21st Annual BEST Arts Conference Joins Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School and Moves to Pasadena

Published : Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 10:58 AM

After 20 years in Long Beach, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (PO) is pleased to have the Building Educational Success through the Arts Conference (BEST Arts) join the Pacific Oaks family. The conference will now be administered by Pacific Oaks College’s School of Education under the direction of Core Faculty Dr. Judy Krause. This year’s conference will be held at Pasadena City College on Saturday, April 4, 2020. As BEST Arts successfully enters its 21st year, the event will continue to be an exceptional experience, highlighting the importance of visual and performing arts in early childhood education (ECE).

“The arts: literature, music, dance, theater, visual arts, etc. are vital to a young child’s brain development,” said Dr. Krause. “The focus of BEST Arts is to provide early childhood educators with developmentally appropriate, interactive, hands-on activities focused on the arts that will strengthen a young child’s social emotional, creative, and cognitive development.”

The conference will include networking and learning experiences for all participants, and features workshops and speakers, along with vendors displaying products addressing the arts, literacy, movement, cultural diversity, and inclusion. Featured presenters include: Eric Nelson, Co-Founder and Director of Consulting and Professional Development of the Child Educational Center; Susan Wood, Executive Director of the Children’s Center at Caltech and founder of the Early Childhood Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (ECSTEM) Conference; and Ann Reyner, a nationally recognized arts advocate, arts therapist, and licensed marriage and family therapist. Nelson and Wood are both alumni of Pacific Oaks College. Nelson earned an M.A. in Human Development while Wood received her M.A. in Child Development.
Featured presenters’ workshops include Nelson’s An Introduction to the Outdoor Classroom: The Perfect Landscape for Art and Early Learning, Wood’s From Theory to Practice Through the Lens of STEAM, and Reyner’s Art in the Trauma Toolbox.

“We are very excited to bring BEST Arts to Pasadena. The conference has a reputation of quality professional growth opportunities for early childhood educators. We look forward to continuing our 75-year commitment to respect, diversity, social justice and inclusivity in both Leadership Day and BEST Arts,” said Dr. Jack Paduntin, President of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School.

The highly-anticipated Leadership Day is a new component of the BEST Arts Conference and is designed with community college faculty and ECE administrators in mind. Leadership Day will take place on Friday, April 3, 2020 at the Pasadena campus of Pacific Oaks College. Please visit the BEST Arts conference page for more information on registration or to be added to the conference mailing list.

About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School

Founded 75 years ago in 1945, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (PO) is composed of two educational entities. Pacific Oaks College is a non-profit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor’s and master’s programs in human development, marriage and family therapy, education, early childhood education, teacher preparation, advocacy & social justice, community psychology, and organizational leadership and management. Pacific Oaks Children’s School provides non-profit early childhood education programs for children ages 6 months through 5 years and has pioneered achievements in the areas of anti-bias education, emergent curriculum, and peaceful conflict resolution.

Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a non-profit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.






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