Continuing Professional Studies

Special Events

Join us for these workshops to re-energize your practice.

Online Workshop Series for Child Life Specialists

Bank Street’s online workshops bring experts to the child life community to discuss current topics.

Workshop fee: $35 each.

These workshops are interactive and participation is expected. These sessions will not be recorded and only those that participate will receive  course materials at the end of the workshop.

Technical Specifications:

  • Computer with internet (required)
  • Video camera (strongly recommended)
  • Microphone (strongly recommended or call in to the meeting on your phone)
  • Trauma-Focused Education and Interventions in the Pediatric Healthcare Setting

    Medical trauma can negatively affect future medical experiences for patients and families, as well as their lives outside the healthcare environment. Processing medical trauma through activities and play provides an outlet, a means of expression and light when a child may only see darkness. The webinar will cover techniques for educating children and families about medical trauma, trauma-focused processing interventions, and provide coping mechanisms for patients and practitioners alike. Woven throughout the session are opportunities for a hands on trauma processing activity, as well as interactive coping exercises for practitioners and patients. Case studies will educate practitioners on how to facilitate trauma education and trauma processing activities. This knowledge paired with appropriate trauma focused interventions can increase patient’s coping, enhance control, and decrease fear for future medical experiences.

    Workshop Date: April 17, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM
    More information and Register

    Facilitator: Suzanna Paisley provides flex child life services in the inpatient, the emergency department, and ICUs at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Previously, she was a child life specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado focusing on adolescent patients, as well as the inpatient rehabilitation population. This work inspired a concentration on supporting patients who have experienced trauma emphasizing emotionally supportive care and trauma education for families and staff, while facilitating trauma-focused interventions. Suzanna has also co-presenting nationally at child life conferences and co-authoring a chapter on medical trauma in The Handbook of Medical Play Therapy and Child Life edited by Lawrence C. Rubin. Paisley received her Masters of Science in Child Life at Bank Street College of Education.

  • Kids Can Handle It: How Everyday Conversations Prepare Children For Death

    Talking about death with children feels scary. In this webinar, the presenter will provide a brief overview of children’s developmental stages. Discuss alive vs. not alive building blocks for children of all ages to comprehend, as well as these basic concepts will grow into the finality of death and what that means to a child’s growing brain. The presenter will engage the participants in group discussions including, “What makes this alive and what makes this not-alive?” and “What is the worst they could say?” Discussions are to encourage participants to break down the basics and face their fears…a child’s question about death!

    Workshop Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM
    More information and Register

    Facilitator: Shannon Meland, CCLS, has been a Certified Child Life Specialist in a New York City Hospital for 9 years. She has had extensive experience working in a cardiac and general medicine intensive care unit, where she assists families in finding words to communicate challenging information. Meland is the coordinator of the Children’s Hospital Bereavement Committee and has organized the children’s hospital-wide memorial service. She was an adjunct professor at Bank Street College of Education, presented through the Association of Child Life Professionals, Children’s Hospital Association and most recently at the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network.  Meland received her Masters of Science in Child Life at Bank Street College of Education and

  • Child Life in Global Practice

    In this online workshop, participants will engage in an interactive discussion of child life in global practice. The presenters will share about their experiences practicing child life in diverse settings around the world, their journey to global practice, international clinical practice, and the ethics of working abroad in paid and volunteer work.

    Workshop Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM
    More details and register

    Elise Hebel, CCLS, MS is a graduate of Bank Street’s child life program currently practicing at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, USA as a CCLS in the cardiovascular intensive care unit. Hebel spent three months working as a volunteer CCLS at Lao Friends Children’s Hospital in Luang Prabang, Laos where she developed a passion for global health and social justice. Hebel’s goal is to create and nurture a culture of sustainable, empowering international practice for child life specialists.
    Gaby Marden Stern, MS, CCLS, has spent the last year traveling around the world with her husband and volunteering along the way with organizations like Operation Smile in Paraguay and Green School in Bali. Prior to her year abroad, Gaby worked as a child life specialist at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore for 3 years before starting, and serving as the director of, the Child Life Program at NewYork Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Gaby continues to seek opportunities to volunteer abroad both as a child life specialist and with other organizations that serve children in need. Stern holds a Master’s in Child Life from Bank Street College.
    Caralyn Perlee MS, CCLS, is a certified child life specialist currently living in Ireland and working for Barretstown, an affiliate of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, a global community providing camps and programs to seriously ill children and their families. Perlee practiced Child Life in the hospital setting at NYU Langone Medical Center for six years, working in general pediatrics, pediatric intensive care, the emergency department, and hematology/oncology. Perlee is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a Bachelor’s in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and of Bank Street College of Education with a Master’s in Child Life.

