ORANGE CO., N.Y. — Registration is open! On Tuesday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 9, the 23rd Annual Making Healthful Decisions Conference hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County will take place virtually via Zoom. The focus of the conference is to develop tools for growing resilience in schools, health and human services, as well as the community at large.
Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012, will provide the keynote. Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement as part of her decision to be part of the solution to issues in society and became an advocate for social and emotional learning which teaches children how to manage emotions, feel connected, and have healthy relationships.
The keynote will proceed a dynamic panel that Commissioner Darcie Miller will facilitate. Panelists include Nick Pantaleone, who incorporated social and emotional learning throughout the K-12 curriculum in the Port Jervis school district; Shalain Garcia, Criminal Justice Program Specialist for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Youth Justice; Dr. Alicia Pointer, Chief of Pediatrics at Cornerstone Family Healthcare and Director of STAR Foster Health Program; Tamaé Memole, Director of Program Development with Prevent Child Abuse New York; Love Odih Kumuyi, and international peacebuilding and conflict transformation practitioner; as well as Bishop James A. Rollins, Sr., Founder and Sr. Pastor of “The Tabernacle” Church, a multi-cultural ministry in Middletown, NY, the first church to adopt a trauma-informed approach in the area. Participants have the opportunity to choose between three workshop tracks in the afternoon, which will either focus on tools for schools, tools for health and human services, or tools for the community.
County Executive Steve Neuhaus will provide a welcome and Dr. Gerard Galarneau, President at Garnet Health Doctors, will offer a brief introduction. Thanks to the generous support from Garnet Health Medical Center and the NYS Parenting Education Partnership, there is no cost for this conference.
Conference co-organizer, Julika von Stackelberg says “childhood adversities and resilience are some of the most discussed topics across fields connected with learning, as well as general health and wellbeing. Thanks to studies like the Adverse Childhood Experience Study we now know that our long-term health is affected by what we experience as children. The question becomes, what do we do with this knowledge? This conference aims to equip educators, school administrators, social workers, counselors, human services professionals, program administrators, mental health and health care providers, child care professionals, faith-based leaders, parents and caregivers, seniors, adults, and the community at large with concrete tools.”
Conference participants will learn about the latest research on social and emotional development, gain skills and tools that support the growth of resilience, engage in discussion about how to apply these concepts in your work and your life, and identify potential partners for referrals who represent different sectors in the region.
The conference is organized in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Mount Saint Mary College, Orange-Ulster BOCES, the Orange County Parenting Coalition, and the Warwick Valley Community Center.
Registration is now open. For a detailed schedule of the event or to register visit cceorangecounty.org/events or call (845)344-1234 ext. 274.
Cornell Cooperative Extension and its partnerships provide programs for Orange County residents on youth and family development; nutrition, health, and food safety; community and economic vitality; and agricultural sustainability through Cornell based research. Committed to Orange County, we design programs to meet local needs to enable people to improve their lives and communities. For more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County at 845-344-1234 or visit our website at www.cceorangecounty.org.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County
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