The 4th Annual Heart to Shape a Mind: Early Childhood Conference was held at Mid Michigan College’s Mt. Pleasant Campus on November 3, 2018. The conference is co-hosted by Mid’s Early Childhood Education Program and the Clare-Gladwin and Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Collaboratives.

Over 55 people attended the one-day event to enhance professional knowledge in the areas of trauma-informed care, early literacy, challenging behavior, working with a disadvantaged population, and generating healthy attachments.

A particularly interesting session was Unpaved Roads: Poverty Simulation Game. Developed by Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, this board game simulates the everyday struggles underprivileged people in rural areas often face.

Attendees earned Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for their participation.

“Early childhood educators are often placed in the position of having to interpret situations that call for creative teaching strategies and effective problem-solving while incorporating knowledge of how children learn at each stage of development. The Heart to Shape a Mind ECE Conference offers a variety of training that increases professional proficiencies while providing support within a community of professionals with similar goals,” explained Julie Ehle, Coordinator of Mid’s ECE Program.

Mid’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program offers certificate and associate degree credentials, often allowing those already working in the field to strengthen and earn official documentation of their skills. Throughout the academic year, on average, over 40 ECE students are in our local communities completing training hours at licensed childcare facilities.

“This conference is a something the ECE Program is proud to bring to our communities, and reinforces the commitment our instructors and students make each and every day to serve our communities and the children who reside there,” added Ehle.

For more information about the Early Childhood Education Program at Mid and this conference, contact Julie Ehle at (989) 386-6641 or

Conference attendees in Mid's Community Room
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