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Academic stars lined up for conference

An upcoming education conference will focus on enhancing resilience in children through education and culture.

The conference is called Celebrating Our Children's Brilliance: Cultivating Resilience and the Importance of Culture in Child Development and Early Childhood Education. It is being organised by Higher Achievers Reliable Tutoring and Testing (HARTT) Services and will be held at the Bermuda College.

Conference Cochair Dr Mellisa Gibbons Tankard of HARTT Services said: “The conference had resulted from a conversation that began seven years ago between professional colleagues locally and in the United States.”

She is working on the conference with Dr Radell Tankard of Heritage Productions and Dr Hakim Rashid of Howard University with the support of Capstone Institute.

The conference will include presentations from several prestigious educators and researchers including W K Kellogg Foundation's Director of Education and Learning Dr Felicia DeHaney. The Kellogg's Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States and has supported many child-related initiatives. Before moving to the foundation, Dr DeHaney was the President and chief executive officer of the National Black Child Development Institute. She often speaks on child development from a cultural perspective.

Also speaking at the conference will be Dr Brenda Walker, a Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida and Director of the Carousel Center. In 1995, she developed Project Pilot, the first of several initiatives that prepared African American men for urban special education teaching careers. She is also the director of a federal outreach and technical assistance project that enhances the urban school research capacity of faculty and graduate students in minority institutions.

Local presenters will include Lovette Lovell from the Child Development Programme, Tina Duke, a learning support specialist, Deputy Principal at Dellwood Middle School and adjunct lecturer at the Bermuda College and Dr Llewellyn Simmons, Director of Academics at the Department of Education. Other professional colleagues will be accompanying them and sharing their expertise during the two-day event.

Topics to be covered include: infusing cultural practices in programmes and concepts to ensure effective delivery of service; culturally competent assessment of children of colour throughout the diaspora; play therapy and strategies to promote emotional resiliency;;redefining the concept of being special; cultural factors in the identification of gifted, talented and different learners; and building resilience in children and families.

Special lunch-time features will include a keynote presentation lecture on Thursday and the launching of a trailer from a documentary about the development of black boys.

The conference will wrap up on Friday with a round-table discussion of the conference key points and a private networking reception to further the dialogue between the local and visiting lecturers. The event will be held on July 2, 3 and 4. Bermuda College students may attend workshops for free. Thursday and Friday conferences are $150 and include lunch. Attending one day of the conference is $65. The Thursday luncheon is $50.

Participation in the conference includes a certificate of attendance for professional development hours and credits.

Tickets are on sale through bdatix.bm or by making contact through higherachievers1@gmail.com or calling 295-9923 for registration information.

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Published June 11, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 11, 2014 at 11:05 am)

Academic stars lined up for conference

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