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N.D. Out-of-School-Time & Early Childhood Summit

N.D. Out-of-School-Time & Early Childhood Summit

Out-of-school-time & Early Childhood Summit

About The Event

The ND Afterschool Network is joining efforts with Child Care Aware of North Dakota to host the ND Out-of-School Time & Early Childhood Summit August 1-2, 2023 in Fargo, ND with a focus on Aligning Systems to Increase Access & Quality!

The Summit will provide two days of in-person learning and connecting, with keynotes and breakout tracks for afterschool, summer learning, and early childhood providers working with youth from birth through age 18.

Interested in presenting or being a part of the planning workgroup? Contact kristin.knorr@k12.nd.us


Registration will close on July 15, 2023.



August 1, 2023
8:00 – 8:30am Breakfast & Registration
8:30 – 4:00pm Keynote, Lunch & Breakout Sessions
4:00 – 6:00pm Child Care Aware of ND Networking Social (Optional)

August 2, 2023
8:00 – 8:30am Breakfast & Registration
8:30 – 4:00pm Keynote, Lunch & Breakout Sessions


Day 1 – August 1, 2023

Jim Ott

Bridges Out of Poverty

Bridges Out of Poverty provides a lens for understanding the real-life experiences of the children and families that have the most to gain from the services we provide.  The keynote will give an overview of Bridges concepts that yields a frame to both better understand and react to the actions of others.

Jim served as a school psychologist for 33 years before moving into “semi-retirement” in which he continues to consult with schools and families, present ahaProcess workshops, and work in the community through churches and agencies addressing poverty.  Jim has been an aha!Process consultant since 2010 and recently collaborated on a book with Dr, Ruby Payne as a part of the Emotional Poverty series.  Navigating Emotional Realities with Adults focuses on adult relationships with co-workers as well as the people served by agencies and businesses.  Jim lives in Dubuque, IA with his wife of almost 40 years, Teresa.  Jim and Teresa have four adult children and four grandchildren.  


Day 2 – August 2, 2023

Raelene Ostberg

Finding Your Joy – Increase Your Joy Factor, Reduce Stress, and Experience the Genuine Happiness You Deserve!

Raelene will cover a topic relevant to all those working with children from birth through grade 12. Celebrate your unique gifts and the critical role you have in shaping our next generation. Gain methods to crush the obstacles causing you stress, increase your “joy factor”, and feel inspired in your critical work. Learn how to train your brain to stress less and enjoy more, no matter what your current situation. Discover practical methods to reduce stress both personally and professionally.

Raelene Ostberg is the Early Childhood Specialist Director with Thriving Together, LLC. Raelene brings boundless energy, extensive expertise in reducing stress, years of experience in early childhood classrooms, and wonderful real-life stories that show the strategies in action!

BREAKOUT SESSIONS Day 1 - August 1, 2023

Day 1 – August 1, 2023 

Sessions will be updated as confirmed – more to come!


Mindful Self-Compassion Core Skills Melissa Michelle Dahl, Mindful Healing & Consulting, PLLC

Participants will learn to identify the three key components of self-compassion; Apply new techniques in small groups to increase self-compassion in everyday life; Learn how to apply self-compassion practices to respond to feelings of perceived faults; Assess and manage difficult situations and emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance. Learning is held in both a teaching and dyadic reference. Group expression, curiosity, and engagement encouraged.

Session for: all


Bridges Out of Poverty – The Importance of Relationships in Serving Children – Jim Ott, aha!Process

This breakout will focus on the issue of bonding and attachment in the work we do with children.  Recognizing behaviors and emotions as expressions of relationship building in the young brain can give us space to help regulate our own emotional reactions while also helping children to develop stronger relationship building skills themselves which will benefit them now and in the future.

Bridges Out of Poverty – Language Development 

The language environment in which we are raised not only determines our vocabulary and speaking style, but also impacts the way our brains develop and process information.  While language experience is not inherently a moral issue, it is true that some language experiences prepare kids’ brains better for school that others.  This breakout will focus on recognizing patterns of processing related to language development.  Useful not only for work with kids but also with parents.

Bridges Out of Poverty – “Hidden Rules” and Working with Parents

Hidden rules are those rules that everyone knows, but nobody talks about – that is, everyone knows if they know!  But if you don’t know, it can make you uncomfortable and if you break a hidden rule, you can suddenly find yourself feeling very judged.  This breakout will consider how hidden rules impact our interactions with parents and how better understanding the impact of hidden rules can improve our communication with the parents of the kids we serve.

Bridges Out of Poverty – Q&A Open Discussion

Jim Ott will field questions and facilitate a discussion about Bridges concepts, neurological development, working with parents and anything else that may come up!


Marketplace for Kids: Introduction to Life!!! – Bob Heitkamp, Marketplace for Kids Inc.

Attendees will learn opportunities available through the Marketplace for Kids (MFK) Program, Regional Information, ages and who can attend Education Days, costs, how to navigate the MFK website, and other MFK programming.

