Saturday AM Schedule


8 - 10 am      registration

9 - 9:30        Welcoming remarks

9:30- 10:30   morning sessions

(Sessions will fill on a first-come basis)

Picasso Meets Einstein! Discover Science While Exploring Art
(of special interest for teachers) 

Description: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education must start in the earliest years at the time that children’s interests desires, and abilities are formed. Since the arts are a natural part of early childhood education, adding this element may help more teachers find ways to work STEM concepts into the curriculum. We'll explore how children use art materials to observe, predict, experiment, and problem solve, thus fostering the development of scientific thinking skills.

Sharron Krull, Master Lecture:

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Sharron’s teaching experience spans over forty years and encompasses nearly all areas of early childhood education. She is a veteran preschool teacher, having taught and directed at parent cooperative preschools for over 20 years. Sharron is currently an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer through her company Play Power ( and she speaks at national, state, and regional early childhood conferences, workshops, and staff trainings sharing developmentally appropriate curriculum activities and resources.

Fostering Awareness and Creativity through Dramatic Play
(of special interest for teachers) 

Description: This workshop will explore how imagination and play enable awareness and creativity in students. We will enact four stories to highlight themes of respect and kindness towards one another and the world around us. Attendees will be asked to assume the role of a young student and participate in dramatic exercises which include movement, hand puppetry, character development, and improvisation. Theatrical play can be a vital tool in a young person’s social and emotional education. By inhabiting dramatic roles, children learn how to empathize with others’ experiences while developing the tools to express their own.

Andie Patterson

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Andie Patterson is an educator and performer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor's degree in Educational Theatre from New York University and has worked as a visual and performing arts teaching artist with K-12 students in the SF Bay Area and New York City. Andie currently teaches K-5 theatre arts at the Meher Schools in Lafayette, CA and can be found performing 25 weekends of the year with the San Francisco Neofuturists.

Building Inclusive Communities: The Power of Language in Modeling Respect and Openness

Description: This presentation aims to demystify the complex phenomenon of microaggressions, particularly as they occur in creating inclusive, cooperative communities. Ultimately, the goal of this presentation is to empower attendees to begin engaging their respective communities in these challenging, yet important dialogues. As a result, attendees will have an increased awareness of respectful language and behavior as well as strategies to promote environments where children can be open and engaged to encountering differences across cultural experiences.

Alex Locust

Alex Locust is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and proud biracial, glamputee spreading the word about disability justice one workshop at a time. Whether on the runway or in a counseling session, Alex aspires to embody the tenets of social justice and fiercely advocates for equity in all community spaces. He graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling and earned the Peggy H. Smith Graduate Student Distinguished Achievement Award as well as Graduate Student of the Year from the National Council on Rehabilitation Education. Armed with bombastic charm, humor, and a sharp wit, Alex synthesizes his professional insight with his lived experience to create engaging workshops grounded in cultural humility, intersectionality, and fostering empathetic, holistic views of marginalized communities.

Raising Bilingual Children
(en Español)

Description: Platicaremos las ventajas, los retos y el orgullo de criar niños bilingües. Vengan a aprender sobre los beneficios del bilingüismo, a conocer a otros padres con hijos bilingües y a compartir experiencias y estrategias.

Bethica Quinn

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Bethica Quinn es mamá de dos hijas bilingües y directora y maestra principal en Centro Las Olas, un centro pre-escolar cooperativo en español. También apoya el desarrollo profesional de maestros de la educación temprana dando clases en City College y con First 5 San Francisco. Su practica se enfoca en la reflexión y la equidad.

Learning through Play and Recycled Materials

Description: Explore hands on activities to see how children learn through play. Participants will use open ended and recycled materials to enhance creativity in children.

Lisa Quan and Manuel Kichi Wong

Lisa Quan has over 25 years experience in ECE as a teacher, preschool and before and after school director, instructional coach and college instructor. Lisa teaches part time at City College of San Francisco and works as a SF Quality Connections Coach with First 5 San Francisco. Manuel Kichi Wong currently runs a center and teaches credit classes in child development at City College of San Francisco. He has authored two books and one more is on the way. Manuel still gets his hands dirty almost daily with the children in his program.

Parenting to Build Lifelong Communication

Description: Parenting is a messy, lifelong learning process and there is no prescription for dealing with the day to day challenges. There are, however, basic communication tools that can assist parents in dealing positively with challenges, while deepening the relationship between parent and child. In this workshop we will explore parenting that supports building the quality of communication and connection for lifelong relationships.

Laura Dotson

Laura Dotson, M.A., LMFT is the mother of four adult children (all co-op nursery school alumni) and the grandmother of five. She has over 40 years of varied experience working with parents, teachers, and children and, in 2007, Laura's contribution to the co-op nursery school movement was acknowledged by CCPPNS. Laura is currently the psychological consultant at Manhattan Beach Nursery School and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Hermosa Beach, California.

Music, Movement and Mindfulness: Food for Mind, Body and Spirit

Description: Come sing, dance and breathe with award-winning children’s musician and educator Charity Kahn. You’ll learn movement-based activities designed to bring a sense of joy and well-being into your classroom, techniques to help children focus and pay attention, and songs to inspire kindness and peace.

Charity Kahn

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Charity Kahn is a children's musician, teaching artist and mindfulness instructor based in San Francisco, CA. She has released seven albums of award-winning music for families and a collection of guided meditations for kids. Charity is also the founder of The JAM Experience, sharing music, movement and mindfulness with children aged 0-10 and their teachers/caregivers via her popular classes, camps and concerts.

The Power of Pattern: Sensory Print Making

Description: Let's explore the stopping blocks for art and work with the solutions that will free us to be more creative. We will wake up our awareness with tips to refocus the brain and enter the present moment using the calming effects of drawing. While this workshop is adult centered, it is important for all to experience the challenges, rewards and joy of the process we ask children to do.

Sharon Collins

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Sharon is a practicing artist and enjoys a variety of medium. She is an arts advocate and started many programs over the past 30 years. She works for SFUSD as an artist in residence with a specialty in combining artist techniques and tools with developmentally appropriate practices. She is also the executive director of a school-age child development center. Between her adult children and grandkids, Sharon has personally enjoyed many years spread across Sunset, Playmates and Laurel Hill Co-ops.

10:30 - 11     Break with coffee & tea

11 am -12:30 Keynote

The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World

Description: Play is crucial for creativity, healthy development, and learning. It’s how children naturally wrestle with life to make it meaningful. Yet as a society we seem to do everything we can to prevent kids from playing. One major culprit is the commercialization of childhood. Loveable media characters; cutting edge technology; brightly colored packaging; and well-funded, psychologically-savvy marketing strategies combine in coordinated campaigns to capture the hearts, minds, and imaginations of children—teaching them to value that which can be bought over their own make-believe creations. Dr. Linn will explore the erosion of creative play and what parents, and professionals who work with young children, can do to ensure that all children have opportunities for make believe.

Susan Linn

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Susan Linn, Research Associate at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She was Founding Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood from 2000 to 2015. A psychologist, she has written extensively about the effects of media and commercial marketing on children. Her book, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, has been praised in publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, and Mother Jones and helped launch the movement to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. The Boston Globe called her book The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, “a wonderful look at how play can heal children.” Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Sixty Minutes, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and the acclaimed documentary The Corporation.