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Early Childhood Conference to focus on science learning for keiki

“Hawaii Island: Science from Mauka to Makai,” is the theme for the eighth annual Hawaii Island Early Childhood Conference set for April 24 and 25 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The conference is open to anyone who works in or has an interest in the field of early childhood education, from infant-toddler providers to third-grade teachers. The deadline to register for the conference is April 10.

Organized by Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, this year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Dr. Daniel Gartrell, professor emeritus of early Childhood and Foundations Education at Bemidji State University and Eomailani Kukahiko, a Native Hawaiian scholar that works in the Specialist Curriculum Studies Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She holds a doctorate and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degrees in education and Hawaiian Studies. Her professional work includes the preparation of teachers for Hawaiian communities including Kula Kaiapuni and Native Hawaiian focused charter schools.

Dr. Gartrell has authored numerous textbooks on early childhood education and his Friday night presentation is entitled “Happy, Healthy Keiki: The Heart of STEM.” The evening includes a light buffet.

On Saturday, April 25, 12 workshops will focus around the conference theme, starting at 8 a.m. with the opening session and a keynote by Kukahiko who will speak on “Akeakamai,” which literally means “lover of wisdom” and in this context is being used to represent the idea of science. Her presentation will focus on three main ideas: Hawaiian practice and intelligence, connection place and being the change for keiki.

A special conference room rate is available for attendees at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. For details go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/HIECC2015.

Registration is available for Friday, Saturday or both days. For a registration form, visit www.BabySTEPSHawaii.org. For questions or more information, contact Gail Judd at 987-8710 or by email at [email protected]

Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, a program of Friends of the Future, is an initiative created by individuals and organizations committed to helping all keiki on Hawaii Island to be healthy, happy and to thrive by supporting families, strengthening practitioners and engaging communities. For information on Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, contact Angela Thomas at 887-1228.