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First Annual Parenting conference

  At the first annual Parent Advocacy Conference, the philosophy "it takes a village to educate our children" will be expressed through a series of workshops and presentations. Here, teachers, tutors and child advocates instruct students of the Montclair Public Schools.

The Montclair Public Schools' first annual parenting conference, entitled "Making the Grade: Promoting Safe and Healthy Learning Environments for Children and Families" was held over the weekend of March 31-April 1.

The conference featured keynote speaker New Jersey State Senator Nia Gill, with a kickoff dinner at which Dr. Pat Cooper, Superintendent of the McComb Mississippi Public School District, was the guest speaker.

Throughout the weekend, parents and caregivers of Montclair Public School students had the opportunity to attend a host of lectures, workshops and symposia on a variety of topics.

Some of the conference topics included: advocacy skills to support student success; parenting teens; cyber safety for kids; underage drinking and substance abuse; grandparenting skills; early literacy education; managing ADD/ADHD without drugs; bullying prevention strategies; school math at home; and working with gifted children.

Along with the MPS Department of Instruction and the district Parent Coordinator's Office, the conference was sponsored by Montclair Parent Community Partners including the Council of PTAs, the Montclair Special Education Parent Advisory Council, the STARS Advisory Board, the Health & Wellness Initiative, AVID, IMANI and Cedar Grove Chiropractic. Funding is provided by the public schools, the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, and Amerigroup™.

The cost for the Saturday, April 1 workshops was $10, with educational childcare provided free to participants. The cost for Friday dinner plus Saturday workshops was $25. This fee included dinner, workshops, continental breakfast, lunch and closing reception. Childcare was provided only for the Saturday workshops.

The kickoff dinner took place Friday, March 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the George Innis Annex Atrium of Montclair High School, 141 Park Street.

The Saturday, April 1 workshops were held in the George Innes Annex, with the keynote address in the Atrium. Workshops were held between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., culminating with the keynote address by Senator Gill.

For more information about the "Making the Grade" conference, call Sylvia Bryant at (973) 509-4028.

Article Date: Mar 11, 2006