About the Kids First National Conference | October 26-27th, 2020


Mission Driven for Student Success

The National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) is dedicated to promoting the success of at-risk youth in schools and supporting the professionals who work on their behalf was founded by Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones in 2001.

For the last two decades, the NAREN TranZed National Conference has had a rich history of providing resources addressing at-risk, disadvantaged, and marginalized students.

We are excited to announce that the legacy of NAREN will continue and expand in 2020 to reach even more professionals serving children and youth. The former NAREN National Conference has been renamed the Virtual Kids First National Conference and will be held online October 26-27. There are two purposes for this name change.

First, the 2020 Virtual Kids First National Conference is designed for all child and youth serving professionals—in addition to educational professionals. We strongly value our loyal NAREN Conference participants and enthusiastically welcome them to Kids First where they will continue to find the practical, inspiring, and innovative tools they rely on for boosting their capacity to serve at-risk students. We believe this expansion with an interactive online delivery model will cultivate both the innovative ideas and unifying spirit that our conference is known for providing.

Second, Kids First seeks to generate a movement of adults dedicated to genuinely putting Kids First in our policies, delivery of services, strategies, approaches, technology models, and everyday interactions with our children and youth. Kids need a whole child approach by adults to having their needs met. Kids First will bring a broader group of child-serving adults together to lend voice to this movement, share innovative ideas, and design transformation in all aspects of caring for and educating our kids. The conference will equip educational and child-serving leaders and professionals to Innovate & Transform to ensure our children and youth thrive. This combination of participant expansion and joint creation of a true Kids First movement has us tremendously excited.

The Kids First National Conference is presented by The Children’s Guild Alliance, a national organization serving children, families, and child-serving organizations and dedicated to transforming how America educates and cares for its children through education, behavioral health, national training and consultation services, in collaboration with the Towson University Department of Special Education.

Kids First National Conference - two children sitting at table learning on a tablet
Kids First National Conference - adult and child working on STEM project
Kids First National Conference - student working on school work at outdoor table


Join the conversation about the 2020 Virtual Kids First National Conference on social media and use #KidsFirstConf2020.

Attend the 2020 Virtual Kids First National Conference with the theme “Innovation & Transformation,” October 26-27, 2020. Renowned educators, speakers, and authors Robert Jackson and Dr. Joe Sanfelippo will keynote this year’s conference.

Certificate of attendance for all attendees.
Category I Social Work CEUs awarded for all sessions.