Workshop Descriptions

Recognizing Trauma: The Art of Helping One Another Heal

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Registration now OPEN!

Online Registration:

  • $60 Full Day Registration, 7:30 am to 4:15 pm (lunch included)
  • $40 Half Day Registration, 7:30 am to 12:45 pm (no lunch)
  • NOTE:
    • Session 2-I, “Mask-Making as a Tool for Working with Trauma” has been replaced by “Tender Touch: Exploring the Benefits of Infant Massage”

Mail Registration:

  • Download the form to register by mail

Conference Schedule

  • 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM – Registration, Coffee & Networking
  • 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM – Keynote Presentation
  • 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM – Session I
  • 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM – Session II
  • 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM – Lunch / Information Booths / Vendors / Sensory Room
  • 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM – Session III
  • 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Session IV


Keynote Presentation (8:30 AM – 9:45 AM)

TRAUMA: What is it? Who is Impacted? What can I do?
Dr. Intisar Shareef
Co-Chair & ECE Faculty, Contra Costa College

Dr. Intisar Shareef is the Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department at Contra Costa College. Dr. Shareef received a doctorate degree in early childhood education from Nova University and has experience teaching at all levels from preschool through college. She co-authored two articles with Janet Gonzalez-Mena, about their experience of doing PITC training for Exchange magazine and one about cultural perspectives on discipline for the NAEYC journal Young Children. In addition, she co-authored the publication Practice on Building Bridge, a companion resource to Diversity in Early Care and Education, 5th Ed.

Dr. Shareef has taught Child Development classes at Contra Costa College for over 30 years. Along with teaching, she has been an Independent ECE consultant for 30 years. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Shareef has worked as a Faculty Member for the Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC). She has presented numerous times for Head Start Programs throughout the Country. She works as a consultant for The Whole Child International, which is a program that works to improve the quality of orphanages around the world. She has presented trainings for The Whole Child International in Nicaragua and El Salvador educating center administrators, caregiving staff and government officials. Dr. Shareef was trained in the Pikler Method of Infant Care and currently serves as a Board Member at the Pikler Institute in the United States.

Most recently Dr. Shareef traveled to the Midwest with Dr. Chelsea Bailey who is the Anji Play representative in the United States. The pair will travel to China in April to learn more about Anji Play in hopes of developing a demonstration model in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Shareef is a passionate mother, professor, author, and prominent leader in the ECE community. Out of all of her accomplishments and contributions to the community, her most rewarding experience is witnessing the accomplishments of her students. This makes her feel like her work in the world truly makes a difference.

Session I (10:00 AM – 11:15 AM)



The Healing Environment

Dr. Intisar Shareef, Co-Chair & ECE Faculty, Contra Costa College

Michell Naidoo, Early Learning Center Director & ECE Faculty, Contra Costa College

A healing environment starts with feeling safe. In this session, we will discuss the components of a safe environment for young children. We will also examine specific teacher interventions that facilitate healing. Participants will have opportunities to practice techniques learned in the session along with new strategies to use in the classroom. (Each participant will leave with a child-friendly activity book to use with young children).


“Can’t we all just get along?” Committing to a Common Purpose while Building a Team

Carol Carter, ECE Instructor, Los Medanos Community College & Director, Joyful Beginnings

Join me as we discuss positive ways to build teams, share responsibilities and manage challenging relationships within our schools. We will explore ways of team building using the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, Ice Breakers and “Trade Secrets” as we work to keep it all together.

I have directed a number of local preschools for the past 25 years and am currently the Director at Joyful Beginnings Preschool in Lafayette.



Nutrition Support for Caregivers and Educators

Stephanie Snyder, Holistic Nutritionist, Food Harmony

There are many factors that contribute to our well-being and success. Many of them are out of our control. Fortunately the area of nutrition, which critically impacts health and emotions, is a variable that can have an important influence. Please join Nutritionist Stephanie Snyder as we explore the role nutrition and stress have on our bodies and learn simple ways to boost energy, improve sleep, diminish aches and pains and meet our ever changing dietary needs.



