6th Annual CFK Parenting Conference – 2010

On Saturday, October 23, 2009, Communities for Kids held its 6th Annual Parenting Conference at Queen’s Park Elementary School in Penticton BC. Eighty-two participants enjoyed the opportunity to explore ideas on how to encourage and enhance the development of children up to 6 years of age. The day-long conference gave participants the choice of workshops from important topics such as: “Story Builder”; “Parenting from the Heart – A Father’s Perspective”; “Tantrums, Tears and Trials”; “Anger, Mistaken Behaviour”; “Mad Scientist”; “Early Literacy”; “Kindermusik”; and “Brain Gym”. Eighteen displays offered information on many aspects of caring for children, and wonderful door prized donated by local businesses and agencies were given away throughout the day. Canvas tote bags containing valuable information, as well as a book and activity ideas, were presented to each participant to take home. Comments from the Conference evaluation included: “It was a wonderful day. I enjoyed all the workshops”, “I thought the conference was an excellent resource and I enjoyed every part of it”, “Enjoyed the day and will be back again next year” and “Thank you so much for offering this program”

Workshops and Presenters

Keynote Address, Hugh McClelland

Laughing all the Way! (How to laugh more with your kids and why it’s so good for them.)
Having a good laugh is great. Having a good laugh with your kids is even better! So how come it’s so hard sometimes to just relax and have a good time with the kids? At Hugh McClelland’s up-beat and participatory presentation you’ll be laughing and learning how to have more good laughs with your kids; why science says it is so good for them (and you); and how you can give your kids the developmental benefits of good laughter, and avoid the pitfalls of “toxic” laughter.
Hugh McClelland’s career includes pre-school teacher, school teacher, counsellor, educational media producer, and communications consultant. He is a father and a proud Grandad (don’t get him started!) and lives in Naramata. He is a Certified Laughter Leader and is a senior trainer in the practice of Laughter Yoga. He has been speaking about and teaching the benefits of laughter for twelve years. (www.laughalive.com)


Tantrums, Tears and Trials (How to make them the smallest part of your parenting day) Leah Spanier
In this session we will take a look at the group’s concerns with current challenges in guiding their children’s behaviour. We will then move on to building on strengths and successes, and explore what influences behaviour .We will end the session with concrete ideas and strategies that will support parents in guiding their children in healthy and positive ways.
Leah Spanier has been in the field of caring for children and families for the past 16 years, in both Early Childhood Education and Family Centered Care. She has worked in almost every discipline of care and teaching, and her work has taken her from the Fraser Valley to Whitehorse, Yukon. Leah currently lives in Summerland with her family, and works full time in Penticton as a Supported Child Development Consultant.

Story Builder, Carrie Reiter

In this workshop, we will look at ways to bring a story to life, and extend the learning opportunities for children. Participants will create a felt story to take away with them. We will also explore other practical and hands-on tools to use with children to encourage an early love of literacy.
Carrie Reiter
Carrie is an Early Childhood Educator with 16 years of experience in a variety of early childhood settings, including family childcare. She is currently a consultant with Child Care Resource & Referral and the proud mom of three children.

Parenting From the Heart – A Father’s Perspective, Will Shepherd and Doug Spears

A father’s role has changed a lot in the last twenty years – he is now free to be much more than the guy that goes to work and hands out the discipline when he gets home. But if the traditional expectations are not in place anymore, what are the new expectations? We believe that practicing and using a few simple skills will make the job of being a father both rewarding and satisfying, and will let you get through the many challenges you will face with an improved and rewarding relationship with your kids. Our focus will be on communication and building healthy, respectful connections with your kids.
Will Shepherd has been a family counsellor with the Boys and Girls Club for eight years, working with parents, youth and children. He has an Honours Bachelor degree in Psychology from Queen’s University, and Master’s coursework in Special Education from the University of Alberta. He feels his main qualification for his job is having raised three happy and dynamic children, 27, 21 and 18. Although he admits to having made an enormous number of mistakes during that time, he has learned from many of them, and looks forward to sharing his experiences in this workshop.
Doug Spears is currently working for Penticton and District Community Resources, in the Integrated Family Development Program, counseling families and youth. He has been working in the human service field for about 15 years, most of it in Penticton and Summerland. He grew up in Penticton, and moved to Kelowna in 1973, then on to Nelson from 1995 to 1998. He now lives near Summerland, and has 3 children, ages 15, 23, and 26, and is currently looking after 3 foster children, ages 3, 6 and 8.
Credit Union

