Training Resources

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  • Julie Kurtz
    Optimal Brain Integration

    The Center for Optimal Brain Integration trains, coaches, and consults on trauma-responsive practices and strategies that build resilience for all ages.  We strive to give every child and adult a voice through a wide range of trauma-responsive services that are uniquely designed for your community.

    The Center for Optimal Brain Integration® (COBI), launched in 2019 is built on over 30 years of experience in the field of trauma-responsive, engaging, strength-based and resilience-building practices.  When we launched COBI, there was a single objective, and that is to give a VOICE to all children and adults who have experienced trauma.

    We wanted to offer an approach that is based on research and evidence-informed.  It is an approach that holds high-quality standards (we call it a North Star approach) without losing the core purpose (we call it the Heart of our work), helping children and adults find a path for healing.  We can’t afford to wait to build tools in our toolbox of responsive, engaging, and healing practices.

    Our CEO and Founder Julie Kurtz is the co-author of 4 books on trauma creating a specialty of  enriching training and consultation for early childhood providers:

    • Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children
    • Culturally Responsive Self-Care Practices for Early Childhood Educators
    • Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Creating and Sustaining Healing and Engaged Organizations (2021)
    • Trauma-Responsive Family Engagement in Early Childhood: Practices for Equity and Resilience (2021)

    At the Center for Optimal Brain Integration® (COBI), we offer many platforms for adult learning for smaller programs to larger counties.


    We provide a wide range of training and consultation for:

    • Educators K-12
    • Infant, Toddler and Preschool Early Educators
    • Community Funders and Advocates
    • Parents and Caregivers
    • Foster and Resource Parents
    • First Responders
    • Administrators and Leaders
    • Clinicians
    • Social Service and Therapeutic Providers
    • Organizations
    • Supervisor and Leaders
    • Medical Professionals
    • Community-Based Organizations
    • Early Interventionists and Intellectual and Disability Coordinators
    • Family Engagement Specialists

    Some examples of services that can be provided might be:

    • Training Virtually and Onsite
    • Coaching Virtually and Onsite
    • Strategic Planning
    • Foster and Resource Parent Support
    • Trauma-Responsive and Resilience Learning Circles
    • Book Club – Specialized Learning and Reflecting
    • Office Hours for Consultation
    • Asynchronous Learning Platform
    • Family Engagement and Parent Training
    • Training of Trainer Institutes for Authorization




  • J. Michael Hall, M.Ed.
    Strong Fathers-Strong Families, LLC

    J. Michael Hall is the father of two sons (a high school teacher and a marketing director) and the husband to a beautiful high school reading teacher. Mr. Hall has been a special education teacher, a teacher of the gifted and talented, and an intermediate and middle school principal. As an educator, speaker, and founder of Strong Fathers-Strong Families, he has presented to more than 225,000 fathers and parents at local schools, Head Starts, and regional and national conferences.

     J. Michael has worked with over 300 schools in Texas and in over 45 states with public schools and Head Starts.

    He is a fourth-generation Texas farmer and cattle raiser, an AirBnB superheat, a church and community leader, and a proud dog owner. 

    “Mike” is also the current co-host of the Intentional Partnerships, a collaborative podcast in partnership with Lindsey Shah and the National Center for Parents as Teachers. He has written five different fatherhood curricula and is also a contributing author to the book on fathering entitled Why Fathers Count. He is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on working with fathers in schools and Head Starts. For his pioneering work in education, he was honored as a 2012 White House Champion of Change for his work in the fatherhood field around the nation.


  • Judy Ross
    Playful Teaching and Learning

    My passion, through my workshops and my website, is to equip all of us who love and care for children with play-based, child-centered activities that meet Preschool Foundations and Common Core Standards. My workshop activities build 21 st century skills, such as creativity, imagination, innovation, problem-solving, and collaboration.  Through playful teaching and learning, we also build close, supportive relationships within a dynamic teaching and learning environment. My favorite quote: “No significant learning happens without a significant relationship.” (A. Comer)
    I am available to present workshops, either in-person or virtually, to early childhood educators, parents, afterschool groups, public or private schools, those interested in all things STEM, and anyone interested in teaching and learning through play. I am also more than willing to design a workshop to specifically meet the needs of your particular group. Any of the following workshops I’ve done can also be adapted to fit your needs.

    All workshops include a PowerPoint presentation, and plenty of interaction that includes hands-on activities with manipulatives, sharing engaging stories and resources, group discussion, and many opportunities to ask questions and share ideas. We all have so many wonderful ideas and experiences to share! The PowerPoint slides, handouts, and task cards from my sessions are always made available to participants.



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