This workshop will bring Houston’s early childhood educators together in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to support children’s sharing of stories through play.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.'" – Mr. Rogers
As early childhood educators, we know that children look to us as helpers and desperately need opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation about Hurricane Harvey. We must ask ourselves, “How can we create safe spaces for our children to share their stories?” Research tells us that young children learn and heal through play. Play offers children open-ended opportunities to engage in extended conversation and express their emotions in a safe environment.
Dr. Patsy Cooper, award-winning author and researcher will share what is certain to be a poignant keynote address: Look for the Helpers and Other Things We Want Them to Know: Letters from Teachers to Their Children Post-Harvey. In her remarks, Patsy will incorporate experiences in working with children in New York post-9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
Breakout sessions will center on practical, hands-on activities that create safe spaces for children to talk with their teachers. Participants will take home a tote of resources and classroom materials that encourage both teachers and children to discover the power of story to heal.
Dr. Patsy Cooper will present a keynote address entitled Look for the Helpers and Other Things We Want Them to Know: Letters from Teachers to Their Children Post-Harvey.
Dr. Cooper, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Queens College, CUNY and founding director of Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture program, is an award-winning author and researcher who received her Ph.D. from Emory University. Patsy is known for her thought-provoking presentations and books When Stories Come to School: Telling, Writing, and Performing Stories in the Early Childhood Classroom and The Classrooms All Young Children Need: Lessons in Teaching from Vivian Paley. Patsy’s remarks will incorporate experiences in working with children in New York post 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
Breakout sessions will be led by Rice University School Literacy and Culture staff.