Anger, Mistaken Behaviour and Your Child’s Growth & Development, Brenda Barber

This workshop will assist all individuals who work or live with toddlers and preschoolers to better understand their child’s
anger and behaviour, why it may be occurring, and how to manage difficult times.
Brenda Barber has been the StrongStart Facilitator at Queen’s Park Elementary School for the past 3 ½ years. She
taught preschool for 11 years, and was an Early Childhood Education College Instructor for 13 years. Brenda is also a
curriculum developer with 2010 Legacies Now Project, and developed the Early Childhood Education Program for Sprott-
Shaw Community College.

Mad Scientist, Corinne Valleau

Do your children ask “How” and “Why” and “What Happens If…”? Would you like to learn some new and exciting science
experiments to do with children? Then join us to learn how to become a “Mad Scientist”. In this workshop you will
participate in hands-on experiments using inexpensive household items. Be prepared to have fun!
Corinne Valleau is an Early Childhood Educator and has her degree in Child and Youth Care. She is currently the senior
consultant with Penticton & District Child Care Resource and Referral, and a mother of two children.

Early Literacy: The Link to Future Success and How to Make It Fun! Naomi Ludington and
Theresa Swift

Early literacy is a priority in the healthy development of our children. In this workshop you will learn why and how literacy
creates a foundation for future success, and how to make literacy fun in your day to day interactions with children through
conversation, stories, and play. Participants will be provided with a wonderful board book gift and a handout of key tips.
Theresa Swift is a mother of two young children and has been working with children and families for the past 9 years,
facilitating Mother Goose and other parenting and early literacy programs. She currently works at Sen Pok Chin School
teaching the Head Start program for four year olds.
Naomi Ludington is the mother of 3 teenaged girls. She is also an educator and currently is the Literacy Coordinator for
Literacy Now in the South Okanagan-Similkameen region. Family Literacy, including early literacy for infants to 6 year
olds, is one of the key areas of focus for Literacy Now.

Laugh Alive! Hugh McClelland

As a parent, the ability to laugh can be a lifesaver for both you and your kids! Science is telling us that laughter has
tremendous physical, emotional and cognitive benefits. Plus laughter has the ability to turn a grey day bright, and a long
car ride into a fun time. In this hilariously informative workshop, we’ll explore how the right kind of laughter in your family
benefits everyone’s health, emotional state, and cognitive development. We’ll practice ways to have more and healthy
laughter with your kids using fun and simple techniques for yourself and your family.
Hugh McClelland’s career includes pre-school teacher, school teacher, counsellor, educational media producer, and
communications consultant. He is a father and a proud Grandad (don’t get him started!) and lives in Naramata. He is a
Certified Laughter Leader and is a senior trainer in the practice of Laughter Yoga. He has been speaking about and
teaching the benefits of laughter for twelve years. (www.laughalive.com)

Kindermusik with Ms. Bee, Nancy Browne

In this workshop you will experience fun musical activities that stimulate brain development in every area of the brain.
Combining music and movement, these activities develop fine and gross motor skills, vocal, social, and musical skills. Be
prepared to explore musical instruments, sing, laugh, dance, and play.
Nancy Browne is a licensed Kindermusik Educator who teaches music and movement programs to caregivers and
children ages newborn to 7 years of age. She experienced many years as a lead vocalist and musician, and now
engineers recording projects, teaches, coaches and encourages all ages to become involved in music, and gets the
greatest pleasure introducing children to a world of possibilities through music.

Brain Gym, Pat Everatt

Brain Gym activities improve coordination and develop focus and attention. In this very active workshop you will learn
movements that encourages stimulation of the brain to bring about rapid and lasting positive changes in a child’s abilities
in the areas of understanding, behaviour, emotional, visual, reading, and motor skills.
Pat Everatt is a Licensed Brain Gym© Consultant and Instructor in the South Okanagan. She offers Brain Gym services
in schools, teaches courses and workshops, and works with clients of all ages.