10th annual Early Childhood Symposium on Feb. 23

The 10th annual early child symposium, sponsored by the Collaboration for Early Childhood, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23.

Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland, will again host the event, which brings parents, caregivers and educators together for morning-to-afternoon workshops. “Community: building relationships in early childhood” is this year’s theme.

“People attending the Symposium will learn strategies for nurturing all types of relationships – a critical step in building a foundation for success of young children and their families,” according to the Collaboration’s press release.

The annual keynote address to kick-off the symposium will be delivered by Dr. Marie Masterson, a faculty member at Dominican University in River Forest. The morning keynote address is followed by more than a dozen workshops on early childhood care and education.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Online registration and brochure available at www.collab4kids.org. Also call 708-613-6122 for more information. The symposium is supported by the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, Whole Foods Market in River Forest, Oak Park elementary school District 97 and PTOs, and Oak Park Public Library.

Longfellow hosts annual Black History Month program

The 6th annual Black History Month program at Longfellow School takes place Friday Feb. 22. Live music, food, dance and spoken word performances are among the activities at this free event. Longfellow’s fifth-grade Kuumba Kids dance troupe is scheduled to perform. Other guest artists include SPIRTS Masquerade and Drum Society, and spoken wordsmith Ayinde Cartman. An African marketplace set up will include handmade jewelry, clothing and other cultural apparel.

The event is sponsored by PAAC (Parents of African American Children). It runs from 7-9 p.m. at Longfellow, 715 S. Highland. For more information: 708-524-3060.

OPRF Black Professionals Day, parent dinner Feb. 20

Oak Park and River Forest High School students will get the chance to hear from prominent African-American professionals next Wednesday. The school’s annual Black Professionals Day, sponsored by the school’s African-American staff and faculty, is from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The students will meet and talk to individuals of varied careers throughout the day. It takes place Feb. 20 at OPRF, 201 N. Scoville, in the Little Theater.

Also scheduled for next Wednesday is the annual National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) Dinner, from 6-9 p.m. in North Cafeteria. The 18th annual event includes dinner and a brief performance by students.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com

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