Session for: Programs working with school-age youth ages 5 – 18


Now What? The Other Side of the ACEs Pyramid – Maegan Rides at the Door, UM National Native Children’s Trauma Center

A healing conceptual framework is needed to outline a path toward increased community wellbeing after learning about ACE study outcomes. This session is based upon a paper recently published to provide a holistic, Indigenous Wellness pyramid to guide pathways toward healing in Indigenous communities but has implications for non-Indigenous communities as well. Participants will learn about a public health community wide framework for mitigating ACEs. Participants will be able to situate their role and function as part of a larger systemic effort to heal ACEs. And participants will leave more hopeful about our capacity to not only mitigate but prevent ACEs.

Session for: home providers, center providers working with Infants/Toddlers, providers and afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 – 18


Innovative Early Learning Opportunities – Partnering with Waterford.org – Becky Eberhardt, Waterford.org 

This session will explore ways in which you can personalize learning for your youngest learners with Waterford.org. We seek to blend the aspects of learning science, mentoring relationships, and innovative technologies to form community, school and home programs that deliver excellence and equity for all learners. We strive to help children build a strong foundation in literacy, so every student reads at grade level by the end of second grade. When children can learn by reading, they can understand the world around them and find success in every aspect of their lives. Our mission is achieved and supported by our three pillars: Equity and Access, Family Empowerment, and Universal Literacy.

Session for: home providers, center providers, and afterschool programs working with youth PreK – 5th Grade


Taming Those Terrific Toddlers: WHY DO THEY DO THAT (And what can you do about it!?) – Raelene Ostberg, Thriving Together

Explore the link between toddler’s challenging behaviors and toddler development. Delve deeper into what drives toddlers’ negative behaviors while you gain insight into their cognitive capabilities. Discover top tips to get them to follow your direction while you promote optimal growth and development. Problem-solve a common toddler challenge and gain insight into preventing negative behaviors.  Have fun and get inspired listening to entertaining, real-life stories that show the strategies in action.  View videos and connect with others as you evaluate when and how you might apply the strategies learned.

Session for: Family and Center providers working with Infants/Toddlers

Working with Challenging Behaviors to Get the Behaviors You Want, and Stop Those You Don’t! – Raelene Ostberg, Thriving Together 

Identify positive guidance methods that will prevent challenging behaviors from occurring, encourage gleeful cooperation, and reduce dreaded power struggles. Collect several strategies to redirect challenging behavior in the moment. Utilize a positive behavior intervention support tool to effectively address the challenging behaviors you experience and tailor your response to the individual child’s stage. Brainstorm strategies with others to address difficult behaviors in children 3-12 years with others who provide care for that age group.

Session for: Family, Center providers, and Afterschool programs working with youth ages 3 – 12


Emphatic STEM – Arin Casavant, North Dakota’s Gateway to Science 

Did you know some of the most useful and world changing inventions were created to help other people? Think about the light bulb, Velcro, or simply just crossing a bridge. In this breakout session – North Dakota’s Gateway to Science will share ideas on how easy it is to blend human-centered approaches to STEM education for all ages of learners. Examples and activities will be shared with participants across all age levels and together we will brain storm additional activities. As always, literacy will be tied to our STEM experiences to create a cross-curricular and real-world activity for all ages. Backed by research and data, you can go back to your programming ready to foster the confidence and belief that children can use their creativity to aid the ones they love.

Session for: all 


Reinventing Nursery Rhymes – Jonathan Repoyo, Prairie Public 

We all remember those nursery rhymes we were told from our childhood. “Old MacDonald”, “Hey Diddle”, or “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to name a few. The connections we made through simple words and rhymes created colorful pictures in our brains and built the foundation to understanding how to read. In this session, we are going to go on a little journey of how to take those nursery rhymes and reinvent them to be hands on, with full body moving learning moments!

Session for: home and center providers working with infants/toddlers


Unlocking the Digital Realm: Exploring Ciphers and Cybersecurity – Jill Baird, NDIT | EduTech

Participants will dive into the fascinating world of ciphers and cybersecurity. Attendees will learn about the historical significance of ciphers and how they have evolved to protect sensitive information in the digital age. Furthermore, participants will gain insights into the importance of cybersecurity, understanding the threats we face in an increasingly interconnected world, and how they can protect themselves.

Session for: school-age programs working with grades 5-12

BREAKOUT SESSIONS Day 2 - August 2, 2023

Day 2 – August 2, 2023 

Sessions will be updated as confirmed – more to come!


CSPAPs 101: Understanding Stakeholder Roles in Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs Dr. Jenny Linker and Dr. Kristen Ford, SchoolsAlive!

Participants will learn about the Active Schools initiative and Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAPs). By the end of the session, attendees will be able to identify the five components of a CSPAP (Physical Activity Before/After School; Physical Activity During School; Physical Education; Family and Community Involvement; and Staff Involvement) as well as evidence-based strategies to address each component a their site. This session will engage participants in sample activities to demonstrate various strategies.

