Around 40 attend event held at UMN Crookston.

Thursday evening the University of Minnesota Crookston was the venue for the annual meeting of the Crookston Early Childhood Summit.


More than 40 educators, health and social representatives, and key community member stakeholders in youth development gathered together for a meal and several speakers.


Jane Neubauer, a representative for the Early Childhood Dental Network, gave a presentation on the network’s efforts and the pervasive problem of dental issues across Minnesota. “Childhood tooth decay is the most chronic and preventable infectious disease in children,” Neubauer says.


Dr. Saravana Balaraman from Riverview Health spoke on health in youth, the positives of the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) in his personal experience, and the issues they see in the clinic. He praised nurses as the first line of defense in identifying issues. He spoke at length about obesity, detrimental use of social media and technology, and the need for immunization. He also promoted the Baby Sign and Early Literacy program that takes place at the public library once a month.


Closing out the night, Sue Thompson from Polk County Public Health, engaged the audience in laughter yoga, a combination and gentle exercise and intentional laughter. From deep breathing to pretending to roll lefse, she taught the summit the value of laughter and conscious happiness for them to teach the children they help every day.