April 28th & 29th, 2016
April 28th & 29th, 2016
April 28th & 29th, 2016

Keith Pentz

Keith L. Pentz, National Education Advisor for Kaplan Early Learning Company, has been in the field of education for 30 years. Keith began his career by working in childcare with infants and toddlers. Later, he taught elementary students as well as Kindergarten. Keith spent the remainder of his classroom time teaching Pre-Kindergarten and working specifically with low socio-economic families and inclusion students. Following his experiences in the classroom, Keith moved on to teach at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, and he also was a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts.Along with his classroom experience and writing, Keith has been involved in a variety of research and hands-on programs—specifically regarding play therapy and play as a strategy for the development of cognitive processes. Keith is a founding member of Project Play, a developmental, play therapy-based, and behavior intervention program that works with young children who may have difficulties developmentally, cognitively, or socially and emotionally.

The many and varied experiences have provided Keith with a strong knowledge base and he uses that knowledge in his many presentations, keynotes, consultations, and training's. 

Keith speaks to groups at the local, regional, national, and international level. His areas of expertise include:

  • Brain-compatible teaching and learning strategies
  • Cognitive development/child development
  • Early literacy
  • Learning environments
  • Conflict resolution
  • Early childhood curriculum and instruction, and
  • Positive discipline models 
With a real passion for quality early childhood education, Keith works for educational reform, creating positive teaching and learning models, and applying best practices, always with the child as the central focus. 

Keith has degrees from Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania (BA in Music), the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida (MA in Elementary Education), and post-graduate/doctoral studies in early childhood education curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida.

View Keith Pentz Thursday April 28th Sessions

Morning Session

Afternoon Sessions

Michael Levine

We are also pleased to welcome Michael Levine from The Learning Groove. Both speakers Jennifer Daniels and Michael Levine will share information in sessions on Thursday. They will also be our Keynote presenters for Friday morning, as well as hosting our Community Concert with mascot "Pete the Cat" on Friday afternoon. The community is welcome to this event from 5 pm -6 pm, free of charge

Michael "Mr. Michael" Levine is the co-founder of The Learning Groove (TLG), which offers music classes, preschool music curriculum, and an extraordinary line of educational music. He also is the music producer of the first four New York Times bestselling Pete The Cat books by Eric Litwin and James Dean, and he regularly performs Pete The Cat stories & TLG songs at concerts, workshops, and keynotes throughout the nation.

As a singer-songwriter, he has won many awards and has opened for such acts as Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, Live, Joe Walsh, and many more. As a performer for children, he plays guitar, bass, and percussion, and he uses the latest hip-hop technology to create live music loops and beats.

Learn more about Mr. Michael at www.michaellevine.net.

View Michael Levine's Thursday April 28th Session

Afternoon Sessions

Jennifer Daniels

We are also pleased to welcome Jennifer Daniels from The Learning Groove. Both speakers Jennifer Daniels and Michael Levine will share information in sessions on Thursday. They will also be our Keynote presenters for Friday morning, as well as hosting our Community Concert with mascot "Pete the Cat" on Friday afternoon. The community is welcome to this event from 5 pm -6 pm, free of charge

Jennifer is an award winning songwriter and a powerhouse on stage. She tours schools, libraries, and Play Museums performing stories and songs that get kids jumping and growling and smiling and excited about learning. She works for The Learning Groove, walking teachers through the training process, and teaches parent/child music and movement classes in her hometown of Chattanooga, TN.

Jennifer offers interactive workshops for educators seeking to build this fun way of learning into their curriculum. Her workshops move fast and are full of laughs, music, stories, and real strategies that teachers and librarians can immediately employ. With a Master's in psychology, Jennifer has a special love for individualized learning, especially for kids with special needs. She teaches participants how to see each child, and how to facilitate intentional play that motivates them.

She and husband/guitar hero, Jeff Neal, live in Lookout Mountain, GA with their 4 year old boy/girl twins, a host of tadpoles, one surviving goldfish, and their beloved canine Bob Marley. She enjoys laughing, running, soccer, growing peppers, backyard birds and fantasies of how to torment bird-food eating squirrels.

