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2017 Because KIDS COUNT Conference: Up Your Game Conference To Host Dozens Of Experts
Updated September 11, 2017 7:13 AM | Filed under: Education
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Youth Institute is releasing new details about how youth workers from Indiana and around the Midwest can "up their game" during the 2017 Because KIDS COUNT Conference. The annual conference is on Tuesday, November 28 and Wednesday, November 29 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

This year's conference will focus on five core competency areas: youth development, health and safety, learning environments, family and community engagement, and program assessment. Several workshops also will address nonprofit management.

Among the 60 workshops at this year's conference are sessions on:

  • The impact of social-emotional learning;

  • Strategies to address youth mental health issues;

  • The impact poverty has on schools and how to change a poverty mindset;

  • Positively engaging parents as partners in youth work and education;

  • How to involve and empower Spanish-speaking parents;

  • Creating a strategy for employee retention;

  • Developing website and marketing strategies for nonprofits on a budget.

In addition to premium workshops, the conference will include special Thought Leader sessions. The first session from educator and author Michael Brandwein will focus on how young people's beliefs about themselves impact their decisions, and where those beliefs originate. The second session with Vincent Pompei, director of the Youth Well-Being Project at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, will discuss the critical role adults play in creating a climate of safety, inclusion and success for LGBTQ youth. In the final session, Ralph Smith with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading will speak about how to promote reading proficiency through community engagement and resources.

Keynote speakers for the 2017 conference include former foster child turned youth advocate Ashley Rhodes-Courter on November 28. Kevin Carroll, author of the Red Rubber Ball book series, will take the stage on November 29 to examine how play can be a catalyst for change and success in a child's life.

Conference attendees may register online at through November 14 for the two-day rate of $250 or the one-day rate of $150. After November 14, anyone wishing to attend must register and pay at the event at a cost of $300 for two days and $175 for one day.

Attendees also may add on a special set of workshops on Monday, November 27. Michael Brandwein will speak at The Leadership Institute, a series of professional development session designed for nonprofit executive directors, board members and organizational leaders on how to increase the sustainability of their organizations. Pricing for The Leadership Institute may be found online at

To off-set the cost of attending BKCC, IYI distributes vouchers to every community foundation and United Way agency in the state. Those interested in obtaining a voucher should call their local offices to determine availability.

Conference happenings and speakers can be followed on Twitter at #BKCC17. For more information, go to or contact the Indiana Youth Institute at 800-343-7060 or

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