Writing for Children Workshop Series

Have you always wanted to write for children? Our introductory courses taught by some of New York’s most prominent members of the children’s literature world will help you get started. View the current course schedule to see which classes are being offered this semester.

  • Writing for Children: Finding Your Voice

    Course Number: TEWS598N

    So you want to write a children’s book! This workshop will give you the boost you’ve been waiting for and get you started on that picture book, novel, or young reader, once and for all. In this friendly, supportive environment, class discussions will focus on all aspects of good storytelling and good writing, including tone of voice, clear dialogue, characters who feel real, and beautiful language. The focus is on the exciting process of finding your voice and writing not just a story, but one that really means something to you. Teachers will gain a better understanding of the writing process so that they, in turn, can help their students find pleasure in crafting their stories. Everyone who takes this course will come away with new insights about the beautiful power of storytelling, and why children’s books will always count. Instructor: Amy Hest

  • Writing for Children II: Fine Tuning Your Manuscript

    Course Number: TEWS807N

    Writing a children’s book is hard work, but you don’t have to do it alone! Refining your manuscript will be a continuing process in this workshop. There will be tweaking, fine tuning, and, yes, even joy as you watch your story take shape in a non-judgmental and friendly environment of like-minded writers. We recommend taking Writing for Children: Finding Your Voice (offered in early spring and summer) prior to this workshop, but it’s not required. Instructor: Amy Hest

  • Writing for Children III: Publishing 101

    Course Number: TEWS808N

    So you’ve got a manuscript you’re happy with—now what? This online class will take you through the whole process, from creation to post-publication. You’ll learn the basics about queries, agents, and the editorial process as well as how to find like-minded writers and promote yourself and your work. Most important, you’ll learn what to do and what not to do! Instructor: Sharyn November

    This course is synchronous; participants are expected to be online during the time listed above. Directions for accessing the course page will be emailed upon registration. A computer with a high-speed internet connection is required. A microphone and video camera are optional.


  • WFC IV: Introduction to Illustrating Children's Books

    Course Number: TEWS809N

    Sure, you need drawing skills to illustrate a children’s book, but it’s the ability to tell a story visually that makes a children’s book illustrator. In this course, you will learn some of the basic tools, including pacing, page-turns, character development, and secondary storytelling. We will meet online for 1-hour synchronous sessions to introduce and explore the process and key concepts around illustration for children’s literature. Asynchronous work between sessions, such as illustrating a moment of a well-known fable, will give you the opportunity to apply the concepts introduced in the synchronous sessions. The goal is to better understand the illustration process and how to develop basic strategies to set you on the road to illustrating your own projects. Instructor: Stephen Savage

    This course is synchronous; participants are expected to be online during the time listed above. Directions for accessing the course page will be emailed upon registration. A computer with a high-speed internet connection is required. A microphone and video camera are optional. Asynchronous work is also expected between synchronous sessions; that is, participants work at times that suit them best to complete weekly assignments. Students should expect to spend 3 to 5 hours per week on coursework.

  • The Writer's Lab for Unpublished Authors

    Course Number: TEWS810N

    We are offering this lab for a small group of committed writers who enjoy the writing process and want to come together each month to share their works in progress and receive feedback from other committed writers. This is a safe, supportive place to try out what you’ve been working on independently in a facilitated workshop. Occasional guest speakers from the publishing world will join the group to discuss different aspects of writing, such as writing from an illustrator’s perspective or to provide personal viewpoints on the writer’s experience. Instructor: Amy Hest

    Prerequisite: Writing for Children: Finding Your Voice; Writing for Children II: Fine Tuning Your Manuscript, or you can submit a manuscript in progress. Inquiries and manuscripts should be emailed to by June 28, 2018. Space will be limited to 15 people. Individuals who submit a manuscript (or who took a prerequisite class) will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis.