Parents are empowering parents with information and resources for the Los Angeles Unified School District's "Thirteenth Annual Parent Summit," Saturday April 25, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Over 5,000 are expected to attend the free event.
"The Parent Summit is a unique event designed for parents by parents," says Stella Contreras, Senior Parent Community Facilitator. "It's a wealth of information and district resources, all in an effort to increase student achievement."
This year's theme, "Yes We Can...Educate All Children Equitably," was inspired by President Obama's campaign slogan and his commitment to support education. The President recently announced securing tens of billions of dollars in additional financing for education in the economic stimulus package, and made it clear his intent is to seek more in his budget. "I've said this all across the country when I talk to parents about education," says Obama, "That the government has to fulfill its obligations to fund education, and parents have to do their job too."
The Summit, sponsored by the LAUSD Parent Community Services Branch (PCSB), will focus on parents and guardians increasing family and school partnerships for the academic success of their children. Parents can choose from a variety of 30 different workshops including: Health, Self-Esteem, Special Education, Drop Out Prevention, How to Advocate for Your Child, Title 1 Parent Involvement, Early Childhood Education, Navigating the LAUSD system, and the Educational Rights of Homeless Youth, among numerous other topics.
David Wyles, co-chair of the LAUSD Community Advisory Committee (CAC), is one of the presenters who is facilitating a workshop on a "Parent's Guide to IEP's." "It's a fantastic chance for any parent to learn about educational opportunities for their children," says Wyles, a writer and the father of a teenage son with autism. "There will be a series of workshops for parents with children with educational challenges." CAC represents the interests of parents of over 82,000 children with special needs in the district.
One of the workshops, "Changing Attitudes to Change Outcomes" facilitated by Walter Jackson and Janet Alston Jackson, a husband-and-wife motivational team, helps parents to read and understand their teen's behavioral style and gain tools to effectively communicate for cooperation without nagging, lecturing, and putting them on guilt trips. The Jacksons have also trained teachers in the LAUSD on Effective Communication and Mindfulness Based Stress Management.
"It's difficult for today's hard-working parents to find these resources on their own. The Summit is a great opportunity to gather all of the information and resources they can for themselves and to share with other parents in their communities and churches," says Walter Jackson. "Today's drop-out rate is at epidemic proportions with 7,000 children each day across the country leaving school. That's one every nine seconds. This is why parents have to partner with schools to make sure their child graduates."
The LAUSD Educational Technology Group will present student showcases and displays from a variety of technology providers to demonstrate how the District is expanding student learning with the innovative use of instructional technology. Teachers are engaging students with video conferencing, podcasting, interactive white boards, voting devices, animation, web-based applications, and collaborative tools in all subject areas and grade levels.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, Parent Community Services Branch, promotes increased student academic achievement by linking local schools and communities to train, educate, and support, parents as partners in their children's education. Parent representatives from local districts and organizations make up PCSB with a common purpose and commitment to public education and the health and welfare of all children in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The Los Angeles Convention Center is located at 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles. Free Parking (enter on Cherry Avenue) For more information, call (213)217-5272.