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South Alabama Early Childhood Conference in Ozark

Over 200 teachers and administrators gathered at Thompkins Early Childhood Center in Ozark for the 11th Annual South Alabama Early Childhood Conference.

Pre-K through third grade teachers from across the state Wednesday attended the South Alabama Early Childhood Conference in Ozark to learn ways to fight that worn out teacher blues.

Principal Charlotte Eagerton of Thompkins Early Childhood Center says "We have administrators; we have educators from all across the state of Alabama. It's pre-k through third grade and they are here to be motivated for back to school for this upcoming school year, as well as gain a lot of insight toward quality professional development that will assist them in their classrooms."

Presenters from across the country stressed the importance of instilling a love of learning in young children, while mixing in a healthy dose of humor.

"We have lots to teach in this day and lots of state standards to reach; we can teach every child to be a reader and a writer as long as they have the passion to do it. Let’s make sure it stays fun for them," said Education Consultant Donna Whyte.

Workshops focused on skills that would motivate teachers, as well as set the mold for a life of continual learning.

"This is the time, from the time when they are born to when they are 10-years-old that most of the outside information is coming to them. So really, pre-k through third teachers hold them when their whole world is being molded," said Whyte.

Eagerton added, "It all works together, the social, the behavioral, the mental aspects; we try to touch all aspects of the child, cognitively, everything."

Experts remind parents, learning transcends the classroom and goodnight story.

“Read with them in the car, take them to the grocery store, if they want Fruit Loops say, 'find the fruit loops!'; read to them everywhere they go, get them involved in print and they will find a love of learning," concluded Whyte.

Presenters included teachers, authors and a licensed pediatric occupational therapist.


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