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Georgia Southern University to host 32nd annual Southern Conference on Children

Early bird registration is open for the 32nd annual Southern Conference on Children, featuring keynote speaker Vernon Mason Jr., founder of Directors Leadership Solutions and president of the WEE SCHOOL Child Development Center, serving children in four locations across North Carolina. The conference is set for Jan. 26 at the Nessmith-Lane Center on the Georgia Southern University Statesboro Campus.

With a $5,000 credit card in 1991, Mason and his mother opened a small child care center facility with a capacity of only 30 children. In eight short years, the facility grew to 125.

After a natural disaster destroyed their first center, Mason rebuilt the WEE SCHOOL, growing enrollment to 248 children in just two years. Now, he is the owner of four centers with 100 staff members who care for more than 600 children. Mason also delivers training, workshops and keynote presentations at the local, state and national level.

This year’s conference theme is “Quality and Innovation in Early Care and Learning.” Participants can expect a wide range of workshops conducted by qualified and engaging presenters. The conference offers a special director’s track, in addition to nine other strands of training, including STEM, Nurturing Healthy Children, Intentional Teaching Strategies, Including All Children, Play and Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Leadership & Professionalism, Program Management, Family Child Care and School-Age Care.

The conference is hosted by the Georgia Southern University College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the School of Human Ecology, Kids World Learning Center, and the Division of Continuing Education. Early registration ends Jan. 3. Those interested in learning more about the conference may visit

For more information from the Division of Continuing Education, contact Deedee Southerlin, Ed.D., or Lauri Clark at or 912-478-MORE.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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