April 2, 2024 - April 3, 2024    
8:30 am - 4:00 pm


Bookings closed


4800 Merle Hay Rd, Urbandale, Iowa, 50322

Event Type

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Registration fees:

  • Both days (April 2-3)  
    • $175 member rate – Head Start Programs
    • $150 for 5-9 attendees from same agency
    • $125 for 10 attendees or more from same agency
  • To receive the group discount you must register through the IHSA website and be invoiced. 

April 2

Come join other early childhood educators and caregivers from around the state!

Dr. Tweety Yates Presents:

Fun Ideas, Activities and Resources for Promoting the Connection Between Preschoolers’ Social Emotional and Early Literacy Development


Join this day of learning with national expert Dr. Tweety Yates who has worked for over thirty-years focused on Social Emotional Development. Did you know that early literacy and social emotional development occur on a parallel path? Well, it’s true! When early childhood professionals connect early literacy and social emotional activities across their daily routines, they increase opportunities for children to practice these developing skills. And, this connection is also a great way to help children be more successful as they begin to learn strategies for regulating their big emotions and behavior! The use of children’s books and storytelling will be used as a fantastic catalyst for making this connection, in addition to many fun ideas, activities and resources. Ideas for partnering with families will also be shared.

All attendees will go home with a set of books that are discussed during this training! (One per classroom)

Schedule for April 2

7:45-8:30am – Registration

8:30 – 9:00 Welcome & Overview of Our Time Together
The Connection Between Social Emotional and Literacy
Development & Why it is Important
Creating an Emotion Rich and Literacy Rich Environment
Engaging Families

9:00 – 10:15 Let’s Get Started! Examples and Fun Ideas for Making the Connection
• Using Books to engage children (Don’t leave the story in the book!)
• Repeated Read-Alouds
• Building Vocabulary
• Encouraging Writing
• Alphabet and Sounds of Language

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 11:45 Pyramid Model and the Connection: Nurturing and Responsive Relationships
• Fun ideas for using relationship building to increase:
o Interactions with adults and peers (Friendship Skills)
o Language and Communication
o Rhyming!

11:45 – 1:15pm Lunch – on your own – See list of area restaurants HERE

1:15 – 2:00 Pyramid Model and the Connection: High Quality Supportive Environments
• Expectations and Literacy??? How does that work?
• Expanding fun opportunities across schedules and routines to increase the connection

2:00 – 2:30 Pyramid and the Connection: Emotional Literacy
• Emotion Vocabulary
o Fun Ideas for increasing the number and range of emotion words we are USING & TEACHING

2:30 – 2:45 Break

2:45 – 3:45 Pyramid and the Connection: Emotional Literacy Continued
o I’m Teaching Emotion Words – Now What?
o Strategies for Regulating Emotions (not just angry!)
o Special considerations for children who have experienced trauma

3:45 – 4:00 Pulling it All Together
Connection Action Plan

April 3rd – Come join other Head Start leaders, specialists, staff and parents from across the state for informative trainings and a fun-filled day of networking and celebrations.

Registration fees – members and non-members rates – group discounts see below

Both days – April 2-3, 2024 

    • $175 member rate
    • $150 for 5-9 attendees from same agency
    • $125 for 10 attendees or more from same agency
  • To receive the group discount you must register through the IHSA website and be invoiced. 

Schedule for April 3: Morning session descriptions HERE

  • 7:45 – 8:30am – Registration
  • 8:30 – 10:00am – Session One
  • 10:00 – 10:30am – Break
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm – Session Two
  • 12:00-12:15 pm – Break
  • 12:15 – 1:15pm – Lunch will be provided while celebrating our state award winners and Iowa Head Start Association’s annual update.
  • 1:15 – 1:30pm – Break
  • 1:30 -4:00pm – Guest trainer – Sarah Ennis – see details below
  • Special vendors, sponsors and state partners will have tables throughout both conference days
  • New t-shirt design will be available for sale – t-shirts will be on hand to take with you – accepting cash, credit cards and Venmo

Networking sessions to choose from:

Session One options below from 8:30-10:00am 

  • PBIS updates with Monica Garner, HSSCO Coordinator, Iowa EC-PBIS State Leadership Team
  • Family Service – Goal Setting with Denise Talbott, NEICAC Head Start
  • Education – Fidelity and Assessments – Kim Jasper and Sandy Johnson, NEICAC
  • Open Q & A and discussion with seasoned HS Program Directors/Staff – ask them anything!
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with Tom Rendon, retired HSSCO Coordinator
  • CLASS/QSIT – Classroom Practices with Brenda Spurgeon and Bethanie Grass – T&TA Specialists
  • Home Visitation – Assessments and Coaching with Royce Hickie and Madison Meeks, MICA
  • Parent Session – Promoting Play with Every Day Items with Dawn Kirkpatrick, CAA of Siouxland

Session Two options below – 10:30-12:00pm 

  • PBIS with Monica Garner, HSSCO Coordinator, Iowa EC-PBIS State Leadership Team – repeat session ONE
  • Disabilities – Assessments and Referrals with Angie Squires, Keystone AEA
  • STEM in ECE Classrooms and Settings with Allison Barness, UNI Assistant Professor, Unified ECE
  • Childcare Assistance – Wrap Recipients – CCA Updates and Review Discussion with Wendy Hoogeveen, Iowa Dept of HHS
  • In-Kind Do’s and Don’ts with Katie Ingham and Pam Black, T&TA Specialist
  • Coaching – Goal Setting and Monitoring with Brenda Spurgeon, T&TA Specialist
  • Health and Nutrition – IMIL (I am Moving, I am Learning) with Heidi Ball, RN, Drake Head Start
  • Parent Session – Understanding and Managing Stress with Alyssa Caldbeck, Grandview University
1:30 – 4:00pm SPECIAL GUEST TRAINER: SARAH ENNIS       Taking Care of Yourself, Your Team and Your Culture!

Join Sarah Ennis, trainer and former teacher, as she shares useful information to support self-care, team communication and development and tips to support a positive and healthy work culture that ultimately improves your overall satisfaction in the workplace. This training shares tips, information and behaviors you can put into action today!


Cash, credit cards and Venmo accepted.

To reserve Holiday Inn and Suites:

Call us at:  515-278-4755 or 800-HOLIDAY (800-465-4329)

Click here to reserve:  Iowa Head Start Association

Rates Include:  Two (2) vouchers each morning for Full Hot Breakfast at our own Bennigan’s Restaurant from 6:30am until 10:30am.  On weekends our Breakfast Buffet includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, biscuits and gravy, French toast, Danish, muffins, yogurt, cereals, fresh fruit, assorted juices, coffee, decaffeinated, Herbal teas and milk.


Bookings are closed for this event.