The West Coast Collaborative presents:

Bridging Boundaries During Challenging Times

Presented by: Tiziana Filippini, Loretta  Bertani,

and members of The West Coast Collaborative

Friday March 5th & Saturday March 6th, 2021

9:00am to 3:00pm (PST)


This year has been long and challenging! We invite you to join us for a two-day, virtual conference to inspire and reconnect as we come back together with Reggio Educators and the West Coast Collaborative to explore how we are Bridging Boundaries During Challenging Times. 

Morning sessions will be streamed live from Reggio Emilia.

Afternoon breakout sessions will be streamed live from The West Coast Collaborative

Branches Atelier – Culver City, Bright Start – Santa Barbara, Growing Place- Santa Monica, and The New School West – Los Angeles.

Tiziana Filippini is a pedagogista who collaborates with Reggio Children with regard to research, conferences, and consultancies in Italy and abroad. From 1978 to 2015, she worked as a member of the Pedagogical Coordinating Team of the Istituzione – Preschools and Infant Toddler Centers of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia.Tiziana is currently one of the curators of the new version, “The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children.”In addition to her work with the municipality, Tiziana was part of the original research group of Making Learning Visible, a collaboration between Reggio Children and Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The collaboration resulted in a book, Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners, which became very well known in North American early childhood circles and all over the world.

Loretta  Bertani  is  an atelierista in the Robinson Crusoe Preschools and Infant Toddler Centres, Istituzione of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia since 1996Loretta graduated at Istituto d’arte (Art college) of Reggio Emilia. From 1991 to 1995 she worked as an educator with the municipality of Reggio Emilia in local education groups, an experience addressed to pre-adolescent age groups and to the support of boys and girls with schools difficulties. Loretta collaborated with the theatre group “Teatro Gioco Vita” of Piacenza for designing and leading workshops on expressive languages and on shadow theatre addressed to primary schools, as well as for street entertainment events for children and youth.

This event is Hosted by the West Coast Collaborative.


Early Birds (until Feb. 26th) – $110

General Admission – $135

All tickets are to be purchased via EventBrite Please Click Here to Register 

Student Discount (with current ECE ID) – $50

To apply for the Student Discount, 

please email:



How To Integrate Literacy Into The Classroom – A Hands on and Virtual Workshop SOLD OUT

6/10/2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm $30 Please click here to register

Presented by Franceska Schifrin and Berenice Vallejo

In this workshop we will explore the many ways literacy can be integrated into the classroom and the home. Join us as we consider how we use the many aspects of literacy to support collaboration, grow a love for words and poetic language, engage all learners and connect children in deeper relationships to each other and the world. These are only a few of the many resources that will be included in this workshop:

Together we will explore:

  • How can literacy support collaboration?
  • What are Key Words?
  • How can songs and games support literacy?
  • What are Story Book Journals?
  • How to support in-depth and on-going narratives.
  • How to keep letter writing engaging for learners of all types.
  • How can literacy support personal and emotional growth in young children?
  • How can we utilize literacy to support children during this time of the COVID-19 Virus?

Back by Popular Demand

Introduction to Persona Dolls 


Wednesday 6/17/2020 6:00pm to 7:30pm $30 Please click here to register

Presented by:  Jill Adamson and Berenice Vallejo 

In this workshop we will talk about how to use persona dolls to expand social emotional curriculum in the classroom and expand anti-bias curriculum. We have found persona dolls to be an extremely engaging and effective part of the curriculum. Persona dolls are used to bring up challenging topics, big and small, that children deal with on a regular basis. These dolls mirror the lives of children in the class and play out different scenarios that children regularly encounter. Children get to know each of the dolls and they become a part of the life of the class.

This workshop will cover:

  • What are persona dolls?
  • Demonstration of how to introduce persona dolls into the classroom
  • How are they different from dramatic play dolls?
  • How do you create their identities to reflect the cultural and social context of the community?
  • Where do you keep persona dolls in the classroom?
  • What scenarios are persona dolls used for?
  • When do you use persona dolls?