Find out more about Jennifer at www.TLGwithJenniferDaniels.com.

View Jennifer Daniels Thursday April 28th Session

Afternoon Session

Julie Bartkus

Julie Bartkus is an Internationally Known speaker and Child Care Business Success Mentor and Coach. Her passion is helping child care owners create positive, productive and profitable child care businesses . If you desire to keep your passion for your child care program (your baby) alive while your child care business grows and thrives, Julie Bartkus can help.

Child Care Owners across the world have benefited from the transformational strategies Julie shares through her speaking, consulting, coaching and writing. Julie’s clients have been able to:

  • Grow their child care businesses by as much as 33% in 60 days
  • Cultivate a positive workplace culture in as little as 60 days
  • Get their heads and spirits back in "the game" of creating their dreamy child care programs
  • Fill enrollments in as little as 90 days
  • Leap from overwhelmed to overjoyed - reclaiming your time
  • Secure as many as 15 new enrollments at your Open House

How does Julie help child care owners get these kind of results?

She believes that how you do anything is how you do everything. So her approach is to take a holistic look at what's going on in your business so she can partner with you to create your fast path to profits plan of action. It is her passion to make sure that every interaction she has with you leads to at least one new and exciting idea that will get you on your fastest path to greater profits.

Owners, Directors, Entrepreneurs please join Julie on Friday, April 29th for the following sessions.

5 Simple Steps To Help You Manage, Motivate and Retain Great Staff

For Owners and Directors:

Wouldn't it be nice if someone said: Here's your step-by-step plan of action to help you manage, motivate and retain great staff? And what if they also told you that this plan of action will not only help you cultivate a positive workplace culture in record time but will also leave you feeling happy, inspired and motivated? Attend this program and discover a transformational plan of action that Julie Bartkus has developed and has been sharing with child care leaders for over 16 years. She'll reveal what staff motivation is and reveal what traditional methods of staff motivation don't work. Additionally you'll discover what the number one component to motivating staff is. The answer may surprise you! Her plan will help you eliminate turnover, absenteeism, tardiness and the destructive communication patterns (such as gossip and drama) that keep your team stuck.

5 Simple Steps To Help You Manage, Motivate and Retain Great Staff

The 5 Profit Killers That Your Security Cameras Will Never Reveal To You

For Owners:

What are the things that every child care leader should know about when it comes to profit killers? How about: What they are!! Then you can decide which ones you're going to eliminate so you can boost your profitability and keep more of what you make. One of the profit killers is turnover, and another is unmotivated staff. During this session you'll have the opportunity to get on your fast path to higher profits by taking a good look at how much of your profits are leaking out of your pocket You'll not only gain this awareness - you'll also gain specific strategies to help you terminate turnover, motivate staff and eliminate all 5 profit killers.

The 5 Profit Killers That Your Security Cameras Will Never Reveal To You

Find out more about Julie at www.leadershipconnectionforchildcare.com

View Julie Bartkus' Friday April 29th Sessions

Morning Session

Afternoon Session


Heroes 4 Higher

Heroes 4 Higher is bringing the ultimate, every day, community outreach tool to Building Bridges Huntington Area Early Childhood Conference. Huntington West Virginia has its’ very own Batmobile and we are bringing it to the HAECC Super Power Parade on Thursday, April 28th!! The H4H-Hope-Mobile is a one of a kind, fully street legal Batmobile that is truly one of a kind as It is used to inspire HOPE throughout communities nationwide for several outreach missions. Please join us to celebrate the empowerment of children and families and the message the Bat Mobile shares.

We hope you will join us for the Session entitled: From Survivor to Over Comer The John Buckland Story

John Buckland shares his message of surviving against the odds and not just becoming a survivor of child abuse and neglect but a man who chooses to be an Overcomer. John shares his message across the world.... Leadership in the face of adversity is what every early childhood teacher needs to prepare for the daily obstacles we face in our classrooms. Let John share his story and empower you to be the teacher every child needs.

Batman - Heros 4 Hire Press Kit - Download Here to Learn More

Find out more about Heroes 4 Hire: www.hrh.us

View Heros 4 Higher Friday April 29th Session

Afternoon Session