LAKE HAVASU CITY – More than 100 early childhood providers and teachers from across Mohave and La Paz counties received free professional development training at the annual Early Childhood Conference hosted by the Association for Supportive Child Care Saturday, at the Aquatic Center.
Fourteen local early childhood professionals were recognized completing the 120-hours of coursework, portfolio, observation, and assessment needed to earn their Child Development
Seven students from the Lake Havasu High School Little Knights Preschool program earned their CDA credentials this year. Two recent high school graduates were part of the group recognized Saturday.
Marie Hendry, a member of a group of teaching mentors in Lake Havasu City, Kingman, Bouse, Parker and Bullhead City guiding students through the Association for Supportive Child Car’s La Paz, Mohave Professional Development Program, said she has had 11 students earn CDAs over the past few years with another group poised to earn the certification next year.
The Professional Development Program is coordinated by Margee Chieffo.
Cheiffo, of Lake Havasu City, was recognized by the First Things First La Paz/Mohave Regional Partnership Council as their 2016 Champion for Young Children.
First Things First is a statewide organization that partners with parents and organizations to support the health and early learning of all children in Arizona under the age of 5.
Presenters from Kids Included Together led workshops at the conference, along with local professionals including Smoketree Preschool Director, Debra Weger; Mary Halfacre with the Lake Havasu Unified School District and A to Z Therapies; and Catie Sondrol and Colleen McShea of Milemarkers Therapy Inc.
Several recreation leaders who work the summer camp and after-school from the Lake Havasu City Recreation Department attended the conference to better prepare themselves in working with young children.
FTF Regional Director, Vijette Saari, praised the large group of teachers who took their personal time to attend a professional development conference that would improve their skills in their centers and classrooms.
“By furthering your education and developing your skills, you are creating a learning environment that nurtures the social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development of every child in your classroom,” Saari said.
The theme of this year’s CDA cohort was “Building in Success for Children with Special Needs.” Beginning in September, teachers and providers will focus on the theme “Closing the Word Gap” among young children and improving early literacy.
The conference and CDA pathway are provided at no-cost to participants with funding from the First Things First La Paz/Mohave Regional Partnership Council.
For more information, contact Margee Chieffo at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or 928-453-5221.
Feature photo: Leftover food from the Early Childhood Conference hosted by the Association for Supportive Child Care was donated to several local groups and families. Pictured from left are Susan Harris with Catholic Charities; Barbara Gordon with the Association for Supportive Child Care; Vijette Saari with First Things First; Margee Chieffo with the Association for Supportive Child Care; and Rich Crayne and Rachel Kurtz, who spent that afternoon distributing the sack lunches and breakfast burritos to those in need.