Title: Professional Development Coordinator
With All Our Kin since: 2010
So Dana, tell me about yourself. What do we need to know?
Well, I grew up in New Haven, lived in Chile for 15 years, and have traveled extensively in Latin America and a few other places. I’m a Spanish teacher and professional translator and am passionate about the environment. I’m also enjoying the challenge of being the mother of a curious six and a half year old.
What do you do here at All Our Kin as our Professional Development Coordinator?
In my position, I think about the kinds of trainings and professional development workshops our providers want and also what kinds we think people caring for young children should have. So, I’ve coordinated programs about challenging behaviors, caring for infants, et cetera. I try to weave those more educational workshops in with fun and social gatherings, like our Winter Network Party and our screening of the film Babies.
I also work on the literature that All Our Kin puts out and make sure that we are articulate and consistent about the different programs that we offer. I do a lot of translating too! And I help with the Tool Kit project, so I meet with clients and help them obtain a family child care license while developing their commitment to the profession. I also work on the annual conference and attend trainings about early childhood topics. I’m especially interested in literacy and nature.
The Babies screening and discussion was fantastic. What is your favorite All Our Kin memory so far?
Right after my first conference in 2010. I felt exhilarated and proud. Everyone was really happy with how it went. I was tired, but it felt like it was something new for me that I successfully completed.
What are you excited about that’s coming up at AOK?
I’m really excited about putting together our 2013 conference! I’d like to bring in some new trainers, and also expand on the program showcase we did last year, when we asked people to bring in photos of their space and examples of projects that they’d done in their programs. Family child care providers don’t often get the chance to see what their colleagues are doing, share, and be inspired by each other.
Any hints about upcoming Network opportunities that people should be on the look out for?
Yes! In the spring we’re going to be offering a garden series. This will be open to a limited number of providers for now, but we’re also going to have a garden workshop open to everyone. This will be focused on planting gardens, curriculum for young children in gardens, and nature-based curriculum in general. The hope is that providers will be inspired to plant gardens this spring and use them as tools for learning.
This spring we’re also going to have a “Design Your Space” workshop in New Haven similar to our upcoming one in Bridgeport. This session will offer ideas about how to optimize limited space and how to arrange your furniture to foster learning and creativity. We’re also going to be talking about setting up a literacy nook and the best way to display books.
New Network members should also be on the lookout for a Network Member Welcome Kit, which I am currently finalizing!
Sounds like we have a lot to look forward to. Any last comments to share?
I should add that I’m also excited about moving into our new office building. It’s a little closer to my house, so I’ll be able to ride my bike to work more often than I already do.
Of course I’m excited that we have so many things happening in New Haven, Bridgeport, and Norwalk. Everyone should keep an eye on our website and on our mailings for more information.
To join our Network and receive our monthly mailings, contact Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-285-7797. Information about upcoming workshops and events can also be found on our website www.allourkin.org by clicking 1)“Resources” 2) “Resources for Providers” 3) “Professional Development Opportunities” or by clicking here.