Family Involvement Conference
October 10-13, 2021
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Session Descriptions - Tuesday

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its possible resurgence in the Fall, we regret to inform you that after 45 years of continuing service, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Parent Involvement, Ltd. has decided to postpone its 46th annual Family Involvement Conference.

The conference has been postponed until October 10-13, 2021
Please check back often!

Keynote Speakers

Dare to be King: Celebrating the Critical Role Father's Play in Their Children's Lives
David Miller
Dare To Be King Project
Dare to be King: Celebrating the Critical Role Father's Play in Their Children's Lives highlights the life giving, life sustaining bonds fathers have with their children. Fathers, grandfathers, and male caregivers play a powerful role in influencing and shaping the lives of their children. Filling the roles of protectors, providers, supporters and teachers, fathers can become like superheroes in households throughout this nation.

This presentation will underscore the role of fathers in the lives of children and provide strategies for engaging fathers who find themselves disconnected from their family. Research confirms that a father's emotional engagement - not the amount of time fathers spend with children, rather how they interact with them - leads to multiple positive outcomes, and serves as a significant protective factor against high risk behaviors in both girls and boys.
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.
Engaging and Empowering our Birth-5 Community
Angela M. Byrne, East Stroudsburg Area School District, PA
Sally Yorke-Viney, Smithfield Elementary School, PA
Ballroom C
The youngest children in our community are our kids long before they ever enter kindergarten. In the East Stroudsburg Area School District, we are creating positive relationships early, and empowering parents to work with their young children to build a shared love of reading and increase school readiness. By partnering with local early childhood agencies and offering programs to support families, we have a proven track record of increasing literacy outcomes and school success in the primary years. This presentation will share the steps our district has taken, the partnerships we have formed, and the programs we offer to families, to provide a model for those districts and communities interested in engaging and empowering their youngest residents and their families.
Connecting with Families
Karen Shanoski, Family Support and Community Engagement Director, Center for Schools and Communities
Ballroom D
Parents are their children's first teachers. They strongly influence their children's readiness for and success in school. When parents and the organizations that educate children work together, the results can be powerful. Organizations and schools can affirm families' contributions to student success and promote family engagement with their children's learning and education at home, in schools (pre-K through 12) and in community programs (home visiting and out of school time). Participants will explore how the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors can promote strengths based approaches to creating a welcoming environment and working with families; identify ways to engage parents as partners to promote school success and student well-being; and describe actions to make families feel that they are a part of the school community.
The Protectors, Motivators and Weight Lifters! Help, I Am a Grandparent!
Cheryl Fisher White, Bridgeton Public Schools, NJ
Ballroom E
The objective in this session is to learn ways to work within the family as a grandparent and be effective. Know your role as a grandparent, find ways to build self-esteem. You should learn ways to support the parents in order to find relief as you assist the parents in their role.
Strategies will include ways to: learn your place while recognizing your mission; share in the journey as an encourager and be supportive as you build upon the child's self-esteem.
Survival Kits and Certificate of Completion will be distributed.
Unique Bilingual Parent Involvement Program
Maria Kanik, Union City School District, NJ
Gursoy Kanik, Union City School District, NJ
Harris Room
The objective of this unique parent is to empower all parents including Hispanic parents to become partners in their children's education. The agenda will include an introduction, video and books of pictures, letters, agendas and an exhibit of props used to decorate parent involvement meetings and workshops. The target audience can be elementary school parents. This presentation is done in English and Spanish.
When Spiderwebs Unite
Taneika Taylor Tukan, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Krishna Leyva, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Cameron Room
Family engagement is so often about authentic, one-on-one connections. But what happens when efforts to engage transnational families are limited by staff capacity, funding, and cultural values? This interactive session focuses on benefits and challenges to the use of community-focused interventions with Spanish-speaking and Amharic-speaking (a language spoken in Ethiopia) communities in Alexandria City Public Schools.
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
