•  July 17, 2024
     9:30 am - 3:30 pm
  •  July 18, 2024
     9:30 am - 2:30 pm

Summer Camp 2024: Playing Around with Play-Based Learning!

Note: This training will provide 9.0 contact hours (not 10.0, as originally listed). Registration begins at 9am each day, but the training begins at 9:30am. 

Learning Level 2: Intermediate/Application

Intended Audience – Administrators, ECSE/General Educators, Paraeducators, Family Members, Family Educators, Psychologists, Social Workers, SLPs, OT/PTs, Early Intervention

Description – Join us for an engaging two days of learning through play! Rich discussions will have participants ready to transform interest areas and provide high-quality play-based learning experiences for all children through inclusive practices. Participants will explore science, literacy, and math with hands-on opportunities, with skilled presenters, and through an early childhood special education lens. Playful learning allows all children to develop social-emotional and academic skills they can use in the classroom and at home! Presenters will incorporate strategies to promote family engagement and participation.

Continuing Education – This training will provide 9.0 contact hours for the following:

  • Educator License Renewal
  • CDA (Child Development Associate) credit in area(s) 2
  • CE credit for SLP, SW, LCPC, PT, and OT professionals
  • Gateways to Opportunity credit in area E (Org. ID# B40093, Event ID# )

Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.


  • Becky Caldwell
    Becky Caldwell has a master's degree in early childhood education and been in the early childhood field for over 35 years in both the for-profit and the not-for-profit arenas. She has worked in corporate child care, the federal Head Start program, the state-supporting PFA-funded programs, and higher education as adjunct faculty supporting early childhood teachers in obtaining their degrees. She has also been a process coach supporting The Pyramid Model Implementation for preventing challenging behavior. She strongly believes in the power of play for young learners.
  • Diann Gano
    Diann Gano opened her childcare program, Under the Gingko Tree in 1986. Under the Gingko Tree became a Nature Explore Certified Outdoor Classroom in 2010. Diann is a member of the Erikson Institute Illinois Town Square Advisory Board, has spoken at the Erikson Institute's Early Childhood Leadership Summit, and has served as a webinar panelist on Town Square Illinois and Indiana. In 2016, she was honored as a recipient of the Let’s Move Child Care Innovator Award. She has spoken at state and national levels on topics ranging from indoor and outdoor learning environments to math and science education in outdoor spaces. Under the Gingko Tree was the feature cover story of Exchange Magazine in May/June 2021. She is a content creator for the University of Illinois Chicago, Early Math Counts and Early Science Matters and Engineering Explorer websites. Diann speaks at state and national levels on topics ranging from indoor and outdoor learning environments to math and science education in outdoor spaces with loose parts.
  • Jac McBride
    Jac McBride is an Early Childhood Resource Specialist for STAR NET Region II. She has a master’s degree in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and served as a special education educator for 20 years as a preschool teacher and Early Intervention provider. Jac held various special education administrator roles for 15 years from supervising preschool programs to Director of Special Education in the suburbs of Chicago prior to retiring from public schools and working for STARNET.
  • Lindsay Meeker
    Dr. Meeker is Director for the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education and Professor in the School of Education at Western Illinois University. She has spent time as teacher of multilingual learners grades K-2, Director of Multilingual Learners, Special Education Director, Early Childhood Director, English Language Development Coach in Dual Language (8-12), High School Special Education Teacher, and Community Childcare worker.
  • Tiffany Posey
    Tiffany Posey is the Community Schools Administrator for West Chicago Elementary School District 33. Previously, Tiffany Worked with Chicago Public Schools for eleven years, serving as a Family Engagement Coordinator, where she supported more than thirty schools and their pre-K programs with community and family engagement efforts for Early Childhood families. Additionally with CPS, she served as a Children and Family Benefit Coordinator under the Office of Student Health and Wellness and a Family Resource Specialist with STAR NET under the Office of Diverse Learners and Support Services. Prior to her time at CPS, she worked as a Parent Educator at Christopher House. Tiffany has extensive background knowledge in education, family/community engagement, and support services overall. This includes delivering high-impact trainings and presentations to staff, students, and families. Tiffany was selected as one of the 2022-2023 Early Childhood Emerging Leaders Fellow with the Maria Whelan Leadership Institute. Tiffany holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from Denison University with a Concentration in Community Organization and Business, as well as a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from North Park University. She is a proud mom of teenage twin boys and an eight-year-old daughter.


3300 River Drive, Moline, Illinois, 61265, United States

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