Identification and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Craig Pierini, Consultant

This workshop is designed to familiarize attendees with child abuse and neglect reporting responsibilities, as identified in the California Penal Code and to understand the different categories of abuse and neglect. Examples of what is and is not child abuse will be presented. Reasonable suspicion, a core concept in the identification of abuse and neglect, will be explored. The workshop will include interactive activities.


Building a Bridge though Creativity

Kathi Hamilton, Resource & Referral Counselor, Contra Costa Child Care Council

Creativity is filled with meaning and you can be a bridge between that meaning and the children in your program. You can bring calm through creativity and give voice to what they create from that meaning…children learn through play…come play for a bit and learn new ways to create through art, science and music.

Come be three again (my favorite age) and be reminded what creativity means through the eyes of a child.



Licensing Updates

Natalie Dunaway, Nothern California Child Care Advocate, Community Care Licensing California Department of Social Services

Last year was a busy year for the California Legislature in regards to child care! Come and hear all the latest updates! Also, this is a great time to ask questions!


Positive Self Equals Positive Relationships with Children

Manuel Kichi Wong, Child Development Instructor, City College of San Francisco

Waking up every morning with a smile on your face can make a difference in the lives of children. You have to start “with yourself”, your inner self, likes it’s the first day of school-to carry on each day with a positive attitude, determination of sharing joy, and giving 200 percent of yourself. Come share your joys and experiences of children that give you “power” each day to carry on, pass on the excitement with children, and to give them experiences/memories for a lifetime.


“Implicit Bias is Like the Wind, You Can’t See it but You Can Sure See the Effects”

Katherine Clifford, Chairperson, BANDTEC

The title of this session is a quote from Walter Gilman, professor at the Yale Child Study Center where research has shown that we all have our own unconscious biases. Yes, preschool teachers too! Join us to learn more about our unconscious biases and how, we as children, learn these biases at a very early age. Examine how our unconscious biases affect teaching, learning, and ECE practices.


Healing Our Teachers

Laurie Prusso-Hatch, Certified Parent Educator & Trainer,

As our understanding of early childhood trauma deepens we recognize that many adults who work with children bring their pain with them into the classroom and workplace. This workshop discusses the sources of our adult dispositions, attitudes, and behaviors that directly affect our work with children. The workshop is interactive, informative, dynamic and healing. It is a beginning toward real change in the relationships in our field.


(SPANISH ONLY) Como Crear un Ambiente Rico en Alfabetización

Lucy Parada, Program Supervisor, Tandem, Partners in Learning & Cecilia Valdez, Community Literacy Specialist, Tandem, Partners in Learning



Session II (11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)


Keeping Peace – Conflict Resolution

Michell Naidoo, Early Learning Center Director & ECE Faculty, Contra Costa College

Denise Marshall-Thomas, ECE Faculty, Contra Costa College

“NO! It’s mine”, “You not my friend”, You can’t play”, “Sob sob…she hit me”

Sound familiar?

These are a few of the types of conflicts that occur in preschool classrooms. What is your role as a teacher? How do you help to empower children and help them learn problem-solving skills? This workshop will address the types of conflicts observed, the feelings generated not only between the parties involved in the conflict but also with the teacher as well as a conflict conversion technique. Participants will have an opportunity to practice techniques learned.


Creating Safe Havens in Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

Debbie Supple, Director, CPIN Lead Bay Region 4 CA Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)/Contra Costa County Office of Education

Eloisa Mendoza-Hinds, English Learner Lead, CPIN Lead Bay Region 4 CA Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)/Contra Costa County Office of Education

John Moon, CPIN Lead, CPIN Lead Bay Region 4 CA Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)/Contra Costa County Office of Education

Mitigating stress is the first step on the path to healthy social-emotional development for young children. Brain architecture has great plasticity and continues to change throughout life and emotional competencies can be taught through purposeful teaching and strategic planning. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn the research behind learning and toxic stress, along with classroom strategies to help buffer the effects of trauma on children while engaging them in fun self-regulation activities.


