CEEA conference hosts Sandy Hook father

MANCHESTER — The Connecticut Experiential Education Association’s annual conference will be held in Manchester and will include a keynote by Ian Hockley, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.

The CEEA focuses on education through experiences rather than lecturing. It is comprised of camp directors, ropes course builders, and other similar educators.

The event will be held Saturday, March 17, at the Nathan Hale Community Center, 160 Spruce St.

Their annual conference aims to teach youths, teachers, community leaders, and anybody who wants to improve their leadership abilities about programs to improve learning.

“We want people walking away from this with new skills and ideas they can use in classrooms,” said Heather Wlochowski, youth service coordinator in Manchester.

Hockley, the keynote speaker, established Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation honoring the memory of his son. He also has a school program titled Wingman For Schools, of which Wlochowski is a facilitator.

Wingman for Schools empowers students to take charge of their school’s climate by teaching empathy and compassion. Youths and teachers are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the keynote, the event will have a “playnote” — an activity where everyone can participate as opposed to sitting and listening to a speech. The playnote leaders will be Robb Armstrong, Jennifer Stanchfield, and Wlochowski, and they will present a sampling of the Wingman for Schools training.

The conference then breaks up into six workshops. The workshops focus on problem solving, communicating, story telling, and group participation.

Entrance fee is $35 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Attendees may pay at the door, but must register in advance at


Originally published by the Journal Inquirer

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