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Professional Development Opportunity

The Growing Brain

The Growing Brain: A Training Curriculum for Early Childhood Providers


Part 1: June 4, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Part 2: June 7, 1 - 4 p.m.

This innovative training focuses on giving trainers evidence-informed strategies with which to prepare early childhood providers for their vital role in building healthy brains. The curriculum fills a unique niche by providing a comprehensive understanding of how the 

brain develops, along with ways the provider can encourage healthy brain development in children from birth to 5 years old. 


Participants will learn skills and strategies for:

1. Understanding brain development (architecture and neurobiology) to inform their work with children in early childhood settings

2. Supporting language, cognition, prosocial behavior, and social-emotional development

3. Reducing toxic stress that can negatively influence brain development of very young children


The Growing Brain is comprised of seven units:

Unit 1: Brain Basics

Unit 2: Factors Affecting Brain Growth and Development

Unit 3: Communication and Language Development

Unit 4: Cognition and Executive Function

Unit 5: Social - Emotional Development

Unit 6: Understanding Behavior

Unit 7: The Everyday Play


Presenter: Melissa Mendez, LCWS, IMH-E, Director of Early Childhood Programs at Wheeler Clinic in Connecticut and Adjunct Instructor in the MSW program at Southern Connecticut State University. She is a certified trainer for ZERO to THREE's "The Growing Brain" early childhood professional curriculum. 


You must register in advance for this training. If you are a WV STARS Participant please visit the training calendar to register. Otherwise, you can use the links below. Attendance both days is required for credit. 


Part 1:

Part 2:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Resources from  West Virginia  Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association

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Dr. Boothe Video

Emily Boothe, WV Psychiatrist, provides helpful education for parents. Topics include establishing routines, anxiety and postpartum depression/baby blues.

Well-Woman Chart

Recommendations for Well-Woman care including screening, evaluation of health risks and needs, counseling, and immunization. 

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Click image to view or download. 

Domestic Violence   Guidance

Information on the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) for victims of domestic violence who may need to be rehoused somewhere their abuser can’t find them and where they cannot be found by driver’s license information or court documents. There are three different info sources in this packet.

The Dangerousness Lethality Assessment Guide (D-LAG).  This booklet helps with:  Understanding the nature and extent of the domestic violence, Identify highly dangerous/potentially lethal behaviors, Provide a heightened response when indicators are present, and Coordinate responses across systems. It has responses for law enforcement, advocates, magistrates, family and circuit court, prosecutors, child protection (pages 18-19), victim attorney/GAL, and batterers intervention programs.

There's An App   For   That

CDC's Developmental Milestone Tracker App - Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.

Docscan app – Free app that allows you to take pictures of screenings instead of sending just a picture and then it turns it into a PDF. it makes the email process easier. This app for iPhone can be accessed at the following link:

Adobe Fill & Sign app – Another free option. This app is for iPhone. 

Mobile Scanner app - You get the first 3 days free and then the price is $39.99/year. 

CamScanner app – Scan, edit, store and sync receipts, notes, invoices, business cards certificates, etc. to smartphones, iPads, tablets, and computers. 

JotForm app - Allows anyone to quickly create custom online forms with a drag-and-drop user interface to help make form building simple. JotForm pricing starts at $15.83 per month, per user. There is a free version. 

Apps for Managing Stress

Headspace - free meditation app for iPhone 

Oil Painting Color by Number App for iPhone

Happify - Happify is the single destination for effective, evidence-based solutions for better mental health. 

ReWiThe ReWi app allows you to track eight activities that are known to promote well-being. These include sleep, exercise, meditation, goal setting, gratitude, kindness, social connection, and savoring. All these practices are based on psychological research suggesting that increasing these practices can lead to increased happiness. You can choose to log responses for any of the wellness activities at any given time on a daily basis. The more you log, the more likely it is that you will establish long-term change!

Happy Not Perfect - Backed by science, designed for you, Happy Not Perfect is your go-to place for everything you need to look after your mind in a fun new way. Feel the difference in minutes with over 300+ meditations!


The Happiness Lab - Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. She's changed the lives of thousands of people through her class "Psychology and the Good Life," and she'll change yours, too. Are you ready to feel better?


Unlocking Us with Brené Brown - Conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart. 

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