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Webinar Series for Child Life Specialists

Bank Street’s webinars are designed as interactive workshops bringing experts to the community to discuss current topics. Participation is limited to 25 people to allow discussion and engagement around practical application of new strategies. A computer with a high-speed internet connection is required. A microphone and video camera are optional.

  • Child Life Expertise in Disaster Relief

    New Date: Thursday, July 26 at 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

    This presentation will describe the field of disaster relief, the effects on children, and the recommended interventions and the history of child life involvement. Through discussion and first-hand deployment stories, participants will have an opportunity to explore play-based interventions for children in the immediate aftermath of disasters and mass shootings. Participants will also learn about the current work being done both nationally and on the local level through Child Life Disaster Relief and how they can get involved.

    Facilitator: Katie Nees is the Co-founder and Director of Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR). She and her team have been working on meeting the psychosocial needs of children after natural and man-made disasters for the past 6 years. Nees has been a certified child life specialist since 2002 and works in an Emergency Department. She is also a Professional Consultant and Trainer for Children's Disaster Services, one of CLDR's main partner organizations. She has seen first-hand the importance of expanding the child life expertise into the field of disaster relief and carries those empowering stories with her throughout her work. Nees holds a Masters degree in End-of-Life Care for George Washington University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University.

  • Supporting Pregnant Adolescents and Young Mothers in the Pediatric Emergency Department

    Thursday, March 22 at 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

    The pregnant adolescent population can benefit from child life intervention and support when seeking medical care to aid them in making informed choices about their health and the health of their baby. Special consideration will be given to disclosure of pregnancy, decision making, cases of miscarriage and working with young mothers in the healthcare setting. Through this webinar, participants will develop skills for working with this vulnerable population and come to understand the complex situations that teenagers may find themselves in when a pregnancy test comes back positive.

    Facilitator: Meghan Amorosa, MS, CCLS is a Certified Child Life Specialist at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY. She works in the Pediatric Emergency Room and Radiology. Meghan received an MS in Child Life from Bank Street College. She also has a BA in Psychology from Georgetown University.

  • Introduction to White Racial Literacy for Adults Working with Children

    Wednesday, April 25 at 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

    Participants will develop a conceptual frame from which to consider the role of race and its impact on your work with children and families. In this webinar, we introduce the concept of racial literacy as defined by scholar and educator Robin DiAngelo, as a lens to examine constructs and behaviors that shape your work with children of all backgrounds and in a variety of settings. While we have learned that having a specialist or teacher who shares racial/ethnic background is essential to children of color, the truth is that the fields of child life and education are predominantly white and female. You will learn how to implement strategies to identify racism within yourself and your environments to better support all children and families.

    Dr. Cecelia TraughFacilitators: Dr. Cecelia Traugh is Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Bank Street College. Prior to coming to Bank Street, Dr. Traugh was Dean of the School of Education at Long Island University, Brooklyn and the Director of its Center for Urban Educators (CUE). Throughout her career, she has combined her roles as a teacher, administrator and researcher in pursuit of the kind of education that grows out of a valuing of the capacities of children, parents and teachers. Some of Traugh's areas of concentration are descriptive school-based inquiry, curriculum development and evaluation, including qualitative evaluation, and the preparation of teachers for urban schools. Her current work in schools includes school-wide inquiry groups in small schools across Manhattan and Brooklyn. These inquiry groups use the Descriptive Processes developed at the Prospect Center in North Bennington, Vermont to investigate issues important to the inclusive education of all children and to the ongoing development of the schools themselves.

    Dr. Wendi WilliamsDr. Wendi Williams is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bank Street College of Education. Dr. Williams is a counseling psychologist and has taught, coordinated and chaired within the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at Long Island University - Brooklyn. Her research, writing, activism, and advocacy centers on articulating and acting to address the ways intersectional identities and contexts impact people's lives; whether they are hypervisible or disregarded/ignored. In her work, she seeks to consider implications of intersectional identity formation to shape individual and collective mental health, education, wellness and opportunities for leadership among diverse populations, especially women and girls.

  • The Tongue Depressor Challenge, and Other Medical Maker Stories

    Thursday, June 14 at 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

    Makers are the DIY branch of healthcare, solving patient care issues through artful use of what’s at hand. This presentation will introduce the maker movement and how child life specialists can participate as innovators. The session will include case examples, discussion of loose parts theory, and demonstration of several prototypes for teaching tools and toys. Collaborating on medical maker projects with others on the interdisciplinary team can bring out playfulness, ingenuity, and joy for the work of healing and caregiving. Crafting 3D models alongside patients and families can engage children in shared meaning-making about the healthcare experience.

    Facilitator: Jon Luongo has worked and played in pediatric healthcare since 1997. At Maimonides Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn, Luongo started the sedation-free MRI program, a quality improvement model for the Pediatrics and Radiology Departments. He co-wrote a chapter with Deborah Vilas in the Handbook of Medical Play Therapy and Child Life: Clinical Interventions for Children and Adolescents (Routledge, 2018). He makes a harmonica from two tongue depressors, rubber bands and an index card, and plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" on a slide whistle made from a syringe. Luongo taught at Bank Street College of Education and currently serves as a delegate with 1199 Healthcare Workers' Union. Luongo holds a Master’s Degree in Child Life from Bank Street College.

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    • How-to guides and resources for making innovative teaching tools and toys.
    • A familiarity with the maker movement, its role in healthcare, and how child life specialists can get involved.
    • An understanding of why tinkering with “loose parts” can achieve optimal cognitive gains in pediatric patients, and improve patient outcomes.