Family Involvement Conference
October 27-30, 2019
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Session Descriptions - Tuesday

Our website is under construction for the 2019 conference.
All speakers and sessions will be updated as soon as possible.
Currently listed is content from the 2018 conference.
Please check back often!

Keynote Speakers

Harnessing the Power of Families
Dennis M. Williams, Jr.
Hatboro-Horsham High School
Meaningful and sustainable relationships among families, schools and communities is paramount for the success of our students in the 21st Century. Working together effectively can be attainable. There is a significant difference between the terms "involvement" and "engagement," but they are often used interchangeably. Families and communities are invited to become involved in school activities, but may not be given clear guidance for how to become engaged in the process. Through a variety of engagement strategies and the effective use of dialogue, the culture of family, community and school can be changed so that the common goal of student success can moved forward with achievement for all.
Ballrooms A+B
9:00 A.M. - 10:00 A.M.

8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
7:30 A.M. - 8:45 A.M.
Ballroom A+B
10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.
How to Advocate for Your Children
Deborah Yanez, Parent Engagement and Empowerment Coordinator, TeenSharp, Inc.
Wilmington, DE
Ballroom C
Participants will be asked to form groups and each group will be presented with a different scenario and a question to discuss and resolve. The objective is to understand the governance structure of the public school system and how to leverage various levels to effectively advocate on behalf of your child. There will be time for reflection on the issues and questions.
Mindfulness Activities for Families
Donna Quatman-Wilder, Family and Community Involvement Teacher Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick, MD
Marta Droddy, Volunteer/Former Title I Teacher Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools, Hanover, PA
Ballroom D
In today's rush, we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget the joy of just "Being." Join us and experience hands-on mindfulness activities. Mindfulness activities with children can reduce bullying, increase focus, and improve well-being and social skills.
The Fathering Circle: Strengthening Family Bonds
Eric Oneil Marsh, Co-Founder/Facilitator, "The Fathering Circle," Philadelphia, PA
Billy Yalowitz, Co-Founder/Facilitator, "The Fathering Circle," Philadelphia, PA
Ballroom E
The session will examine the ways in which society socializes males and females differently and how that sets us up for conflict and oppression with one another. Participants will learn how to undo some of the negative effects of our socialization, become more balanced healthy loving partners and parents.
West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning Family Partnership Strategies: Family Ambassador Program and Alliance of Childcare Providers
Colleen Mishra, Outreach Coordinator, Action for Early Learning, Philadelphia, PA
Trae Pate, Family Ambassador Supervisor, Action for Early Learning, Philadelphia, PA
Harris Room
The West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning Initiative will present outreach and awareness efforts to engage more parents/caregivers in understanding the benefits of quality early childhood education and registering for Pre-K and Kindergarten. This workshop will focus on AFEL's family engagement strategies in child care centers and outreach in the West Philadelphia community. The session will include a panel discussion and Q&A.
The App-Garden
Nancy Wilson, Hickory, North Carolina
Debbie Core, Hickory, North Carolina
Cameron Room
The audience will be engaged in how to build a dynamic volunteer program. Discussion will include monetary values of volunteers and how to match volunteers with opportunities.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Time for Self Care
Dr. Elene Metellus-Brown, Visionary and Executive Director
EMB Global Academy, Bristol, PA
Ballroom C
You have probably heard it before, "Stress Kills." This session will discuss positive and effective ways to reduce or manage stress in your personal and professional life. Strategies will be discussed on how to live life more consciously as it pertains to stress and wellbeing.
Introduction to Special Education and FERPA
JoAnne Eggleston, Parent Coordinator
Philadelphia School District, PA
Ballroom D
Participants will identify eligibility criteria for special education and identify the thirteen disability categories as listed in Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), identify the Special Education Procedures, and identify a Student's Rights under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
Parent Leadership Academy: Leveraging Partnerships to Build Stronger Communities
Lizet R. Casas, Senior Facilitator, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX
Selene Garza, Senior Facilitator, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX
Ballroom E
The Parent Leadership Academy is a unique collaboration that leverages valuable skills and resources from three community organizations: a local school district, the education service center, and a community college. Developing supportive partnerships that leverage skills rather than duplication efforts can have a greater impact on families.
Engaging All Families - Our Imperative
Dr. Sheila Jackson, Director, Family and Community Engagement
Prince George's County Public Schools, Bowie, MD
Harris Room
In this session, participants will engage in interactive learning practices to discover how to build strong collaborate relationships will ALL parents and families in the "technological age." Co-discover and co-create practical strategies for improving interactions between home and school.
College and Career Readiness: How Afterschool Can Help
Caroline Allen, PSAYDN Coordinator
PSAYDN Harrisburg, PA
Cameron Room
It's never too early to talk to your children about planning for future and setting expectations for success. Parents will discover multiple methods of preparing their children to be college and career ready. This workshop includes information about how after school and summer learning programs can partner with parents to guide students with career exploration opportunities and prepare for post secondary education. The formal learning setting is a place for students to prepare and develop 21st Century learning skills.
2:45 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Connecting with Families
Karen Shanoski, Project Manager, Center for Schools and Communities
Camp Hill, PA
Ballroom C
Partnering with parents is essential to student's success in all learning environments. Participants will discuss practical strategies for use that support family leadership and their child's learning beginning in early childhood settings. Ideas that promote partnerships among family members, school and community program staff will be discussed. Participants will understand the distinction between random acts of parent involvement and intentional process that meaningfully engages families with their children's learning.
Interpretation and Translation Services for Families: Ensuring Equity Through Language Access
Laura Gardner, Founder and School Social Worker
Gardner and Associates LLC
Fairfax County Public Schools, Washington DC
Ballroom D
Federal law requires that parents receive information from their children's school in a language they understand, which involves providing translation services. This session will focus on language access and its role in equity for students and family.
Failure to Thrive: The Traumatic Educational Journey Experienced By Marginalized Youth and The Essential Nature Between Schools and Community
Connie K. Grier, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Travers Saunders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Harris Room
The presentation will help shed light on common areas of educational trauma and provide examples of proactive advocacy focused on steps to help youth and educators navigate the journey successfully Pre-K through graduation.
Intentional Parenting
Sarah R. Humes, Owner of In-Courage Living
Cambridge Springs, PA
Cameron Room
This session will focus primarily on helping parents to think through day to day parenting which includes: core values, minimalism, words and empowerment for children.
5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
7:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.
Hospitality Suite
Heritage Room