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Durham Region’s Spring Into Literacy Conference is quickly approaching! 

The 7th annual conference for professionals and parents supporting early literacy development of children from birth to six years will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Durham District School Board Office in Whitby, Ontario.

Ready to Register? Visit our Eventbrite registration page.





Keynote by Jill Javelosa-Alvarez

Build A Child’s Brain: Read, Rhyme, Sing and Play

Jill Javelosa-Alvarez, is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a strong educational background. In addition to being a busy mom of two, Jill works as an Early Literacy Specialist for York Region in Ontario. She is passionate about enhancing children`s learning through play and places a strong emphasis on the importance of parent engagement, quality interactions and connection with young children. Jill offers consultations, training, and workshops to parents, caregivers and professionals on how to support children’s early literacy and early numeracy development. She is the author of the books: “ABC, ABC, What Do You See?” and “The Handbook for Busy Parents.” Jill has been nominated for the Educator of Character Category by the York Region Community Character Foundation.

Download Handouts: Keynote Presentation Handout and Circle of Ideas Handout

Breakout Sessions

Participants will have the chance to attend 2 of the following five breakout sessions:

1. Circle of Ideas

Presented by: Jill Javelosa-Alvarez.

2. We Can Read Too: Early Literacy for Children with Complex Needs

Presented by Mandy Myers (left) and Pam (right). Mandy Myers has been a Special Education Teacher for 26 years, specializing in teaching kindergarten children with a variety of speech and physical disabilities. Over the years she has conducted research and adapted resources to meet the needs of all learners. Pam is a Registered Early Childhood Educator graduate from George Brown College with Full Day Kindergarten Training from Seneca College. She has been working with young children for over 20 years. Pam has worked both as an EA and ECE with children with complex needs. She is an expert in adapting materials to meet the needs of her students. Mandy and Pam have presented to teachers, ECE’s and EA’s on topics of special needs early learning for ETFO and various schools boards around the region.They both currently work at Campbell Children’s School, the section 68 school within Grandview. Download Handout: We Can Read Too



3. Outquery

Presented by Sacha Farrell & Karina Borgardts. Sacha Farrell (right) is an Early Literacy Specialist, writer, yoga teacher and has worked in the field of early literacy and adult education with EarlyON for over 15 years. She loves to incorporate a mindful, creative, nature-based approach to her programs and her life. Karina Borgardts (left), is an EarlyON Program Facilitator who has worked in a variety roles with children at the YMCA for over 20 years. She is a co-founder of Outquery, which is a pedagogy rooted in sharing nature and the outdoors with children of all ages.

Download Handouts: Outquery Book List & Outquery Activity Handout



 4. Occupational Therapy Tools for Learning

Presented by Crystal Schultz, Occupational Therapist and Cherrie Kerr, Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant. Cherie Kerr (left) is a PTA/OTA working at Grandview Children’s Centre for 16 years. Cherie works with populations 0 to 20 years old; however most of her experience is in the 0-6 population. Crystal Schultz (right) is an OT working at Grandview Children’s Centre for 2 years. Crystal graduated from McMaster with a masters in Health Science in OT. Crystal works in the preschool age program which is 0-6 years old.

Download Handout: Pre-Printing Skills Checklist



 5. For Pete’s Sake!

Come join Nancy Rotella, Early Literacy Consultant and owner of Thread Tales in discovering learning activities that are based on Pete the Cat books.  This is a make and take workshop where participants will make their own set of Pete the Cat finger puppets. Cost is $10 per person.

Download Handout: Why Pete The Cat