SC Summit on Early Childhood - SC First Steps

SC Summit on Early Childhood

The state’s premier early childhood conference is presented annually by South Carolina First Steps and the Early Childhood Advisory Council.

About

Storytelling. From early childhood on, it is one of the most effective ways of teaching, communicating, and connecting. More than 500 early childhood stakeholders explored the power of storytelling at the 2022 SC Summit on Early Childhood held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Downtown Columbia December 1. With "Once Upon a Time" as our theme, plenary presentations and breakout sessions focused on how families, early childhood professionals, and organizations can use storytelling for maximum impact.

Since 2015, the SC Summit on Early Childhood has provided early childhood professionals and advocates, parents, members of the business community, and elected officials an open platform to share strategies, research, and dialogue in order to foster a strong foundation for the children of South Carolina.

Featured Speakers

John Trybus

Sonia Manzano

Laura Huerta Migus

Conference Schedule at a Glance

9:30 - 10:50 a.m. | Welcome and Opening Plenary

Welcome:
Georgia Mjartan
, executive director of South Carolina First Steps and the Early Childhood Advisory Council, will open the Summit. 

S.C. Department of Education Superintendent Molly Spearman will receive the 2022 Early Childhood Champion Award.

Keynote:
The Future of Storytelling for Social Impact

John Trybus, PhD, Executive Director, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication

You may not consider yourself to be a storyteller, but you are. We cannot live through a single day without sharing stories and being influenced by them. The process of storytelling is one of the things that makes us uniquely human, and the telling, listening, and amplification of stories can and does create social impact. Yet, we must also evolve how we utilize this ancient form of connection in strategically modern ways in order to realize more ethical and equitable social impact through our work. Join story scientist, Dr. John Trybus of Georgetown University, on a journey through the past, present, and future of storytelling for social impact.

11:10 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. | Breakout Session One (7 options)

An Ecosystem Approach to Social Impact Storytelling - part 1 of 3

John Trybus, PhD, Executive Director, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication

Your work now and into the future on behalf of children is arguably most effective when it comes to life through story. But how exactly do we do that? Stories create “ecosystems” of action-driven impact when tended to properly, and this workshop will build upon the opening session to offer you tangible tools and practice in the art of story creation. You will learn a process for creating effective stories—and encouraging other voices to do the same through a commitment to equity and ethics—that fit into that strategic ecosystem to bring your work to life authentically. Dr. Trybus will coach you through hands-on activities on how to not only think but act as conveners of story ecosystems that create impact within our organizations and communities.

*This is a three-part workshop with each part allowing for one credit hour. Participants are asked to commit to attending all three parts. Session times: 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m. & 1:40 -2:40 p.m.


Building Connections One Conversation and One Story at a Time

Timena Sarratt, Partnership Coordinator, and Aleigha Butler, Parent Educator, Cherokee County First Steps

A conversational turn is a simple thing — just a back-and-forth interaction between an adult and a young child. It’s also an important building block in child development. The objective of this presentation is to highlight Cherokee County First Steps and their community partners in the Talk to Me program using the LENA system.

Forging Creative Collaborations for Great Childhood Experiences - session 1

Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director for Museum Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services

What makes for a great childhood? What kind of people, places, and experiences need to come together for a child to feel supported, nurtured, and empowered? In this interactive workshop, participants will develop and share what a great childhood looks like from their personal and professional perspectives, find new partners to enrich that story, and leave with an action plan for making that story reality.

* This same session is offered twice, 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m. and 1:40-2:40 p.m.

Rebuilding Institutional Trust through Listening and Actionable Feedback

Sachi Takahashi-Rial, Associate Director of Partner Services, Listen4Good

According to the 2022 Edelman Trust Survey, 49% of Americans trust businesses/corporations, compared to 45% trusting NGOs and 39% trusting government. Distrust of our most critical institutions is at an all-time high, and low-income folks are much more likely to lack trust compared to those with higher incomes.

How do we turn the tide on trust? How do we give constituents agency, so that they see institutions working with them, not against them? And in particular, the most vulnerable individuals across our state?

The first step to agency is voice, so it’s up to us as leaders to listen. In this presentation by Listen4Good and First Steps, you’ll learn about best practices for centering constituent voices, and innovating based on what you hear. You’ll hear from First Steps’ experience of gathering staff and family feedback and sharing one’s own experiences and expertise. In this interactive session, we look forward to sharing and learning from the group’s best practices, challenges, and successes.

StoryWalks: Bringing Literacy Outdoors in SC

Crystal Campbell, Executive Director, Dorchester County First Steps; Heather McCue, Children and Teen Services Manager, Richland Library; Sarah Eargle, Executive Director, Newberry County First Steps; and Tricia Gordon, Executive Director, Barnwell County First Steps

What is a StoryWalk and how can you implement one in your community? Learn from a library coordinator and 3 First Steps Local Partnerships Executive Directors about StoryWalks, how to get started with putting one in place, and what partnerships can be formed along the way. Stories about how the StoryWalks operate in 3 communities, the partners each community engaged, and the impact in each community will be shared.

