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The 10th Annual Supporting Children and Youth Who Struggle Summit
Event Starts:
Friday February 9, 2018
@ 8:00am

Event Ends:
Friday February 9, 2018
@ 3:30pm


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Beloit Memorial High School

1225 4th Street
Beloit, WI 53511

Please enter in the Theater doors on the South end of the building.

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YES! (Youth Emotional Stability) In Rock County



The 10th Annual

Supporting Children and Youth Who Struggle Summit

Friday, February 9, 2018

Beloit Memorial High School,

1225 4th Street, Beloit, WI

Time Schedule:

7:30-8:00        Registration

8:00-9:30        Morning Keynote Speakers

9:30-9:45        Break/Information Fair

9:45-10:30      Panel Introduction

10:30-10:45    Break/Information Fair

10:45-11:45    Panel Breakout Sessions

11:45-12:45    Lunch/Information Fair

12:45-1:45      Afternoon Keynote Speaker

1:45-2:00        Break/Information Fair

2:00-3:30        Breakout Sessions

Online Registration Fee:  $40

Registration Fee at the door:  $50

Student Fee: $20

All registration fees include lunch. 

A limited number of scholarships are available.  They can be requested when registering. Please email kclarquist@gmail.com with requests.

Lunch will not be guaranteed for those who register after January 30th.

Payment Options:  Credit Card, Check, Money Order, Purchase Order or Cash.  No refunds will be given unless notified by February 2nd.

Checks can be made payable to: RWCFS, Inc

Please send checks to:

Attn: YES! Summit
1221 Henry Avenue
Beloit, WI 53511 

Morning Keynote Session: 8:00-9:30 - Auditorium

A Call to Action:  Translating Knowledge of AdversityAnd Trauma into Practice

This session will begin by reviewing some of the key lessons we have learned about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma over the past two decades.  We will describe how adversity and trauma undermines health and well-being while also highlighting how protective processes can promote resilience.  Most importantly, we will focus on gaining a greater awareness of how knowledge of ACEs and trauma can be used to enhance our work with children and families in educational, health, and human service settings.

Presenters:  Josh Mersky, Ph.D., and James "Dimitri" Topitzes, Ph.D.

Strategies at Work Locally - Panel Discussion 9:45-10:30

This panel discussion highlights a sample of local groups' efforts to improve child and youth mental health though a trauma informed lens.  Each group will have an opportunity to briefly describe their group composition, their mission, current efforts and accomplished goals.  Morning Keynote speakers will facilitate discussion on how these efforts are consistent with best practice and research findings.  The panel will be followed by opportunity to hear more information about a group depending on individual audience member choice.

A.  Youth to Youth 4 Change – Debbie Fischer & Maria Acevedo

A strong youth/adult partnership takes place when youth and adults plan, learn and work together – with both groups sharing equally in the decision-making and implementation process.  Youth2Youth 4 Change is a 25-year-old coalition that has a firm youth foundation that includes youth and adults as partners in their work of reducing substance misuse.  We have over 200 youth advocates annually that reach approximately 5,000 youth with a Drug Free presentation.  These youth advocates also serve the coalition in every aspect that our adult member do from serving as a coalition board member, to strategic planning, key stakeholder meetings and working on community environmental strategies.  A panel of youth advocates and experienced adult advisors will share the steps to recruit, organize and retain youth advocates.  We will share some of the successes we have gained because of our strong youth/adult partnership work.

B.  Community Action – Kassie Alfredson

Through this presentation individuals will learn the effectiveness of utilizing experiential programming based on social cognitive learning theory to prevent and/or reduce engagement in risky behaviors.  The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) utilizes evidence-based programming that emphasizes positive youth development best practices.  

C.  School Districts – Katie Clarquist, Gina Deutscher, Shawn Fredricks, Tara Huber & Verlene Orr

The School Districts of Beloit, Janesville and Milton have all taken steps towards creating trauma sensitive schools.  From attending conferences, keeping up-to-date with the latest research and evidence-based strategies as well as leading Professional Development for staff, each district is highlighting the importance of trauma sensitivity not just for those impacted by trauma but for the benefit of all students.  Resources and ideas will be shared on how these districts are making an impact.

