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September 5, 2016

Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania will host its fifth annual Early Learning Symposium on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. More than 150 childcare providers and preschool teachers are expected to be in attendance.

The theme for this year's symposium is Building Your Bounce and keynote speaker Nefertiti Bruce Poyner, M.Ed., will speak to caretakers about the importance of taking care of themselves, promoting their social/emotional health and how their social/emotional well-being impacts the children in the care both positively and negatively. Along the way she'll give them specific, simple strategies to not only reduce their stress but promote their social/emotional health.

"It is important to train and support teachers working with young children," said Ann Vandervliet Stratton, executive director of Smart Beginnings of Danville Pittsylvania. "Challenging behaviors in the classroom can be frustrating. We are excited to share Poyner's message of hope. When children are emotionally stable they are able to enjoy learning."

Poyner is an author, public speaker and provider of professional development experiences for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) in Villanova, Pa. Poyner's lectures, trainings and publications emphasize the importance of children's social and emotional heath and resilience. She is the co-author of "Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure: 50 activities to Promote Resilience in Young Children." In her 11 years with Devereux, she has touched thousands of

lives at the local and national level. Her purpose in life is simple − to make the world a better place for children by working effectively with the adults who care for them.

A core strategy of Smart Beginnings is to advance the quality of care provided for children from birth to age eight. The symposium contributes significantly to that goal by making professional development for early care providers not only accessible locally but affordable as well. During the symposium, providers will earn 5 hours of certification credit.

In addition to Poyner's keynote speech, she will also be conducting a session entitled Flip It: Transforming Challenging Behavior. Other sessions throughout the day include Developmentally Appropriate Practice – Focusing on Executive Function for Infants – 3, Be Active Kids, Speaking Their Language: Communicating with Infants Through Age 3 and Inside Out and All Around with Emotional Regulation.