The Northland Foundation will host its Regional Early Childhood Summit on Wednesday, May 1st at the Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth Conference Center, Great Lakes Ballroom, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It wilt offer a day of learning and small-group discussion time to district teams of superintendents, principals, teachers, early childhood specialists, and others who work with young learners and families. More than 280 people are attending representing 29 northeastern MN districts and schools as well as more than 30 individuals from the child care, social and human services, nonprofit, and higher education sectors.

The keynote speaker, Clay Cook, Ph.D., will present “The Why, What, and How of Integrating Trauma-Informed Practices: Altering a School’s Culture and Climate and Personalized Interventions for Students with SEBD.” In the morning session, Cook will discuss why a nurturing and responsive school environment is critical to promote students’ social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing as well as the foundation for academic and life success, and how changes in what adults say and do help create that positive environment.

In the afternoon, Dr. Cook will address personalized interventions for students with social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Cook is the John and Nancy Peyton Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing at the University of Minnesota, an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program, and co-founded the School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center at the University of Washington.

“We know that students don’t leave the trauma they have experienced, or their learning or mental health challenges, outside the door to the school each day,” stated Lynn Haglin, Northland Foundation’s Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director. “Starting with early education and continuing throughout the school years, educators need practical tools to help ensure every child is supported to learn and achieve. We are excited to bring Dr. Cook to northeastern Minnesota to share his knowledge.”

The Northland Foundation offers the Summit at no charge to attendees, with support from the Blandin Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Southern St. Louis County Family Service Collaborative, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Great River Energy, and the Medica Foundation.