontario, training
tutors. She has worked in adult literacy in Alberta and BC (Oliver), and tirelessly promotes family literacy projects. Pat
believes that encouraging parents to read to their children from a very early age is the best way to ensure a love of reading
that will last a lifetime.

Setting Goals for Success, Dan Kalyn

This workshop will explore how to pay close attention to children’s behavior in order to understand what skills they need
to develop to improve their relationships with people around them. Methods of teaching social goals and setting-up for
success will also be addressed.
Dan Kalyn is a Kelowna based behaviour consultant who works with parents and caregivers of children with challenging
behaviour. Dan is a co-owner/operator of D&L Consulting and has worked with Community Living for 16 years. D&L
Consulting is presently conducting seven weekly social skills groups for children, and two groups for adults.