1:15 P.M. - 2:30 P.M.
Engaging Multicultural and Multilingual Families
Ines L Vega, Center for Schools and Communities, PA
Ludy Soderman, School District of Philadelphia, PA
Ballroom C
Family Engagement has long been known to increase academic achievement and long-term success for students. However, engaging families of culturally and linguistically diverse students can at times be challenging for schools and districts for a variety of reasons. In this session presenters will discuss strategies and techniques that have been proven to be successful among culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
Picture Books that Promote Diversity and Equality
Susan Walbert, Queen Anne's County Schools, MD
Ballroom D
It is important that every preschool child have access to great picture books. Picture books that not only explore the alphabet or counting or our students' favorite characters. You also need books that help children develop their own character. Social-emotional learning is important, if not the most important part of early childhood education. Having access to the right books to share with your students is a must.
Family: This Work Can Not Be Done Without US
Sylvia P. Simms, PARENT POWER What Will You Do With Yours?, PA
Shereda Cromwell, PARENT POWER What Will You Do With Yours?, PA
Ballroom E
Research has shown when families and the communities are involved in children's lives they tend to do better. Why is it that some folks don't want them to be involved? Let's have the crucial conversation.
360 Degrees of Connectivity
Dennis Williams, Hatboro-Horsham School District, PA
Harris Room
Before you can effectively engage, you must consistently connect. Connection is the key to any relationship. This session focuses on the things that need to exist in building the foundation of engagement and the impact it has on students, staff, parents and your whole school community.
STEM Career Exploration 101
Winnie Black, Center for Schools and Communities, PA
Cameron Room
Parents and participants will explore the hot careers of tomorrow and how to prepare for them. Other topics include: how to avoid college debt, what skills are employers looking for, how to pursue a career with your kids, what is an apprenticeship and how to find what job skills you excel at. The audience would be families and educators that want to explore careers and education opportunities in the future.
2:45 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Finding Their Place: Helping Families During the College Transition
Cynthia Hill, Penn State University, PA
Ballroom C
Joining a college community is a transition for both students and families. Families are faced with providing support when students encounter expected and unexpected academic and personal challenges. This stress can potentially bring parent involvement to an inappropriate level. However, research indicates that students with more actively engaged parents earn higher grades and report being more satisfied with college. What is appropriate involvement? How do we communicate expectations with families as their student transitions to college? This session will explore how universities can support families during this transition and help them appropriately engage with the institution while providing effective support to their student.
Building Bridges: The Importance of Culture, Community and Collaboration
Malkia Singleton Ofori-Agyekum, Parent-Child Home Program, PA
Ballroom D
This session will share the Parent-Child Home Program's best practices on engaging, supporting, and building school readiness through home visiting with very diverse families, including native born and immigrant. We will emphasize the importance of culture, community and collaboration and the importance of engaging families when children are young.
Kindergarten Preparation Inventory - How to prepare my child for school
Fianne van Schaaik, PA Dept. of Education, PA
Ballroom E
This presentation is geared to parents that want to help their child to be prepared for school - to do well in school.
The Power Of Storytelling
Sheila E Armstrong, Philadelphia Parent Leader, PA
Anna Figueroa, Philadelphia Parent Leader, PA
Harris Room
Everyone has a compelling story to tell. In fact we are comprised of thousands of stories. Storytelling is the first organizing tool that each of us must master to challenge the dominant narrative. At the core of our power is the ability to tell persuasive public stories. Our public stories are the why of organizing "the art of translating values into action through stories." Simply stated - powerful, public stories help to move others to take action.
Give Them Something Great to Imitate
Amanda Ensor, Queen Anne's County Public Schools, MD
Tom Walls, Queen Anne's County Public Schools, MD
Cameron Room
Nearly one-fourth of America's children live in mother-only families. More often than not, a woman teaches them at school and at home. So where do they see and engage with positive male role models? The D.U.D.E's Club at Sudlersville Elementary is working diligently to change these statistics in their community. This session will walk through the creation of the club, the purpose, the hopes and dreams, and share several successful events.
5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Ballrooms A+B
7:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.
Hospitality Suite
Heritage Room