The Impact of Violence on a Child’s Developing Brain

Craig Pierini, Consultant

Did you know….Research from Dr. Bruce Perry and others strongly suggest that the brains of children, 0-3, who are chronically exposed to violence, are organized differently? In this session, we will explore basic neuroscience, along with learning how these children process information along with discovering types of strategies and interventions that are consistent with the science.


Building Relationships with Toddlers through Project Work

Maylis Treuil, Primary Care-giver & Teacher, Old Firehouse School & Carolyn Lake, Primary Care-giver & Teacher, Old Firehouse School

These teachers will tell the story of two groups of toddlers and two year olds and the gradual growth of their mental focus and relationship building skills. At Old Firehouse School we believe that nurturing theses strong foundational skills builds resilience in children. The tools for these transformations, “Care-play” and “Project Work,” will be demonstrated. Participants will leave with new tools to use in their work with this age group.


Using Puppets to Help Children Heal

Barbara Grillo-Selleck, Professor Emeritus, Early Childhood Education, Contra Costa College & Contra Costa Child Care Council Board President

Learn how puppets can be used to help children express and manage their fears, feelings and frustrations. View samples of puppet products designed to help children recognize and manage their feelings. Practice with using puppets (they will be provided) to allow for the expression of feelings and thoughts which might otherwise remain hidden or repressed. Plan for how you can use puppets to help a child heal.


Creating Healing Instruments

Ananda (Bliss) Kenboya, Founder & Lead Facilitator, The Inner Soul Vibration

Participants will learn how to use everyday items as instruments. We will use a few household items to make “instruments” and include our voices and bodies as instruments as well.


Early Language and The Growing Brain

Lucy Parada, Program Supervisor, Tandem, Partners in Learning & Cecilia Valdez, Community Literacy Specialist, Tandem, Partners in Learning



A Journey from Trauma to Joy: What We Need to Do for Every Child

Laurie Prusso-Hatch, Certified Parent Educator & Trainer,

Focusing on my personal experience working with a child who had experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences and was separated from his parents and using an understanding of child development, ACES, trauma and the tools of Positive Discipline and love, we discovered what real Trauma Informed Care looks like in practice. This workshop tells the story and describes the “do’s and don’ts” for working with children who are hurting. And, happily, these “do’s and don’ts” apply to all children and other human beings. Fun, dynamic, heartwarming and hopeful!


Tender Touch

Exploring the Benefits of Infant Massage

Sandra Moore, ECE Department Co-Chair, Contra Costa College & Licensed Massage Therapist

This workshop will explore how growth happens through the stimulation of the 5 senses. The learning process will include interactive games and activities. This workshop will also include learning some basic massage techniques.


(SPANISH ONLY) “El Poder de Las Interacciones”

Nelly Orantes, Family Child Care Owner


Session III (1:30 PM – 2:45 PM)


Long Term Effects of Trauma

Yolonda Young-Adisa, MSW, ASW, Clinical Social Worker

How does trauma impact children? Are there long term effects? These are questions we need to know when working with young children. Come discover the answers and explore strategies and interventions to help children heal from traumatic life experiences.


Music-Making for Children

Jacqueline Hairston, Multi-level Professional Musician, J S Productions

My approach to making music with children is to demonstrate how to use imaginative channels of creativity: singing, movement, playing “make-believe” instruments, etc. When children sing, dance, or play rhythmic instruments, their involvement awakens their creativity like no other art form. Plato stated: “music is a more potent instrument than any other for education.” Music is a gift for children that will last their entire lives plus enhance all areas of their development.


A Parent’s Challenge to the “We got this” Mentality: Teachers and Parents Effectively Communicating

Cynthia Cooke St. Ange, Parent

With dozens of approaches to meeting the needs of traumatized children, many professionals “know” how to get it done. Is your plan best?  In my traumatized child’s journey, “We’ve Got This” is the standard refrain from providers at all levels. But how do they know?  What if they don’t?  This parent’s challenge looks beyond theories and personal views to offer a broader perspective for providers to consider in becoming part of the healing solution for children who live with the effect of trauma.


