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Mishawaka hosts statewide professional development workshop for educators

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- 

A workshop the first of its kind in Indiana will take place at Mishawaka High School Thursday.

The Whole Child Workshop will bring hundreds of educators across the state together to discuss innovative ideas and collaborate to better education.

"I knew that this was something that we could provide to Indiana educators, it was just a matter of pulling it all together," said Sarah Hickle, Director of Student Learning and Innovation at Mishawaka Schools, and the workshop organizer.

She started working on the idea a year ago after attending an out-of-state conference and realizing Indiana did not offer those types of professional development conferences.

She says through the planning process, the community has come behind her with support.

"It's very humbling to know that the entire community and people throughout the state were embarking on that same mission for supporting children,” said Hickle.

The Whole Child Workshop will feature a keynote speaker and 40 breakout sessions with various presenters. All sessions will all fall under three different tracks, how to reach students, teaching students more than just academics, and supporting students by connecting them to resources in the community.

Hickle says working towards reaching every student’s unique needs is a passion many educators have in the area. She hopes the workshop will be a jumping off point to better provide students with help outside of academics.

“If we continue to spend all of our time, energy and efforts only on meeting their academic needs, we know we’re never going to be able to grow them as learners the way that we need,” said Hickle. “We have to get proactive about removing some of those barriers to their learning that might be entirely unrelated to their academic needs and that’s really where the ‘whole child’ fits in.”

More than 300 educators have registered for the event. Some sessions still have openings.

A full list of sessions and more information on the event can be found here.

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