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2019 Maine Literacy Connections Conference: Fostering Family Engagement

Date: March 28, 2019

Location: Thomas College, Waterville, ME

Registration Workshop Descriptions Event Program

Join the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy for our 11th annual Literacy Connections Conference in Maine. For more information on the workshops offered, view the descriptions here. To print the full event program, click here.

Please note: If paying by purchase order, please submit it via email to or by mail to:

Becky Dyer
P.O. Box 16048
Surfside Beach, SC 29587


Dr. Jayne Singer

Developmental, Social-Emotional, and Trauma Frameworks for Strengthening Learning Readiness

Brain development occurs in the context of relationships, with optimal development depending upon healthy social and emotional relational care for children at their youngest. Family engagement is essential to make progress toward child outcomes. Collaboration among families and school partners assists in providing support for children and families and developing connections to community resources. The process of supporting children’s learning potential is most effective when educators and families truly partner in creating relational environments that understand developmental processes and integrate strategies that support collaboration and a deep understanding of children’s behavior. This keynote will interactively engage the audience with developmental, social-emotional, and trauma-informed frameworks that can enhance relationship-based, developmentally-informed practices to support meaningful learning readiness. Participants will be able to:

  • Enhance their understanding of why a shared vision is key to engaging families and community partners
  • Define and explore elements of developmental processes that are key to understanding development and challenging behavior
  • Understand the role of conflict and challenging behavior in the developmental process
  • Begin to explore the Touchpoints strength-based relational practices as integrated strategies to promote engagement among families and providers

Dr. Jayne Singer is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with a diverse array of children and families in hospitals and community-based settings. Her experience in therapeutic school programs with high rates of trauma includes service as Co-Director for Clinical Services at the Manville School of the Judge Baker Children’s Center. In the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, she has worked for three decades with families of children aged birth through early childhood who face a wide variety of medical, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and familial challenges. Currently, she provides leadership and supervision, assessment, and consultation in the hospital’s Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program, where she applies the Newborn Behavioral Observation system—of which she is an international trainer.

As the faculty clinical psychologist at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC), she developed adaptations of the Brazelton Touchpoints Approach for Early Care and Education for families living with children with special needs, and for trauma-informed intervention. She is the primary author of the Touchpoints in Early Care and Education Reference Guide and the Touchpoints in Reflective Practice guides for practitioners and supervisors. In addition to collaborating on the development and implementation of curricula for the general professional development programs of the BTC, Dr. Singer lectures extensively nationally and internationally on topics related to child development, neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, and on the Touchpoints Approach in specific. She serves as Past and Acting President of the Massachusetts Association of Infant Mental Health: Birth to Six, Inc.


Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience

The Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater (MSIIT) will present interactive improvisational worst-case scenarios based on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These scenarios will generate thoughts and discussions from the audience about ACEs, the effects they have on school-age children, and the importance of school staff’s understanding of those effects. Furthermore, discussion of the problems that ACEs pose for affected children and youth will prompt solutions for fostering resilience and better addressing ACEs in the school setting.

Susan J. Parks is the Executive Director of the Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater (MSIIT). She has been an actor in the organization for 25 years and became the Executive Director in 2016. Susan is an educator in Maine and served as an educational consultant at the Maine Department of Education from 1988 through 2016, with specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education, and Section 504. As a retiree, Susan serves as a non-attorney educational advocate for families of children with disabilities. As an actor with MSIIT, Susan has helped develop and performed in dozens of scenarios about “hot” topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences, adult basic literacy, sexual harassment, domestic violence, racial relations, and staff management communication.



7:30 a.m. – Registration

8:30 a.m. – Welcome

8:40 a.m. – Opening Remarks, British A. Robinson, President and CEO, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

8:55 a.m. – Developmental, Social-Emotional, and Trauma Frameworks for Strengthening Learning Readiness, Dr. Jayne Singer

9:45 a.m. – Break and Transition to Morning Workshops

10:15 a.m. – Morning Workshops (1.5 hours)

11:45 a.m. – Lunch

12:45 p.m. – Excellence by Example Award Presentation

12:55 p.m. – Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience, Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater

1:30 p.m. – Transition to Afternoon Workshops

1:45 p.m. – Afternoon Workshops (1.5)

3:15 p.m. – Raffles and Closing

3:30 p.m. – Conference Ends

Get in Touch

You may also contact us by phone at 850.562.5300 or by mail at:
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
516 North Adams Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32301