Event Makes Learning Fun
BRAWLEY — Lecturer and author Sharron Krull had an audience of dozens of early childhood educators dancing and singing to songs and activities she has implemented in her teaching curriculum for more than 40 years. Krull motivated the crowd as she presented her ideas and experiences through activities geared toward making learning fun for children, with the goal of developing essential skills to help them reach their full potential. She was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s 14th annual Imperial County Early Childhood Education Conference at Brawley Union High School.
Many early childhood educators attended the conference, from those in state-funded programs to employees of the Imperial County Child Development Center.
Imperial Valley College students in the process of getting their associate’s degrees in early childhood education also had an opportunity to earn a half unit credit for attending the conference. This event was put on by the Imperial County Child Development Center Training Consortia.
“It’s all about bringing state and national presenters to our Valley to motivate and inform our early educators, by giving them skills and ideas to promote excellence, which the kids from our communities can benefit from,” said Heather Vessey-Garcia of the Imperial County Office of Education’s Early Child Care and Education Programs.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ENRIQUE BROWN
Krull shows how to make an art figure that helps children develop math skils.
Vessey-Garcia, along with co-worker Lori Riggs, helped coordinate the conference consortia with the support of local sponsors and vendors.
“We’ve forgotten how to have fun in the classroom and are sometimes pressured in trying to make ourselves look like a K-12 class,” Riggs said.
The conference consisted of eight workshops broken into two sessions, allowing attendees the opportunity to choose any two workshops where they could learn new skills and ideas.
The workshops included math and science, digital storytelling, art, preschool learning foundations in social-emotional development, outdoor play experiences for young children, staff motivation and self-esteem, the challenge of behaviors: prevention vs. intervention, and a course in Spanish.
“I learned a lot of art activities which can actually help children with pre-writing skills that I had no idea of,” said Evelyn Cardenas, an IVC student majoring in early childhood development.
The day ended with some attendees leaving with raffle prizes from vendors and sponsors, but most important, they left with new ideas and activities to share with preschool children in the Imperial Valley.