The Importance of Libraries: Books and Early Literacy Resources

Leesa Aiken, Agency Director, and Leigh Ramey, Youth Services Consultant, South Carolina State Library; Mary-Elizabeth Land, Library Director, Abbeville County Library System; and Cassie Welch, MLIS, Children’s System Coordinator, Charleston County Public Library

Learn about how public libraries play an important role in developing early literacy skills of young children through the diverse programs and services available through your local library (large, urban libraries and small, rural libraries) as well as the South Carolina State Library. We will have representatives from each of these entities come together for a panel discussion to share specific ways their libraries partner with early childhood educators in the communities they serve.

What Do Young Children and Their Parents Need and How Do We Meet Those Needs? - session 1

Leigh D’Amico, Research Associate Professor, and Xumei Fan, PhD, Research Associate, University of South Carolina

Gain insight into the needs of young children and their parents as identified through statewide surveys and interviews. Then, we will host a facilitated discussion to gain feedback on the needs identified and strategies to meet these needs. This interactive session will draw on your perspectives and ideas to improve experiences for young children and their families in the areas of early care and education, health and wellbeing, and family/community.

* This same session is offered twice, 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m. and 1:40-2:40 p.m.

12:10 - 1:40 p.m. | Studio Sessions, Networking and Lunch

=> Grab your lunch then choose from a variety of short sessions, visit exhibits or network with colleagues <=

An Ecosystem Approach to Social Impact Storytelling - part 2 of 3

John Trybus, PhD, Executive Director, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication

Your work now and into the future on behalf of children is arguably most effective when it comes to life through story. But how exactly do we do that? Stories create “ecosystems” of action-driven impact when tended to properly, and this workshop will build upon the opening session to offer you tangible tools and practice in the art of story creation. You will learn a process for creating effective stories—and encouraging other voices to do the same through a commitment to equity and ethics—that fit into that strategic ecosystem to bring your work to life authentically. Dr. Trybus will coach you through hands-on activities on how to not only think but act as conveners of story ecosystems that create impact within our organizations and communities.

*This is a three-part workshop with each part allowing for one credit hour. Participants are asked to commit to attending all three parts. Session times: 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m. & 1:40 -2:40 p.m.

Born Learning Trails

Want to know more about Born Learning Trails? A Born Learning Trail is a series of interactive signs that offer outdoor fun and active learning activities for young children and their families. Check out Black River United Way’s portable trail on the lower level at the Summit.

Family Voice: Centering Parent Stories

Facilitator: Rachal Hatton-Moore, Two-Generation Coordinator, SC Early Childhood Advisory Council at SC First Steps

At this showcase session, participants can hear from family leaders from across the state about their experiences, discuss how early childhood programs are centering family voice, and share their own voices as parents of young children in the early childhood system.

 

First Steps AmeriCorps: It's all in your story- the power of serving SC families

Facilitator: Katrina Hutchins, Founder & CEO, Re-Source Solutions, LLC

Taking a deep dive into telling the story of “why I serve.” First Steps AmeriCorps members, VISTAs and service site leadership are invited to hear an inspirational message and construct their personal “why I serve” statements to encourage volunteerism in support of S.C. families. This session is limited to AmeriCorps members, VISTAs and Service Site leadership.

Head Start Stories: Talking about Head Start

Head start has been offering high quality early care and education for more than 50 years. Learn about Head Start from local leaders during this studio session.

Storytelling Slam: The Power of Stories

Facilitator: Sherrie Dueno, SC Department of Social Services

Come tell a story, or just enjoy hearing one! There’s a storyteller in all of us! Join us to share your story of inspiration, triumph and resilience in the field of early care and education with other conference attendees. Storytelling goes back thousands of years, so this is your opportunity to participate in an ancient tradition, connect with others socially, and make cultural connections. Do you have five minutes? Share your story less than five minutes. Those of you that need storytelling props, storytelling baskets of props will be available to embellish your story. This Storytelling Slam has no winners or losers, just pure storytelling fun!

Together SC

The nonprofit doctor is in. Got a question about your nonprofit? Want to hear about practices in governance, or resource development? Ben Bullock, Vice President and COO of Together SC, will be scheduling short advice sessions throughout the day. About Together SC: Together SC empowers S.C.’s nonprofits and their allies to become integral partners in successfully building vibrant, equitable communities. * This service will be available continuously throughout the day.

