Parent-Child Workshop for Parents and Caregivers with Babies and Toddlers

Join us for this exciting five-week series of playtime programs. Play and learn in a setting filled with educational toys and fun activities. Discuss various parenting topics with community experts who will be on-hand to answer your questions.

Fridays, 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
October 9 – November 6, 2015

The Parent-Child Workshop is offered annually. It is a fun, play-based program designed to give you special time with your baby or toddler. Community resource professionals will be on hand at each session to answer questions about early literacy, speech and hearing development, child behavior, nutrition, and the importance of creativity and play in your child’s early years. While the program is geared for adults and 1 – 3 year olds, those with older or younger children are welcome.

Each session will run from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

The topics and resource professionals for this year’s workshop are:

Rachel DavisFriday, October 9: Orientation and Early Literacy Development: Rachel Davis, BA, MLS, Assistant Director/Children’s Librarian, Thomas Memorial Library

Rachel Davis has the been the children’s librarian at Thomas Memorial Library since 1993. She has taught numerous workshops at children’s literature and library conferences, and has been providing early literacy programs for children for over two decades. She will be on hand to answer questions about your child’s literacy development, and how you can best be your child’s first teacher.


Leslie OulletteFriday, October 16: Diet & Nutrition: Leslie Oullette, MS, RD, LD, Dietician & Nutrition Educator, University of New England

Leslie Oullette is a registered dietician, and is also the SNAP-Ed Obesity Prevention Coordinator within the School of Community and Population Health at the University of New England. She holds professional affiliations with the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior, and the American Public Health Association. Leslie will be available to answer questions about your child’s nutritional needs and the best strategies for laying the foundation of a lifelong healthy diet.


Kiersten EllisFriday, October 23: Early Childhood Development/Parenting: Kiersten Ellis, BS, MS, Adjunct Faculty Early Childhood Education at Southern Maine Community College

Kiersten Ellis teaches courses in Childhood Development and Early Childhood Program Administration. She is the former owner/director of Creative Pathways Preschool in Portland. Kiersten is knowledgeable about major theories of early childhood development and the multiple variables that effect the growth and development of young children. She will be able to answer your questions about different ages and stages of development, what to expect, and how to support your child’s growth.


Laurie MackFriday, October 30: Speech & Hearing Development: Laurie Mack, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist, Executive Director, Northeast Hearing & Speech

Laurie Mack is a speech pathologist whose expertise is in the areas of pediatric evaluations, arena/team evaluations, and preschool literacy development. In addition to seeing clients, she served as a consultant for the Early Reading First Grant through the Muskie Institute and the U.S. Department of Education and serves on the Regional Provider Advisory Board for CDS Cumberland. Laurie is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She will be able to address concerns you may have about your child’s language development and hearing.


Mellisa ClawsonFriday, November 6: Creativity & Play: Mellisa Clawson, BS, MS, PhD, Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Maine, Farmington

Dr. Mellisa Clawson has taught and held administrative positions in infant, toddler, preschool, Head Start, and public school settings. She encourages “thinking outside the box” which has led her students to fling paint in the style of Jackson Pollock or create potions that turn colors, emit smoke, and bubble. She also provides workshops for educators and families throughout New England in order to promote understanding of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her areas of expertise include Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood, Media Influences on Children, and Teaching Science to Young Children. She will be on hand to answer questions about your child’s development through creativity, art, music, and play, and how to support early growth and learning through these activities.

The Parent-Child Workshop will replace our regular Friday sessions of “Mother Goose Time” and “Tales for Tots” for these five weeks. During the workshop, our picture book area and Family Place space will be enhanced with additional developmentally appropriate toys and activities. As you and your child play with the toys and interact with other children and parents, the resource professional of the day will be on hand to meet with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s development in an informal way. No registration is required, and older and younger siblings are welcome. You may come for as little or as long as you like during the program time. No registration is necessary.