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Bridge Favorites Coming to National Conference

by Jon Sayer | | Posted under Bridge Conference

By now you’ve probably heard that our annual Bridge Conference is joining forces this year with the National Summer Learning Association’s annual conference to form the National Conference on Afterschool and Summer Learning.

You might have wondered: With this conference bringing the top minds in afterschool and summer from around the nation to Seattle, will the engaging presenters you may remember from past Bridge Conferences be there? Don’t worry: the northwest is representing! Here are five presenters you might remember from past Bridge conferences that will be bringing their knowledge and experience to a national audience.

(Oh, and if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to register!)

‘bob’ McNeil: working with transgender youth and making rural programs successful!

bob-275‘bob’ McNeil has been one of SOWA’s coaches in the Spokane area for years, and a veteran of our Bridge Conference. ‘bob’ will bring two decades of experience in youth development and an eye for equity to two different sessions:

Understanding Gender: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children and Youth

Wednesday, Oct 26, 10:15 AM

Transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth are becoming increasingly visible in our schools and programs. Because staff members are unsure of how to be respectful and affirming of transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth, they may unintentionally subject them to situations that are discriminatory and harmful.

This interactive training offers youth providers with information and best practice tools to provide transgender and gender-nonconforming youth with appropriate and informed support and includes: terminology, clear understanding of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, best practice in addressing common issues that come up including bathroom use and use of preferred names and pronouns.

Rural Communities Rock!

Wednesday, Oct 26, 12:00 PM

Rural communities know what it takes to run high quality programs with little resources and without access to big city solutions. So how do they sustain their energy and resources? Connections & Relationships! Join this session for rich conversations, networking and sharing of how to move through challenges like transportation, changing demographics and messaging to families- the importance of your program.

Brent Cummings: Bringing the STEM

Brent CummingsIn 2014, Brent Cummings was named Washington’s Afterschool Ambassador by the Afterschool Alliance, and he became a partner in SOWA’s work building public will and raising awareness around the importance of afterschool programming in supporting young people future success in school and in life. Brent and his crew of STEM-crazed Walla Wallans have presented at Bridge before, including this session on drones and quadcopters in 2014. Expect to be making something with your hands (or if the abstract is to be believed, maybe blowing something up).

The Hard and Soft of STEM: Imagine It! Create It!

Tuesday, Oct 25, 10:15 AM

Dynamically engage all youth by appealing to their innate curiosity and innovative tendencies. Session presenters will model and actively engage attendees in a highly effective, student-centered learning methodology through hands-on activities utilizing 3D Printing, Drones, Pyrotechnics (sort of), and more!

Jimena Quiroga Hopkins and Jhumpa Bhattacharya

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Jhumpa and Jimena’s Bridge conference repertoire includes these 2015 sessions on afterschool programs for refugee youth, and engaging with the families of English language learners. Their workshop at the National Conference is an encore of a session they had at the 2014 Bridge Conference.

Supporting the Socio-Emotional Needs of English Learners

Tuesday, Oct 25, 3:00 PM

Through interactive activities, this workshop will help expand the definition of English Learner success to go beyond English acquisition, deepen understanding of the English Learner experience, and will share research-based strategies to address the socio-emotional needs of English Learners.

Brian Brandt and Social Emotional Learning

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In addition to once being a SOWA coach and trainer, Brian is a Associate Professor with the WSU Extension 4-H program in Tacoma. He’s been deeply involved in youth development in Puget Sound for years. He will give an encore of a session from Bridge 2015 at this year’s conference.

Turning Games into Social Emotional Skill Builders: A Take Home Toolkit

Wednesday, Oct 26, 10:15 AM

Sometimes a game is just a game. Other times it is a great opportunity to support youth developing social emotional skills while they are having fun! Take the boring out of social emotional and make it fun. The more youth practice these skills the more success your program will have. This for many is the why of what we do. Preparing youth for tomorrow by building social emotional skills today.


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