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District encourages parental involvement in education at conference this Saturday

on October 28, 2011

With all that goes on in the adult world, relating to a miniature version of one’s self is a lot harder than the uninitiated might think. Something as simple as helping a 9-year-old with a writing assignment can be daunting after a day’s work; the “simple” one-sentence instruction often reads as if it were some kind of esoteric answer to the meaning of life. Even relating to educators, especially one who spends the day explaining long division, can be challenging.

For the past seven years, the West Contra Costa Unified School District has tried to respond to these challenges by hosting the Parents as Partners and Leaders Conference. This year’s forum will be held Saturday morning at 8 a.m. in the DeJean Middle School gym. The idea is to promote parental involvement in education by providing support and encouragement for parents actively trying to strengthen their child’s education at home.

Workshops will cover a wide variety of social and developmental issues, from the unique challenges minority parents face to issues like health, bullying and planning for college that affect most families. A complete list of topics is available online.

“This conference is 100 percent dependent on volunteers that are either community organizations, nonprofits or retirees who are experts on the topics we’re presenting,” said event organizer Marin Trujillo.

Yolie Flores, the CEO of Communities for Teaching Excellence, will be the keynote speaker. A former Los Angeles Unified School District board member, she led a district wide movement to reform education for poor children and children of color.

“She’s flying from Southern California just to speak to our families,” Trujillo said.

The conference is free but advanced registration is recommended. Breakfast and childcare will be provided.

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