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Special education, bilingual teaching, social emotional learning among session topics at annual event hosted by HCDE

Jan. 22, 2018 – Early childhood educators throughout Texas will learn from national speakers and fellow educators at the 32nd Annual R.T. Garcia Early Childhood Winter Conference hosted by Harris County Department of Education. The conference, which typically draws more than 1,000 attendees, will take place on Jan. 27 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Kingdom Builders’ Center, 6011 W. Orem Dr. in Houston, Texas.

The keynote speaker is international presenter Becky Bailey, founder of Conscious Discipline, a whole-school solution for social-emotional learning and self-regulation. The bilingual keynote speaker is Gilberto Soto, musical motivator, guitar aficionado and music professor at Texas A&M International University.

Traditionally the conference served teachers of grades pre-k through second grade, but this year a new birth-to-age 3 learning track benefits teachers of the earliest learners.

“One of the challenges we face as early childhood educators is finding high-quality conferences,” said Maria Del Socorro Solis, principal at Farias Early Childhood Center in Houston Independent School District. “This conference is perfect for the type of early childhood educator who really wants to grow in his or her profession. We know we greatly benefit from national speakers at conferences, but we also have teacher (presenters) because we know that teachers learn from other teachers.”

Session topics include:
• special education
• bilingual education
• social emotional learning (SEL) strategies
• how to empower parents in the community
• disability-related needs and inclusion
• behavior and classroom management

Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and experiment with new research-based strategies.

For more information about the conference, go to www.hcde-texas.org/ECWC . Register for the conference at www.hcde-texas.org/register (search by date). Cost is $110 before Jan. 27 and $135 at check-in.

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax rate of $.005195. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.40 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE also operates four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated youth who require a low student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. The organization is governed by an elected board of seven trustees and has 1,060 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at www.hcde-texas.org.

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