January 19, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sophie Grimes, Communications Coordinator
Organization: Collaboration for Early Childhood
Phone: 708-613-6122
Email: sgrimes@collab4kids.org
Web: Collab4kids.org/symposium-2024

THE COLLABORATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD HOSTS ITS 21st ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM FOR THE EARLY LEARNING COMMUNITY ON FEBRUARY 24, 2024

The Early Childhood Symposium will be held in person at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park and includes a fantastic line-up of workshops and keynote address that will explore different aspects of this year’s theme, “3 R’s: Reflection, Representation, Resilience.” All who care for young children are welcome to attend on February 24, 2024.

The Early Childhood Symposium is an annual gathering that provides an opportunity for anyone who works with young children – educators, caregivers, and parents – to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills and tools for supporting all young children. The event will be held in person at Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave, Oak Park, Illinois. It will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is required to attend. 

The schedule of the day includes breakfast, two workshop sessions, a keynote, lunch, and then an afternoon workshop session. Over thirty workshops will be offered throughout the day for participants to choose from when they register for the event. The keynote presentation, “Elevating Equity in Early Childhood,” will be co-presented by Dr. Angela Searcy and Vincent Rodriquez. Both keynote presenters will also facilitate afternoon sessions. Workshops and the keynote session are eligible for continuing professional development credits. 

Each year the Symposium explores a different theme. Reflection, Representation, and Resilience, the theme this year, are all integral to inclusive and dynamic early learning experiences for our little ones. “The Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Professional Development Committee conceptualized the theme. While these three R’s are essential, we recognize that there are many other R’s that are also key to building communities where young children thrive – relationships, for example, are the context for all child development. We welcome, and encourage participants to come to the Symposium ready to explore the R’s that matter most to them,” says Talley Hann, Co-Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Professional Development Committee.

 “We are so lucky to be able to offer this affordable, high-quality, and enriching event for all the hardworking early childhood professionals right in our own backyard. This year’s roster of workshops covers a wide and inspiring range of early childhood topics. I know it will be hard to choose which workshops to attend, and I can’t wait to be a part of the day’s excitement” says Mary Reynolds, Executive Director of the Collaboration for Early Childhood.  

Symposium regulars may notice a few changes this year in response to feedback that the Collaboration for Early Childhood received from past participants. The keynote address will be shortened from 1.5 hours to about an hour. The Early Bird workshop session, which used to be just an hour, will be lengthened to 1.5 hours to match the timeframe of the morning and afternoon sessions. Attendance will be capped at 300 participants. This will allow for better movement between sessions, easier access to restrooms, and less crowded lunches. 

In addition to a full day of workshops, a keynote address, breakfast, and lunch, participants will have the opportunity to network and explore Play Stations and Resource Tables for even more inspiration. Those who are interested in attending this year’s Symposium can register and learn more at the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s website: www.collab4kids.org/symposium-2024. Those who are interested are strongly encouraged to sign up early as the Collaboration predicts reaching capacity. 

About the Collaboration for Early Childhood

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is a community-driven organization that cultivates the development of the whole child, birth to age five, by engaging families, local organizations, early childhood educators, caregivers, and health providers to create equitable, nurturing, and interconnected systems of support. The Early Childhood Symposium is a cornerstone of the Collaboration’s work.

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