Saturday, May 5, 2012

“Finding Your Voice” Parent Institute and “Train the Trainers” Workshops to be Held in Bellingham, Washington on May 17th, 18th, and 19th

The Educational Institute for Democratic Renewal that houses the Journal of Educational Controversy is joining other community groups to bring a special three day workshop to Bellingham, Washington on May 17, 18 and 19th. The workshops are sponsored by the Washington State Office of the Education Ombudsman that works out of the Governor’s Office in Washington State. In addition to our Institute, other community groups that are helping to plan the event include: Community to Community Development, Whatcom Family and Community Network, Whatcom County Schools in Community, local school districts, Western Washington University and immigration lawyers.

The goal of the workshops is to provide training for immigrant, refugee, marginalized and disenfranchised communities to help them advocate for their children and learn how to navigate the public school system. The planning committee has made an effort to include all cultures in our community including our Latino, Russian, Vietnamese and Punjabi communities. Translators will be available in four languages.

The two day “Training the Trainers” workshop on May 17th and 18th will train members of the community and the schools who work with these communities with ways to reach out and empower parents. On Saturday, May 19th, the trainers will train the parents at the Parent Institute.
 
The Parent Institute will cover the following topics:

1. How do school districts work? - Understanding the way school districts are structured, and financed, how education laws and policies are created, and how to participate in the education system is critical to help you find your voice in your school community.


2. Become an education advocate - Learn what do we mean by education advocate and how to be one. Find out new ways to help your child and the students in your school succeed.


3. Participate in your child’s education - Family involvement must be done in partnership with schools. Every parent or family member has different skills, experiences, and life circumstances that can contribute to their children’s education. Find yours!


4. Prepare your student for college - Career and college preparation starts earlier that you think. Find out what you need to do and when should you start.


5. Home-school communication skills - Learn strategies and tips to communicate better with school staff and prevent and resolve problems. 
In some early posts below, we described the unique role of the Washington State Office of the Education Ombudsman. It is one of the first offices of its kind in the nation. The Office functions independently from the public school system and resolves complaints, disputes, and problems between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning.

Information on the Bellingham Parent Institute:

Location: St. Luke's Health Education Center, 3333 Squalcum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225

Date and Time: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 9-2:30 pm

Free/complimentary lunch

Register online at: http://www.parentprep.org/  Space is limited.

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