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R5HSA Conference Sessions


Hosted by Region 5 Head Start Association in Partnership with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin HSAs

We are working furiously to get session and details of those sessions assembled for all our eager attendees.  In the meantime here is an overview of the conference session schedule.  Check back here for more as details are added daily.

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Descriptions of Sessions Planned

R5HSA Annual Conference

General Conference Itinerary

Monday, October 3

9:00 am - 9:30 am Pre-conference Check In

9:30 am - 12:00 pm Morning Session

12:00 am - 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Afternoon Sessions 

Tuesday, October 4

9:00 am - 9:30 am Pre-conference Sessions Check In

9:30 am - 11:45 am Pre-conference Sessions

10:00 am - 5:00 pm Conference Service Desk Open

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Opening Keynote Speaker

2:45 pm - 4:45 p.m Concurrent Sessions

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Welcome Reception (Inside Exhibit Hall)

Wednesday, October 5

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Conference Service Desk Open

8:30 am - 5:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open

8:30 am - 8:50 am Creative Mornings

9:00 am - 10:30  pm Concurrent Sessions

10:45 am - 12:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Luncheon/Keynote Speaker

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Thursday, October 6

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Conference Service Desk Open

8:30 am - 5:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open

8:30 am - 8:50 am Creative Mornings

9:00 am - 10:30  pm Concurrent Sessions

10:45 am - 12:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Luncheon/Keynote Speaker

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Friday, October 7

8:00 am - 10:00 am Conference Service Desk Open

8:30 am - 8:50 am Creative Mornings

9:00 am - 10:30 pm Concurrent Sessions

10:45 am - 12:00 pm Closing &  Keynote Speakers

Concurrent Conference Field Trips
Sign Up begins Tues, 10/4 at the Check-In Table. 
Attendee Limit: 22 people per trip

Wednesday, October 5

Chicago Commons' Nia Family Center + IFF  (9:00 am-12:00 pm)

Chicago Commons' Nia Family Center is excited to share how small, moderate, and large investments can infuse child-directed Reggio Emilia pedagogy into classrooms and other learning spaces. During the visit, you will see how we use nature, furniture placement, and natural light to create opportunities for children to explore their curiosities and establish a lifelong love for learning. Attendees will have an opportunity to see how a range of resources such as volunteer, philanthropy, and community engagement have made a significant impact on Nia Family Center families and the surrounding Humboldt Park community. 

Chicago Commons will require all guests to wear masks during the tour and sign a COVID health screener waiver. Hand sanitizer and extra masks will be available if needed. Anyone who is feeling sick the day of the tour should refrain from attending. 

Sponsored by:  

El Valor - Carlos Cantu Center (9:00am-12:00pm)

El Valor is one of the largest providers of early childhood education in the Chicagoland area. El Valor’s Children’s Programs support families through seamless, comprehensive programming that fosters creative and innovative child development services, parental involvement, multiculturalism, and respect.  Children’s development, including children with special needs, are strengthened through relationship building, community partnerships, professional leadership, strong management systems, and family advocacy. El Valor works with more than 2,000 children under the age of five, 20% who are diagnosed with a developmental or physical disability.

When visiting El Valor Carlos H. Cantu  Center you will experience culturally relevant dual language programming. SMART enhanced curriculum practice and innovative approaches to Parent Engagement.

Carole Robertson Center for Learning - North Lawndale (1:45-4:45pm)

For nearly 50 years, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has been dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering Chicago's children and families through high quality, impactful, and comprehensive programming and services. One of our three flagship locations, serving more than 200 children 6 weeks of age to age 12, is located in Chicago's historic North Lawndale neighborhood. 

On this visit to our North Lawndale site, you'll learn more about the Carole Robertson Center's legacy and namesake, the history of North Lawndale as a base of our nation's Civil Rights Movement, and the ways in which we honor our legacy in present day by grounding our programs and services in social justice and equity practices and principles. 

We kindly ask that all participants be fully masked while in the building. 

Field Museum of Natural History- Crown Family PlayLab (1:45-4:45pm)

Learn how the Field Museum is sparking curiosity and bringing science-based learning to life for early childhood audiences! You'll explore the ways in which museum education can foster healthy growth and development. You'll first visit the Field Museum's Crown Family PlayLab - an interactive, family-friendly space where children can engage in play-based learning that connects to the wonders of nature, global cultures and scientific inquiry.

After touring the PlayLab's dramatic play bases, discovery studio, rhythm room, scientists' lab and field stations, you'll then participate in an Object-Based Learning professional development. You'll learn how to incorporate real objects into your classroom that enhance students' inquiry, wonder, and generate authentic discussions based on what they observe. 

Rounding out your visit, you'll put your explore skills to the test as you venture through ECE-friendly exhibits and uncover the museum's collection of artifacts and specimens through the eyes of your students. 

Thursday, October 6

Trinity UCC + IFF (9:00 am-12:00 pm)

Trinity UCC Child Care Centers, Inc is rooted in providing children and families with an African-centered, holistic, and high-quality child-development experience. Visit us and see how staff blend our rich African culture into the Creative Curriculum, lesson plans, and daily schedule! Listen to our African drummer while he plays for our interactive Village Circle.  The Village Circle, which is led by our children, enhances their confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills. 

As a bonus, you will learn the essential elements of high-quality classrooms and environments from our partners at IFF. Visitors will observe and learn how flooring, paint colors, furniture placement, and natural light create opportunities for children to develop, explore and establish a lifelong love for learning. 

Sponsored by:  

Asian Human Services (9:00 am - 12:00 pm)

Come learn with Asian Human Services-Passages Early Learning center on how to support refugee and immigrant families through a Reggio-Emilia inspired program with a Family Center Learning program. AHS Passages provides home visiting and 15 months through 8th grade services in one building to provide a continuity of learning while supporting families through AHS programs such as Adult Education, Employment, Behavioral Health and Community Health Services. 

Our programming focuses on family cultures, traditions, and values as the center of a community of learners. Through our Early Childhood Bridge program, families also have the opportunity to learn more about joining th education field and how to access resources to further their own education.

Participants on the field trip will hear a short presentation from the site director, take a tour of the classrooms, and participate in a hands-on materials workshop with a teacher. Participants can expect to learn strategies on implementing family learning and using Reggio inspired approaches within their own Head Start context. 

Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier (1:45-4:45pm)

Join us at the Chicago Children's Museum, located right on Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, for a behind-the-scenes guided tour of our exhibits with a special focus on early childhood. Hear about learning through play from an expert educator and take a closer look at the learning environments carefully designed and facilitated at the museum. Explore exhibits as a small group and take ideas and inspiration back to your own centers.

Start Early - Corporate Office (1:45-4:45pm)

As leaders in early learning and care,  Start Early applies our deep expertise in program, policy, and research to optimize and scale our work, a comprehensive approach that helps us have the greatest impact on children, families, and educators.

We focus solely on the first years of a child's life, starting even before birth, to have the most significant impact on children and families, especially those living in under-resourced communities. For nearly 40 years, we have worked directly with children and parents, providing doula and home visiting services and quality center-based care that ensure children are ready to transition to kindergarten. 

Participants will have an opportunity to visit the Start Early office and early childhood training facility in downtown Chicago where they will meet policy, research, and program colleagues who will lead an engaging session on the latest innovations in early childhood leadership, advocacy, and systems building.