The Kids First National Conference | October 26-27th

As the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues, Children Need Us More than Ever

Thank you for attending the 2020 Virtual Kids First National Conference, providing educators, child-serving professionals, non-profit leaders, and families with innovative and transformative strategies to support and engage children during this traumatic time. Attend live or review sessions with on-demand access. 


Get Additional Training, Post-conference, with our Digital Learning Platform

We’ve partnered with Olive Group, an international leader in digital training solutions, to provide you with digital training resources built on neuroscience and the latest brain-based learning techniques.

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Why You Must Attend


Strong lineup of educational and child-serving experts showcasing innovative and  transformative  strategies in the COVID-19 environment


Interactive sessions and networking events addressing current opportunities and challenges  serving children 


Never miss out on the keynotes or parallel sessions with the ability to review sessions on-demand at your own pace 


Get the professional development you need, with certificate of attendance for all attendees plus Category I Social Work CEUs

Our keynote and featured speakers are Innovating & Transforming education and leadership!

Keynote Speakers

Robert Jackson

Power of the Educator: Becoming Culturally Aware of Staff and Students

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo

Hacking Leadership: Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love

Featured Speakers

Frank Kros, MSW, JD

Award Winning Speaker
2019 Maryland Child Advocate of the Year
Transformational Translator

Dr. Jim Ewing

English and Math Strategies for English Language Learners

Shauna King, Ed.S

Author of “School Smart: It’s More Than Just Reading and Writing”

Dr. Steve Parese

Author of “Workin’ It Out” and expert in cognitive interventions for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders

General Session Speaker

Pre-conference Speakers

John Baker

President & CEO

Phil Cooke

Cooke Media Group

Mike Mathews

Vice President of Technology & Innovation
Oral Roberts University

Dr. Andrew Ross

President & CEO
The Children’s Guild Alliance

Dr. Trent Grundmeyer

Grundmeyer Leader Services

Nina Rees

President & CEO
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Gary Kellner, PhD

Chief Mission Advancement Officer
The Children’s Guild Alliance

Dr. Sundra Ryce

Ryce Development LLC

Jennifer Ozgur

SEL Solutions

Heidi Marlinghaus

SEL Solutions

Themes & Tracks


The Leadership Track is for the leader to leave the conference with a plan to bring about transformation in their organization, school, or school district. This will occur by using the appreciative inquiry process, helping leaders identify their organization’s strengths to determine what they can do more of to move closer to a possible, preferred future.

*Must select this option when you register 


Learn how educators can thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaborate with experts in general and special education on creative ways to engage students and help them succeed!  


Learn effective ways to manage the impact of COVID-19 on student achievement, adult and children’s mental health and wellness, and resilience during troubled times.

Juvenile Justice

Hear from leaders in juvenile justice who have fostered transformation to achieve equity, mitigate the impact of trauma experienced by youth and staff, and overcome staff resistance.  Those participating in these workshops will be exposed to strategies to prevent the school-to-prison pipeline and to “future proof” your school to make sure it is relevant and engaging.

Mental Health

Mental health providers have had to adapt and innovate to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Workshops will range from examining successful therapeutic interventions to considering broader implications of delivering mental health services today and in the future. 

A Must Attend For

  • Educators
  • School Administrators, Superintendents, & School Board Members
  • Child-Serving Professionals
  • Non-profit Leaders
  • Social Workers & Mental Health Professionals
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech Therapists
  • Behavior Specialists
  • Juvenile Justice Professionals
  • Parents/Guardians, Grandparents, & Foster Parents
  • Homeschool Community

Address the Needs of Children During COVID-19

Educators, child-serving professionals,  and families have had to confront the  challenges of shifting from traditional classrooms to online learning. School leaders grapple with tough issues  about how to deliver education in a COVID-19 world. Mental health professionals deliver services online  while  many  community services are limited or unavailable. Residential and juvenile justice facilities continue to focus on the health and well-being of the children, families, and youth  they serve while implementing new state restrictions and guidelines around COVID-19.

We must rethink how we meet the needs of students. The current situation demands transformation and innovation. 

The  inaugural  2020 Virtual Kids First National Conference will provide attendees with innovative strategies that address the needs of the whole child.

Let’s Innovate & Transform

The Virtual Kids First National Conference will equip you to innovate and transform to ensure children thrive and tackle the challenges facing children and families during this unprecedented time. The conference will broaden your knowledge as you learn from a cadre of exciting speakers committed to putting “Kids First” as we explore transformation, innovation, technology, and mental health to address needs of the whole child as education and delivery models continue to adapt and embrace technology in the COVID-19 environment.

Register Now