Session for: home providers, center providers, and afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 to 18

Brain Boosts for Everyone! – Dr. Jenny Linker and Dr. Kristen Ford, SchoolsAlive!

Integrating brain boosts (5-10 minute physical activity sessions) throughout your site’s daily programming improves students’ brain development, behavior, and physical and mental health. This session will provide a basic understanding of the research supporting brain boosts as well as tips for implementation. Presenters will demonstrate a variety of brain boosts that can be used for all ages!

Session for: home providers, center provides, and afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 to 18



Sparking Creativity & Mindfulness with Sensory Play – Ashley Krinke & Mitch Smette, Leika Sensory Creations 

Sensory play brings children back to the fundamental elements of authentic self-directed play – creativity, fine motor skill development, imagination, technology-free. While engaging in sensory play they become more independent and build neurons in their brain which leads to problem-solving. In addition, by engaging many of the five senses they begin to make connections with the world around them and regulate their bodies and emotions. Come learn, play and explore with us at this interactive breakout session!

Session for: home providers, center providers working with infants/toddlers, providers and afterschool programs working with school-age youth 


Building Meaningful and Intentional Connections through Family Engagement – Heather Chatham, Grand Forks Public Schools 

Participants will develop an understanding of the importance of providing meaningful family engagement opportunities based off current research presented in “School, Family, and Community Partnerships” by Joyce Epstein. Participants will learn strategies and steps to successfully implement meaningful family engagement opportunities and how to build strong connections with families.

Session for: home providers, center providers working with infants/toddlers, afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 – 12


Playground Safety – Sarah Myers, Child Care Aware of ND 

Participants will become aware of the playground safety data and the most prevalent facts regarding playground injuries, how children’s development can put them at more risk for injuries, common playground hazards, and how to use active supervision when children are playing.

Session for: home providers, center providers working with infants/toddlers, afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 – 12


Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings – Ashley Stroth, UspireND

When thinking of inclusion, the goal is to have every person in the room feel like they belong. We want to meet each child where they are individually while creating a safe space for each child to be themselves. “Inclusion is not a ‘place’ but a culture that we create when practices are based on rights, inclusive belonging, and contribution.” Learning objectives: Understanding the meaning of Inclusion, to foster inclusive learning environments across all three environments: physical, social, and temporal, adapt teaching practices to support highly individualize learning opportunities, and learn strategies for emotional regulation.

Session for: home providers, center providers working with infants/toddlers, afterschool programs working with school-age youth


Lessons Learned from Ten Years of Native Youth Suicide Prevention Work – Maegan Rides at the Door, UM National Native Children’s Trauma Center

This session explores various strategies included in the implementation of a comprehensive suicide prevention initiative for 10-24 year olds. Participants will learn about evaluation efforts to document the effectiveness of gatekeeper trainings, brief intervention and contact for ideation and attempts, and tracking dispatch data. Shifts in prevention strategies and trends that were observed during the COVID pandemic will be discussed. Lessons learned will inform recommendations for other suicide prevention efforts.

Session for: home providers, center providers and afterschool programs working with youth ages 5 – 18


Shades of Creativity: Igniting Bright Futures – Nicole North, MindWorks Resources

Join us as we shine light on fun and creative ways to engage students in active learning! We will open attendees’ eyes to hands-on techniques and activities that seamlessly integrate high-quality enrichment into afterschool with fun, fun, and more fun. Participants will beam as they create, explore, and walk away from the session with new ideas and tools to ensure their afterschool programs are the bright spot in their students’ days. With creativity, imagination, and simple activities, the future of after-school academics is bright!

Session for: home and center providers, afterschool programs working with school-age youth


EduSTEM Expeditions – Shannon Blomker & Nancy Mahlen, NDIT | EduTech

This session focuses on integrating STEM-related resources, technologies, and the engineering process into PK-12 daily curriculum. Activities include, but are not limited to, micro:bits, 3D printing/3D design, block-based and Python coding, and virtual reality career exploration.

Session for: School-age programs working with grades 5-12



List will be updated as exhibitors are confirmed – more to come!


B-HERO Technical Assistance Center

CAPLP/Bright & Early ND

Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons

Leika Sensory Creations

Mackin (August 1 only)

Marketplace for Kids Inc.

MindWorks Resources

North Dakota Parks & Recreation – Bismarck, ND

North Dakota’s Gateway to Science (August 1 only)

NDIT – EduTech

Northern Lights Youth Services

Playworks (August 1 only)

Prairie Public Broadcasting (August 1 only)

Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota


Thriving Together




Holiday Inn Fargo

3803 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND


Mention to reserve room: ND Out-of-School Time & Early Childhood Summit


Summit is approved for 7.5 hours Growing Futures credit per day (up to 15 hours total if both days attended) and one graduate credit (15 hours) through Valley City State University if both days attended.