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Registration open for early childhood conference

Kent ISD — The Kent ISD Early Childhood team will host an early childhood conference called Empowering Parents from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Kent ISD Education Service Center, 2930 Knapp St. NE.

The team and community partners created this one-day conference to share tips, resources and information with parents of young children. 

“This is a one-stop event to help connect parents of young children with a great deal of the knowledge they need to be successful during the important early years of development and growth,” said Ashley Karsten, director of early childhood for Kent ISD. Collaboration with area partners in early childhood, including Bright Beginnings, Early On, Great Start Readiness Program, Great Start to Quality, First Steps Kent and the Early by Five Early Childhood millage, helped make this conference possible.

The conference is free and open to all families living in Kent County with children from infants to age five. Breakfast is included, followed by a keynote parent panel and sessions about hot topics including behavior, school readiness, communication, picky eating and self-care for parents and caregivers. 

The event is free, but registration is required. Registration closes Sept. 7. Space is limited and registration will close when the event reaches capacity. Childcare is not provided for this event.

Read more from Kent ISD: 
Not your typical conference
Inspired by grandfather, he inspired generations

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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