1:40 - 2:40 p.m. | Breakout Session Two (7 options)

An Ecosystem Approach to Social Impact Storytelling - part 3 of 3

John Trybus, PhD, Executive Director, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication

Your work now and into the future on behalf of children is arguably most effective when it comes to life through story. But how exactly do we do that? Stories create “ecosystems” of action-driven impact when tended to properly, and this workshop will build upon the opening session to offer you tangible tools and practice in the art of story creation. You will learn a process for creating effective stories—and encouraging other voices to do the same through a commitment to equity and ethics—that fit into that strategic ecosystem to bring your work to life authentically. Dr. Trybus will coach you through hands-on activities on how to not only think but act as conveners of story ecosystems that create impact within our organizations and communities.

*This is a three-part workshop with each part allowing for one credit hour. Participants are asked to commit to attending all three parts. Session times: 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m., 12:30-1:30 p.m. & 1:40 -2:40 p.m.

Forging Creative Collaborations for Great Childhood Experience - session 2

Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director for Museum Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services

What makes for a great childhood? What kind of people, places, and experiences need to come together for a child to feel supported, nurtured, and empowered? In this interactive workshop, participants will develop and share what a great childhood looks like from their personal and professional perspectives, find new partners to enrich that story, and leave with an action plan for making that story reality.

* The same session is offered in both morning and afternoon breakouts.

The Importance of Listening in Maternal and Child Health: Stories from the Field

Amy Williams, DNP, APRN, PNP, College of Nursing at Medical University of S.C.; Solimar Abbott, Community Health Worker, Beaufort County First Steps, PASOs Connections For Child Development; Emily Atkinson, Clinical Nurse, Nurse Family Partnership, McLeod Health; Simone Lee, Doula and Certified Lactation Consultant, BEE Collective, Berkeley County First Steps; Abigail Santiago, Healthy Steps, Berkeley County First Steps

Join us for a panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Amy Williams from the College of Nursing at MUSC. The panel will feature several practitioners who facilitate the implementation of several models of maternal and child health including Nurse Family Partnership, HealthySteps, PASOs Connections for Child Development, and Doula services. Hear stories about how storytelling and listening has shaped the decisions these providers make when working with mothers, children, and families to improve health and other outcomes.

 

More than Numbers: Using Data to Tell Your Story

Van-Kim Lin, Senior Research Scientist, Child Trends

What do you think of when you imagine how you could use data? Do you think of sending a bunch of data points for reporting? Or collecting information when you aren’t sure how it will be interpreted by others? Or, as a data lover, having so much data but no idea how to use it? As experts who are passionate about the collection and use of early childhood data, Child Trends researchers will share about how individuals, organizations, and state leaders can use data to tell stories about the experiences of children, families, educators, administrators, and the community.

In this session, participants will explore the wealth of data that they may not realize are at their fingertips. With this data, participants will also learn how they can use this information to tell their stories. The presentation will include examples, guidance, and tips for the types of data that could be used and how these data can help participants tell their stories.

Nursery Rhymes: Why Teach Them?

Kenna Hoover, 4K Language and Literacy Coach, SC First Steps

Do nursery rhymes and fairy tales really have a place in early childhood education or are they too outdated? Come to this informative and interactive session to find out. This session is great for anyone that works with adults that work with children or who lives with, work with, or has young children.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Shattering Misconceptions

Amy Holbert, Chief Executive Officer, Family Connection SC

Learn about living and thriving with disability one story at a time.

Participants will learn about Family Connection of SC’s LOOK! Photography Exhibit and how to showcase the voices of families, children and youth with disabilities. They will also learn to reframe views of raising a child with a disability by sharing a child’s story through photography.

What Do Young Children and Their Parents Need and How Do We Meet Those Needs? - session 2

Leigh D’Amico, Research Associate Professor, and Xumei Fan, PhD, Research Associate, University of South Carolina

Gain insight into the needs of young children and their parents as identified through statewide surveys and interviews. Then, we will host a facilitated discussion to gain feedback on the needs identified and strategies to meet these needs. This interactive session will draw on your perspectives and ideas to improve experiences for young children and their families in the areas of early care and education, health and wellbeing, and family/community.

* The same session is offered in both morning and afternoon breakouts.

3 - 4:15 p.m. | Closing Plenary

Keynote:
Stories: More than Child’s Play

Sonia Manzano, Actress and Author

For over 40 years, Sonia Manzano inspired, educated, and delighted children and families as "Maria" on Sesame Street. Named among the “25 Greatest Latino Role Models Ever” by Latina Magazine, Manzano broke ground as one of the first Hispanic characters on national television. Throughout her career, she has continued to contribute to enriching diversity on television, on the stage, and in the educational realm.

Hear Ms. Manzano talk about how stories convey values, traditions and culture. She will bring to life the importance of stories for young children, and the parents and professionals who are involved with them.

Meet the presenters.

Thank you, sponsors!

Children's Trust of South Carolina SC Department of Health and Human Services SC Department of Social Services
SC Department of Education SC Educational Television
Healthy Blue Institute for Child Success Kaplan Lakeshore SC Department of Health and Environmental Control SC State Library Truist
SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs SC Head Start Collaboration Office Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina