Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) was launched in 2011 to educate large-scale audiences on the latest early childhood development research and best practices. The Series is the first of its kind in East Baton Rouge Parish. The Series is intended to deepen awareness and understanding of early childhood development by providing essential tools, tactics and methods of providing high-quality pre-K education and services. Research-based presentations engage nationally-recognized speakers and scholars to address and discuss what it takes for all prekindergarten children to be successful in kindergarten and first grade, regardless of their socio-economic and racial backgrounds.


2013 Distinguished Speaker Series


Developmental Disabilities in the Early Learning Landscape

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge Hotel

4-6 pm

Distinguished Speaker: L. Jarrett Barnhill, M.D., DLFAPA, FAACAP, NADD-CC

Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

The Advocate article

 Tune into WRKF 89.3 on November 28, 2013 to The Jim Engster Show to hear an interview with Dr. Barnhill.

To watch the presentation, click below:

Part 1

Part 2


Links related to topic:

Milestones your toddler should be reaching

Resources and tools from the CDC

Developmental Screening



Mind in the Making: Executive Functions

How Parents and Teachers Can Help a Child Succeed

Monday, September 9, 2013

Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel

4-6 pm

Distinguished Speaker: Ellen Galinksky

Families and Work Institute

The Advocate article

To purchase a copy of Galinsky's book, click here.

Mind in the Making website

To watch the presentation, click below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



Safe Children. Safe Classrooms. Safe Schools. 

Making Safety a Priority in Early Childhood Environments

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Distinguished Speaker: Sonayia Shepherd, Ph.D.

Safe Havens International

 ADF May 7th video

The Advocate Article

Safe Haven International Resources

To watch interviews and key points from Dr. Shepherd's presentation, click below:

Part 1

Part 2



Early Childhood Risk and Reach in Louisiana

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Distinguished Speaker: Geoff Nagle, PhD, MPH, LCSW

Tulane University, BrightStart

Guest Speaker: Kirby Goidel, PhD

Louisiana State University

To read Nagle and Goidel's report, click below:

Early Childhood Risk and Reach in Louisiana Report

Nagle and Goidel's PowerPoint presentation

The Advocate Article

LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center

Watch Geoff Nagle and Kirby Goidel's presentation:

Part 1

Part 2


 For our 2012 Series, click here.



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