HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences 109TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXPO

Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Summer 2018 | Go to article overview

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences 109TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXPO


Experts Convene in Atlanta to Share New Strategies, Research and Tools to Improve Social and Emotional Well-Being

More than 500 professionals and students in family and consumer sciences and allied fields from across the U.S. gathered at the Marriott Marquis for the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) 109th Annual Conference & Expo, Cultivating Social and Emotional Competence for Healthy Relationships, in Atlanta, Georgia, June 24 - 27,2018.

In addition to concurrent sessions, ¡3 roundtables, curriculum and design showcases, research poster presentations, and learning labs, the conference featured two keynote speakers. Dena Simmons, EdD, assistant director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, officially kicked off the conference at the Opening General Session with her powerful keynote, "Leveraging Emotionally Intelligent and Culturally Relevant Practices for Thriving Families and Youth." Dr. Simmons shared research and strategies related to connecting with and better understanding others, especially those who may be different from us, and how this can be especially useful In an educational setting. On Wednesday, Capstone Luncheon keynote speaker Dr. Paul McGhee, PhD, (above) president ofThe Laughter Remedy, not only made attendees laugh, but also discussed research on laughter, how it benefits us, and ways to bring more laughter into our lives.

When they weren't participating in high-quality learning opportunities, attendees were able to network and connect at the Expo; luncheons; Welcome Reception; Expo Egg-stravaganza; and "Find Your People" Event (see photos at right).

Attendees Focus Attention on "Say Yes to FCS" Educator Recruitment Plans!

Family and consumer sciences (FCS) professionals from all practice settings spent time at the recent AAFCS Annual Conference in Atlanta setting goals and outlining plans to address educator shortages in secondary, post-secondary and Extension settings across the country. Since 2015, collaborative actions taken by FCS professionals, organizations, and stakeholders have included a very successful social media campaign and the creation of valuable resources for implementation and replication at the local, institutional, and state levels. During the Summit for Action, professionals also learned about the new USDA grant, "National Partnership to Recruit, Prepare, and Support FCS Educators." In small and large groups, attendees discussed strategies for:

* Branding of FCS

* Educating and Leveraging Support Through Stakeholders

* Impacting Legislation/National Policy

* Utilizing/Strengthening Social Media

* Promoting and Advancing Research Efforts and Initiatives

Stay tuned to the website (www.aafcs.org/sayyes) for updates on these initiatives and the continued growth of the campaign! If you were unable to attend the Summit for Action but would still like to be involved in one of these areas, please email sayyes@aafcs.org.

Watson Receives AAFCS National Teacher of the Year Award

Jenny Watson, CFCS, family and consumer sciences (FCS) educator (center), Southeast Middle School, Kernersville, North Carolina, received the AAFCS 2018 National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox Publisher, at the AAFCS 109th Annual Conference. The award was presented by Todd Scheffers (far left) and John Flanagan (far right) of Goodheart-Willcox, during the Opening General Session.

Watson's award-winning family and consumer sciences program, "COUNTing on Kindness," focuses on improving student's communication, relationship, problem-solving, and selfimprovement skills throughout the lessons and service learning projects. As of the 2016-17 school year, due to Watson's outstanding curriculum and the school-wide events she has coordinated, the administration found improvements in bullying behaviors and witnessed more kindness throughout the school.

National Teacher of the Year Merit Finalists were also honored for their outstanding programs: Camelle Kinney, (second from right) for "Using HyperDocuments, A Student Run Restaurant and Relationships to Get Students Career Ready," and Karen Roberts, (second from left) for "Nutrition and Wellness: Fostering a Commitment for Sustaining Wellness for Life. …

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