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FARMINGTON — A new early childhood education conference in Farmington this weekend aims to provide educators in rural areas access to training.

The inaugural 4 Corners Early Childhood Education Conference will take place today and Saturday at the Farmington Civic Center. The Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah chapters of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development will host the event.

The association promotes learning for teachers by organizing professional development training across the country, said Patricia Miller, executive director of the association's New Mexico chapter.

The four chapters have been working for about 18 months to organize an event to target pre-school and kindergarten to third-grade educators who serve rural and Native American populations, according to Walter McKenzie, the national association's senior director of constituent services.

Opportunities for high quality professional development can often be limited for early childhood educators in rural areas, McKenzie said.

Miller said the conference provides early childhood educators a chance to learn about the importance of early intervention strategies to help students develop healthy learning habits in mathematics and reading.

"If we don't focus on early childhood interventions, we fail to intervene with children when they are most ready to receive services," Miller said.

The two-day conference starts Friday evening with a meet-and-greet event with appetizers, followed by keynote speaker Mark Hoog, who will deliver a motivational speech called "The Promise of Hope."

Saturday's schedule features two more keynote speakers in the morning before educators attend three breakout sessions in the afternoon.

A total of 28 classes will be spread out across three sets of breakout sessions for educators to attend.

McKenzie said the 38 presenters will cover topics like social and emotional learning, how play can affect a student's ability to write and how students with a strong math foundation can become strong critical thinkers.

Miller said those who can't attend the conference can pay to watch a video livestream of the three keynote speakers on the conference's website.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.

IF YOU GO


What: 4 Corners Early Childhood Education Conference

When: Registration opens at 4 p.m. today and 7 a.m. Saturday. Event today starts at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday starts at 7:45 a.m.

Where: Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. 

Cost: $99 registration fee includes snacks and meals

More info: Visit www.fourcornersconference.org or email wmckenzie@ascd.org.
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