Sacred Sounds for Healing

Ananda (Bliss) Kenboya, Founder & Lead Facilitator, The Inner Soul Vibration

Discussion will include the drum as a connection to the heart and as a tool for grounding. Participants will be taught a chant or two and will join in with us using their voice or created instruments.



Mindful Self-Care through Meditation and Sharing of Resources

Andrea Colombu, MA, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Caring for others begins with knowing how to care for ourselves!

The self-care of child care professional is often not a top priority, and sometimes outright forgotten. Providing effective self -care is essential to our personal and professional lives.

In this experiential presentation, we’ll learn about the health benefits of Mindfulness Mediation; we’ll practice simple and effective mindfulness techniques designed to restore mental and physical well-being and provide valuable resources for the demands of today’s child care professional.


Kindness and Resilience through Project Work

Tammy Liu, Primary Care-giver & Teacher, Old Firehouse School & Chelsea Bryson, Primary Care-giver & Teacher, Old Firehouse School

These two preschool teachers will demonstrate the use of emergent curriculum and circle time activities to foster a spirt of cooperation and resilience in preschool children. Hear all about a group of three year olds who studied “kindness” for three months and a group of four year olds who developed “super Hero” powers through their “Super Hero’ project. The philosophy of the Old Firehouse school will be explained and explored as the themes of attachment and cooperation are woven through theses curriculum projects.



Session IV (3:00 PM – 4:15 PM)



Mindfulness for Self-Care and Meditation

Wendy Beckerman, Mindfulness Instructor, East Bay Yoga

Mindfulness is our capacity to bring kindhearted attention to whatever’s happening in the present moment, no matter how challenging. This engaging workshop offers tools to help you relate wholeheartedly to your immediate experience, bringing more ease and presence into your body and your life, just as they are. We will practice a variety of guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, and gentle movement techniques. We will also discuss simple self-care tools that can easily be practiced throughout the day.


Art through the Eyes of the Child

Anna Calonje, Founder & Director, Little Artistas

In this dynamic and creative workshop, you will learn about what art is and is not, why art matters to children and how to nurture creativity in the classroom. In addition to engaging in hands-on activities, participants will leave with a packet of lesson plans to use in their classrooms.


Dance Your Cares Away with Zumba!

Denisse Padilla, Instructor, Zumba

Come dance away your stress! This Zumba class will help you burn the pounds as you release stress. Once the Latin and world beats touch your soul you will be energized, motivated and inspired!


Drum Our Souls Free!

Afia Walking Tree, Artistic Director, Spirit Drumz

Give yourself PERMISSION – GET your soul back! Awaken & Release your voice through drum-specific techniques, rhythms,stories, songs and dances. Participants will release trauma, restore their energy, and find new pathways to resilience. No Drumming experience necessary, everyone is welcome!


Mix It Up – Colors and Textures and Toddlers, Oh My!

Benu Chhabra, Family Child Care Owner & Family Child Care of Contra Costa County Board President

Let’s embrace the opportunities for toddlers to create art by encompassing their whole beings into the event.  Using different colors, mediums, textures, and everyday household items we can lure them in, gaining crucial exposure, involvement and engagement in stimulating and beneficial activities all by appealing to the toddlers senses.



Plausible Answers to the Question: “Why Do They Do That?”

Paul Pitner, ECE Faculty, Diablo Valley College

This will be hands-on reference guide for parents, other caregivers, and teachers that takes a unique approach to children’s behaviors that often dismay and puzzle adults. A practical format will present the following: Behaviors addressed in my book, such as crying, destructiveness, etc., and then provide plausible answers (does it stem from social, sensory, communication issues); Basic Training (suggestions for what to do); Over and Above (further ideas, who to consult in serious cases, etc.); Red Flags (first signs that the behavior needs attention); What s Next (possible follow-up) Applicable to children up to five years old.

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