KVCC ECE symposium draws educators, students

FAIRFIELD — Kennebec Valley Community College hosted its third annual Early Childhood Education Symposium on Oct. 18. With more than 65 educators and students in attendance, the symposium offered training that included speakers, networking opportunities and technique presentations. The symposium presented an opportunity for KVCC’s Early Childhood Education students to build and expand on knowledge that is an essential component of their education, as these industry skills will be applicable to both their KVCC coursework and in the workplace post-graduation.
Speaking topics at the symposium included physical education, mindfulness, nature exploration, poverty and adverse childhood experiences, among others. The keynote speech, “Keep STEAMing Ahead: Early Education Specialists Have the Skills to do STEM Well,” was presented by Perin Chick of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.
A presentation honoring Kennebec Valley Community Action Program employee Desiree Marin was given to recognize her integral role in the implementation of the innovative KVCC Discovery Groups program, which offers a hands-on setting for ECE students to gain experience directly related to their coursework. “Desiree is a shining light for families in our community and brings KVCC Discovery Groups to life,” said Jessica Powell, KVCC Early Childhood Development department chair. “I wholeheartedly believe that the ECE experts involved in the Symposium are critical to our success.”
KVCC’s Early Childhood Education program has graduated 1,186 students since its inception in 2009. The 63-credit ECE program also offers both traditional face-to-face instruction, as well as online courses. The combination of delivery methods helps students from across the state progress through the academic program at a pace that can be adapted to fit with their work schedules and family obligations. The program includes field experience requirements that provide critical learning. KVCC Discovery Groups are aimed at whole-family education, benefitting not only educators in early childhood development, but also the young families from Kennebec, Somerset, and Knox counties who participate.