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, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
October 7 – November 4, 2016

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 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

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

Rachel DavisFriday, October 7: 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.


Kiersten EllisFriday, October 14: 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.


Leslie OulletteFriday, October 21: 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.


Laurie MackFriday, October 28: 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 4:  Music, The Arts, & 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.


Ann SparlingAnn Sparling, recreational arts therapist and musician.

Ann Sparling is known to thousands of preschoolers as “Ms. Ann, The Music Lady.” Ann has been sharing music with kids of all ages for many years. She visits schools, libraries, and festivals, bringing with her traditional songs and games, music from different cultures, and classic sing along treasures. Ann shares her music on a variety of instruments to introduce the sounds of guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo, autoharp, and accordion, all in the spirit of good fun! She will be closing our last session with a brief circle time for families.

During the five weeks of the workshop, our Community Room will be outfitted with 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. Older and younger siblings are welcome.


Please register by filling out the form below (registration is for the entire five week series–it’s okay if you can’t make all of them, but please try to make at least three if you can!):

Bookings no longer allowed on this date.