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Special needs mini conference is Saturday

SALISBURY – Partners in Learning will have its annual special needs mini conference on Saturday.

Partners in Learning, in partnership with Smart Start Rowan, Benchmarks and the Rowan County Department of Social Services, will sponsor “Focus on Resiliency” at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. The conference will emphasize the importance of maintaining balance through several break-out sessions.

Alan Hand, behavior liaison for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, will present “Restorative Practices in the Classroom,” about adopting techniques to teach self-management, problem solving and relationship building.

Terri Pickett and Taneka Gibson, of Creative Counseling and Wellness Center, will share strategies to build coping skills for children who have experienced trauma.

Amy Vestal, behavior specialist at Partners in Learning, will speak on ABA techniques and how they can help reduce repetitive and unwanted behaviors. Lastly, Emilie Scharf and Deborah Howell, of Triple P Practitioners, will discuss how parents can create a better future for their children using the “Triple P Way.”

“We are so excited to be able to offer this conference each year. This year’s conference is especially exciting because our theme is resiliency,” said Norma Honeycutt, executive director of Partners in Learning. “So many families are affected by trauma, and teachers are on the front lines of serving these children and families, often experiencing second-hand trauma. This year’s conference will help parents and teachers understand what trauma is, how it affects the body and brain, and how we can build resiliency in our community.”

“What a wonderful opportunity for our community and families,” said Tonya Correll, family support specialist for Partners in Learning. “We are often involved with victims of trauma in our community and in our families without even knowing it. Some of it is first-hand trauma, while other occurrences are secondary trauma (hearing another’s experience).

“This year our mini conference is focusing on the impact of trauma and how to help ourselves and each other,” Correll added. “Together, we will make a difference as a trauma-informed community.”

Taryn Hayes, a parent who has attended the conference, said she learned practical tips that she put to use immediately.

“I left feeling empowered to try new techniques with my children that were easy to incorporate,” Hayes said. “Now these techniques are like second nature to us and we utilize the Triple P principles in our home on a daily basis. Over the past year, we have seen a drastic reduction in tantrums and acting out behaviors.”

Registration is open to the public. Sessions start at 8:30 a.m., with registration from 8 to 8:30 a.m.

To register, visit http://epartnersinlearning.org/upcoming-events/ or call 704-638-9020.

Partners in Learning serves as the Model Inclusive Center providing care to children 6 weeks through 5 years old in Rowan County. The center cares for more than 200 children. It is the only program in Rowan County accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The organization serves children on site and throughout the community, as well as in the children’s homes.

For more information about the center, visit epartnersinlearning.org.

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