D.  JM4C – Shari Faber

This panel discussion will focus on the Trauma-Informed Community of Support grant and the initiatives that this grant is supporting.  The presentation will include an overview of the grant objectives.  The Drug-Endangered Children program, the Handle with Care program and the ACE Interface project will also be discussed.  The focus of this grant is to work on systems change regarding the way that children and youth are cared for when potentially traumatic events impact them.

E.  Rock County Department of Human Services – Tera O’Connor

Rock County has been involved with the Wisconsin Trauma Project since 2014.  The focus going into 2018 is on continued agency culture change.  During the panel, we will talk about the history and our current practices of how we are going about implementing the systematic changes.

F.  Rock County Trauma Task Force - Andrea Ehret, Lisa Line, Penny Nevicosi

This panel discussion will inform participants how the Rock County Trauma Task Force emerged as a multi-disciplinary team in the fall of 2015.  The presentation will provide an overview of the task force’s development, including recruiting stakeholders, defining the vision, and key accomplishments.  We will share our successes and challenges as well as seek input from the audience about future opportunities for the task force.

Strategies at Work Locally - Learning More In Depth 10:45-11:45

This is an opportunity to learn more about a group which presented the outline of their work in the panel discussion.  Audience members can choose to hear more about the group which grabs their interest during this hour-long in depth workshop.  Written outlines of other group’s work will be included in Summit folder, so attendees have information about all six groups in the panel.

Afternoon Keynote Session: 12:45-1:45 - Auditorium

What We Teach Our Children

What children learn from their parents, teachers, family members and caregivers lasts a lifetime. From an early age and throughout their childhood, children learn from the adults who are central to their everyday lives. The values, principles and learning opportunities that are conveyed through modeling, exposure and action are critical. Therefore, it is important to create an environment that recognizes the diversity of our world, addresses bullying, opposes bias, and in small and large ways, challenges those injustices.

Implicit bias describes the automatic association people make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups. Under certain conditions, those automatic associations can influence behavior—making people respond in biased ways even when they are not explicitly prejudiced. More than thirty years of research in neurology and social and cognitive psychology has shown that people hold implicit biases even in the absence of heartfelt bigotry, simply by paying attention to the social world around them. Implicit racial bias has given rise to a phenomenon known as “racism without racists,” which can cause institutions or individuals to act on racial prejudices, even in spite of good intentions and nondiscriminatory policies or standards.

As a result of this phenomenon, children of color are often and unwittingly exposed to racial trauma.  Racial Trauma is the impact racism and discrimination have on the physical and mental health of people of color.   Through stories and studies, we will discuss the traumatic affect that explicit and implicit racial bias have on children of color.

Presenter: Marc Perry, Director of Community Programs, Community Action, Inc. of Rock and Walworth Counties

Breakout Sessions 2:00-3:30

A.    Creating an Inclusive Classroom – 

Does your classroom environment and lesson planning reflect the diversity in your classroom?  Anti-bias teaching requires critical thinking and problem solving by both children and adults.  The overarching goal is creating a climate of positive self and group identity development, through which every child will achieve her or his fullest potential.

In the context of the classroom, valuing diversity means creating a classroom that recognizes and respects difference.  It is a classroom that identifies and highlights the unique contributions that individuals with many types of differences can make.  Most importantly, it is a classroom that is reflective of all of the students that reside within.

Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people.  It involves recognizing the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness.  Inclusion is the process of involving and valuing all people in an environment regardless of their differences.  Inclusion requires proactive strategy that reflects a conscious decision to respect individuals. 

Ignoring diversity can lead to significant issues.  Some of the consequences can include unhealthy tensions;  increased conflict;  students of color feeling isolated or alienated and diminished self-efficacy.

The following components will be addressed in this session as it relates to diversity and inclusion in the classroom: (1) What Works in Diverse Classrooms, (2) Real Challenges in the Classroom, and (3) Managing and Inspiring Diverse Students.

