2011 Fall Conference
Thursday and Friday October 20/21, 2011

The deadline to register for this year's fall conference is TODAY! Friday, October 14th

Our two keynote speakers are Rusty Keeler on Thursday October 20th, and Jason Kotecki on Friday the 21st. In addition to our keynote presenters, we're also excited to welcome two other well known early childhood professionals as featured speakers at this year's conference: Jeanine Fitzgerald on Thursday, and Scott Noyes on Friday. To find out more about each presenter, please click on their name or on one of the pictures below. To learn more about their presentations at the VAEYC conference, please click here to visit our website. Or, click on the articles below to read a little bit more about their work.

Adding Soul to your Playground
Rusty Keeler, Earthplay
Thursday Keynote Speaker

Playgrounds can be amazing gathering places for people of all ages. Your environment can be a living, growing space where folks from the neighborhood can meet and children can safely play and learn about the natural world around them. A safe play structure is a wonderful start to your new environment, but the equipment you choose is only the beginning. The real Soul of the Playground comes from what you add to the space surrounding the play structure! [read more]

The Best Day Ever
Jason Kotecki, Kim and Jason
Friday Keynote Speaker

Imagine standing in front of a room filled with one thousand people. You ask if they consider themselves optimistic. How many people raise their hands?

Yep, all of them.

Everybody thinks of themselves as optimistic; nobody will admit that they are pessimistic. When pressed by someone who knows them and thinks otherwise, they might admit, “I’m not pessimistic. I’m realistic.” You’ll never hear anyone say, “Yeah, that’s me, pessimistic. I see the worst in every situation, my best days are way behind me, yesterday will always be better than tomorrow, and if anything can go wrong, it most certainly will.” [read more]

Does Media Violence Affect Children's Behaviors?
Scott Noyes, Empowering Programs
Thursday/Friday Featured Presenter

Before the new millennium struck, there were already close to one thousand studies examining this question. The answer is in. Yes, media violence affects children's behaviors. Only 18 studies find no connection between children watching violence on television and how children behave. Of those, 12 of the studies were sponsored by the television industry.

In 19 years of being a teacher of young children, I found the worst influence on my classroom was violent TV. The original malefactors were “Power Rangers” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The edu-tainment factors in the Turtles were more than 90 violent acts an hour and the Rangers hit the top with more than 211. How could children not be affected? Many days I worked with children who watched punching, kicking, and hitting on television, then acted out these behaviors in my classroom. [read more]

Regional Meeting of the National Dialogue
Gwen Simmons, NAEYC Senior Director, Affiliate and Member Relations

NAEYC is coming to Killington, VT on Saturday, October 22, at the invitation of your Vermont AEYC Affiliate. If you have already registered for the VAEYC Annual Conference, we invite you to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime NAEYC member opportunity.

VAEYC has graciously agreed to host a regional meeting of the National Dialogue, an unprecedented conversation between NAEYC and its affiliate network at the local, state, and national levels to explore whether or not we have the optimal "relationship" in place to move a national agenda around young children forward in today's economic, political, and educational climate. This dialogue has been sanctioned by the NAEYC governing board and the NAEYC affiliate council. Robin Ploof, VAEYC President, and Melissa Riegel-Garrett, VAEYC Executive Director, have been exceptionally open to assisting us in this gathering.

Please consider adding your member voice to the intentional discussion that is taking place across the country. As a member of VAEYC, you have an open invitation to join in this dialogue whether your plans include attending the VAEYC Annual Conference or not. To register for this free event please click here. For more detailed information about the National Dialogue please review this white paper draft on the NAEYC website.

Once you register, we will send you an agenda and several documents to read in preparation for this VT event. We welcome the opportunity to meet each of you in Killington, and to pursue the best course of direction for NAEYC and VAEYC.