During the workshop, we will recreate different persona doll scenarios that reflect important topics that come up in a children’s lives including:

  • Anti-Bias Scenarios
  •     English as a Second Language 
  •     Race
  • Conflict Resolution in the Classroom
  • Acts of Kindness
  • COVID-19 Face Masks 
  • Death

Testimonials from our last Persona Dolls workshop

“This workshop was incredible!  I appreciate the thoroughness of how and when to use persona dolls with children, your passion and wonderful creativity!  I loved the authentic demonstrations of the various scenarios that you shared with us with using the persona dolls.” ~Teacher

“Through this meaningful workshop, I am energized, excited, and committed to adding them into my teaching practice.  I am certain they will be a valuable addition to the lives of children in my life!” ~Parent/Teacher

“These workshops have been such a grounding experience in the midst of the pandemic. Being able to spend more time think about practices and learning from educators has truly been such a special opportunity. I wholeheartedly appreciate everything you’ve done to make this possible!” ~Keri Brewer – Educator – Hana Fenichel

“I enjoyed everything very much. There was so much information I did not know. I have  been in the field for over 25 years and in this approach for the last 5 years, and I learned so much. I am always looking for webinars to enrich myself as a professional.” ~Veronica Hendricks – Teacher

“This was a wonderful experience. It was nice to see how you use the persona dolls; how naturally it seemed that the conversation flows when you were demonstrating how to use the dolls.” ~Teacher

“Thank you for the opportunity to see how you use the Persona Dolls. Each Scenario was so related to topics we see our children face. I just wish some day I can be as good as you in using the dolls.” ~Teacher

“I loved the experience and the innocence that came along with using the dolls as a tool to help discuss challenges. The remainder of using the dolls for happy moments is crucial too and I appreciate how that was acknowledged. I am excited to begin implementing the dolls as a tool to adjust back to the classroom, in whatever form that may be, and use them as an outlet of expression.” ~Teacher 

“Branches is on the forefront of early childhood development and is a resource for the most innovative and best practices in the field. Their community outreach programs are an invaluable resource.” ~Beth Sayoun – Teacher Magic – Years Nursery School

Curriculum in the Time of COVID-19

Wednesday 6/24/20 7:00pm to 9:00pm $40 SOLD OUT

Presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Christina Bianchi

Through images and learning stories, Patricia and Christina will share how we have adapted our classrooms, materials and, curriculum to support children’s emotional and social connections during physical distancing.

Together we will explore:

  • How can we see COVID-19 constraints as opportunities for creative problem solving and new possibilities?
  • How can we create engaged and connected classrooms by interesting spaces and engaging environments?
  • How can we engage children in collaborative learning while maintaining physical distancing?
  • How can we create interactive setups that encourage collaborative learning and collaboration?
  • How can we help children still build empathetic and connected relationships with their teachers and peers?
  • What materials can support the connection and problem solving between children?
  • How do we create an environment that supports self-directed, engaged learning?
  • How can positive psychology be used to create warm and joyful classrooms?
  • How can children help create classroom agreements to keep everyone safe?

Introduction to Creating Online Extracurriculars

A Hands-On and Virtual Workshop

Wednesday 7/1/2020 6:30pm to 8:00pm   $30 Please click here to register

Presented by Franceska Schifrin

In this workshop we will discuss how to use extracurricular activities at home, to create a base for children learning to use materials, develop self-confidence, and expand and extend the classroom curriculum. We will include numerous hands-on and how – to demonstrations that can be done with simple materials from the home.

These are some of the topics this workshop will cover:

  • What are extracurricular activities?
  • Why is it important for children to have fun?
  • How can extracurricular activities develop independence and self-confidence?
  • How can extracurriculars expand social and emotional awareness?
  • How can these activities encourage dialogue and understanding of environmental responsibilities?
  • How can extracurricular activities become a bridge between home and school in this time of Covid-19?
  • What is the role of the parent in the extracurricular experience?
  • Numerous how -to demonstrations that can be presented virtually to children.
  • A materials list for educators to consider.