Presenter: Marc Perry, Director of Community Programs, Community Action, Inc. of Rock and Walworth Counties

B.     Understanding Mindfulness:  Applying mindfulness to your working relationships 

People who work in helping professions are vulnerable to stress and burnout.  This workshop will focus on the definition of mindfulness, basic research of its usefulness, and application of mindfulness to working life with consumers, co-workers and family.  The workshop presenter will use lecture, discussion and actual practice with mindfulness to facilitate learning. 

Presenter: Mare Chapman, Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher

C.    Brain Architecture Game:  An Interactive Learning Experience

The Brain Architecture Game is a tabletop interactive activity that builds understanding of the powerful role of experience on early brain development – what promotes it, what derails it, and the consequences for the child and society.  The game is a 75-90 minute activity for 4-6 people/group using simple materials to “build” a sturdy or fragile foundation for the brain, depending on what cards (“childhood experiences”) are dealt.  The activity encourages discussion within and between groups. 

Presenters:  YES! in Rock County members

If you would like to display information about your program at the Information Fair, please contact Carol Mishler or Eve Smith at 608-299-1500 or cmishler@cfsheadstart.org             esmith@cfsheadstart.org

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Genesis Counseling Center

School District of Beloit

Rock County Human Services Department

Rock-Walworth Comprehensive Family Services Inc., Head Start/Early Head Start

Presenter Information

Lori Gustafson:  Lori is a dedicated educator, having worked in the Madison Metropolitan School District of over 20 years.  Currently, she serves as Mindfulness and Positive Behavior Support Coach at Madison’s Lincoln Elementary School.  Previously, Lori worked as an Education Outreach Specialist supporting research considering benefits of mindfulness for students and teachers at the UW Center for Healthy Minds.  She completed professional mindfulness training programs through the UMass Center for Mindfulness and UCSD.  She also participated in the CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) program training based at the Garrison Institute in New York.  Lori’s interests include working with teachers and students to discover ways to cultivate awareness, patience and compassion.

Joshua Mersky, Ph.D.:  Joshua is a founding director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-being and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.  Dr. Mersky’s research interests include child maltreatment and other adverse experiences that undermine health and well-being over the life course.  He is dedicated to working with local and state partners to translate evidence into real-world solutions that improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

Marc Perry:  Marc has more than 20 years experience working with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds.  He has directed youth development, family development and inclusion initiatives for Wyman Center Inc., Mentor St. Louis, Wesley House Association and Kohl Children’s Museum.  Marc has experience directing residential and outreach camping programs as well as school-based and community based before and after school programming.  Marc currently serves as the Director of Community Programs for Community Action Inc., of Rock and Walworth Counties where he provides training and technical assistance to partner organizations, oversees adult preparations programs, housing programs and employment programs.  In addition, he is responsible for coordinating community-wide needs assessments and developing the organization’s strategic plan.  Marc provides cultural equity training for both public and private institutions; including local government, law enforcement and school districts throughout  Wisconsin.

Lisa Thomas Prince:  Lisa is a Co-Program Manager at the UW Health Mindfulness Program and a mindfulness instructor for youth, families and adults.  Lisa’s long-standing practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation supports her professional focus on public health and education.  Lisa worked for 12 years as a world language teacher in grades pre-K through 8.  From 2012-2017, Lisa served as an Education Outreach Specialist with the UW Center for Healthy Minds, supporting research in education and working with teachers and staff to integrate mindfulness practices into schools.  Lisa completed the Inner Kids professional training program and the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training Intensive through UCSD.  Most recently, Lisa completed training in the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Program.

James “Dimitri” Topitzes, Ph.D.:  James is an associate professor in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).  Dr. Topitzes designs, implements, and tests programs aimed at preventing or treating early trauma.  Along with 15 years of applied research experience, he has worked extensively as a licensed clinical social worker.  In 2013, Dr. Topitzes created the Trauma-Informed Care Graduate Certificate at UWM, and recently helped co-found the Institute for Child and Family Well-being.