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Niagara University's Levesque Center presents free summit on early childhood mental health


Mon, Aug 22nd 2022 07:00 am

The coronavirus pandemic has focused national attention on the mental health of young children. To help early childhood professionals better support the mental health and well-being of children and their families, Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement is presenting an early childhood mental health summit. The summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Russell J. Salvatore Dining Commons on the Niagara University campus. There is no charge to attend.

Participants will learn from industry experts and participate in breakout sessions that are focused on best practices for supporting children and their families while being mindful of their own self-health and the role it plays in both their personal and professional success.

Speakers include Anthony Toombs Sr., Charles Clark and Dr. Tamar Jacobson.

Toombs is a trauma counselor and senior playmaker guide for The Life is Good Playmakers, a nonprofit organization with a mission to spread the power of optimism to help kids heal. Throughout his more than 15 years with LiGP, Toombs has partnered with thousands of early childhood educators across the U.S. and Haiti to help create more safe, loving and joyful environments for kids to engage, connect and explore.

Clark is the founder of the What Matters Foundation, an organization that has impacted more than 30,000 student-athletes through scholarships and events. The motivational speaker, author and expert in mindset and mental health draws from his own experience as a student-athlete to give young people the resources and the encouragement they need to succeed in life.

Featured speaker Jacobson is an early childhood development and education consultant. She is the former director of the University at Buffalo Child Care Center and currently serves on the consulting editors panel for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Jacobson is the recipient of the 2003 Director of the Year Award from the National Coalition of Campus Children’s Centers, the 2013 National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award, and is a former fellow in the Child Trauma Academy. She is author of “Confronting Our Discomfort: Clearing the Way for Anti-Bias,” “Don’t Get So Upset! Help Young Children Manage Their Feelings by Understanding Your Own,” and “Everyone Needs Attention: Helping Young Children Thrive.”

Both Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits and New York State Office of Family Services (OCFS) training hours will be offered to attendees. The summit is funded by the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation. For more information or to register, visit www.niagara.edu/ecsummit.

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