02/22/13 — Child care providers will talk about stopping bullying

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Child care providers will talk about stopping bullying

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 22, 2013 1:46 PM

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Lester Laminack

Bullying starts younger and younger.

Because of that, those who work with the tiniest segment of the population are asking for help nipping the problem in the bud.

"We did a survey of child care providers. We want to offer trainings that are going to be beneficial to them in their job," said Valerie Wallace, assistant executive director of The Partnership for Children of Wayne County. "We surveyed them and that kept coming up over and over and over again, that bullying was something they were interested in."

With that in mind, the annual Wayne County Child Care Conference will center around the topic. It will be held on Saturday, March 2, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Wayne Community College

Co-sponsored by the Partnership and Wayne Community College, the event will feature 10 morning sessions and 19 afternoon options on a variety of subjects. Keynote speaker is Lester Laminack, a children's author and advocate for preventive measures to neutralize bullying behaviors.

Laminack is also a consultant who works with schools throughout the United States and professor emeritus of Western Carolina University's Department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education.

"Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations" is the topic of his keynote address, which will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. in Moffatt Auditorium.

"That's sort of what Lester does -- teaching them kindness. His aspect is more preventive," said Sherry Granberry, lead instructor in the early childhood department at WCC.

Children can be molded into kind, caring people when they're little, she said, adding that Laminack uses "read-alouds"-- lessons that can be learned from children's books and stories -- and guided conversations to accomplish that.

His session will include insights into bullying behaviors and appropriate responses when they occur. Laminack will also present a workshop entitled, "Unwrapping the Read-Aloud: Making Every Read-Aloud an Intentional Act."

A related session on the rising trend of female bullies will also be held that morning, led by Shannon Weeks, a counselor at Goldsboro Counseling Center, who had done a similar session several years ago and was invited to provide training at the child care conference.

The day's topics are not just appropriate for child care providers, though, organizers said. Teachers and parents of other age groups are also welcome to attend.

Sessions are designated for infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age children. Training credit is also awarded to those in the profession.

Workshops offered include preparing children for school, healthy brain development, building healthy adult relationships in the workplace, getting along with difficult people, powerful communication with families, homework help and enhancing classroom environments.

Cost for the conference is $30 in advance, $35 the day of the event. Advance registration is requested but participants can also register on March 2. Lunch will be provided and a variety of vendors will also be on hand.

For more information, call 919-735-3371, ext. 227.