Doing What Matters for Alabama’s Children

14th Annual Conference to Improve the Well-Being of Our Children

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


8:30 – 8:35 am


Welcome and Invocation
Dr. Charles Nash, Senior Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of Alabama System Greetings from Governor Kay Ivey
8:35 –8:45 am America’s Promise
Dr. Charles Nash, Senior Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of Alabama System
8:45 – 9:15 am


Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in Alabama, Pre-K – 12
Dr. Eric Mackey, Superintendent, Alabama State Department of Education
9:15 – 9:45 am



Investing in Pre-K:  Building it Better
Dr. Barbara Cooper, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education
9:45 – 9:55 am Break / Transition to Breakout Sessions
9:55 – 10:40 am


Breakout Sessions

All breakout sessions will be recorded and available to view after the conclusion of the conference

1.      State of Alabama’s Children: Information from the 2020 Alabama Kids Count Data Book
          Stephen Woerner, Voices for Alabama’s Children

2.      The Power of Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) in Buffering Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
         Joan Witherspoon, Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers
        Sallye Longshore, Alabama Department of Child Abuse &Neglect Prevention

3.      Summer Learning to Extend Opportunities for Students
         Dr. Andrew Maxey, Tuscaloosa City Schools

4.      Healthcare Inequities
         Dr. Karen Landers, District Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health 

5.      Parenting in a Pandemic: Social Support for Families
         Dr. Cailin Kerch, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Alabama College of Education
Dr. Cheryl Fondren, Success By 6 Director, United Way of West Alabama 

6.      How COVID Is Impacting Health Health and What Can I do About Mine?
        Larry Deavers, Executive Director, Family Counseling Service of West  AL

7.      Mental Health Needs of Alabama’s Children and Adolescents
        Dr. Martha Crowther, Professor, University of Alabama Clinical Psychology

10:40 – 10:50 am Break / Transition to General Session
10:50 – 10:55 am Remarks from Judge Robertson, Probate Judge, Tuscaloosa County
10:55 – 11:35 am Challenges of COVID-19 in Children and Teens–What Can We Do About It?
Brent Cosby, Laurel Oaks Behavior Health Center
11:35 am – 12:10 pm


Don’t Let Adversity Be Your Adversary
Derek Osborn, Assistant Director, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, A Family Resource Center 
12:10 – 12:30 pm Remarks from Mayor Walt Maddox, City of Tuscaloosa

Where Do We Go From Here
Amanda Lightsey, Executive Director, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, A Family Resource Center