COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning at Mississippi University for Women has partnered with Parents for Public Schools to offer the first statewide conference for parents on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1.
Approximately 170 participants, including parents and children, are expected to attend the conference that will include panel discussions and various breakout sessions.
Dr. Suzanne Bean, Center for Creative Learning community liaison, said, “The goal of the conference and the mission for Parents for Public Schools is to strengthen public schools by engaging, educating and mobilizing parents.”
Many of the parents attending will be graduates of the Northeast Mississippi Parent Leadership Institute and the East Central (Meridian) Parent Leadership Institute. The children (K-12) of registered parents will also attend and will be engaged in a variety of activities coordinated by the staff of the Center for Creative Learning. MUW students who are education majors and Hearin leaders will lead many of these activities.
There are also parent participants who simply want more information about best practices in education, strategies for keeping young people motivated for learning, information about the college application, selection and scholarship processes.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Parents for Public Schools and we look forward to having these parents and students on our beautiful campus this weekend,” Bean said.
Other than a $10 fee per child to cover supplies, the weekend is free, according to Sally Gray, parent coach with Parents for Public Schools national office.
“Parents for Public Schools had a goal to get graduates of its Parent Leadership Institute on a college campus for free training at the first PPS Mississippi regional conference. PPS found the perfect partner for its Count Down to College Conference in the Center for Creative Learning.
“The talented, creative staff of the CCL even agreed to offer separate programming for the K-12 students of the conference goers so young students could get a taste of all that MUW has to offer. The partnership between MUW and PPS affords parents an opportunity to learn about everything from great early childhood to the new Common Core State Standards, as well as how to help their children love math and become stronger readers,” Gray said.
Conference check-in begins Friday afternoon, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Cochran Hall. Campus tours for adults will be offered from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., departing from Cochran. Area parents who have not registered are welcome to attend the Saturday sessions, however conference meals will not be available and child care will not be available. For more information about Saturday parent sessions call (662) 241-6101.
Friday, Nov. 30-Dinner and Panel discussion featuring Scott Colom, municipal judge, Aberdeen; Germain McConnell, director, Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science; Julius E. Rainey Jr., IT director, Parents for Public Schools, Inc.; and Simeon Weatherby, educator, West Lowndes High School, Overcoming Obstacles and Encouraging Achievement in African American Males, Pope Banquet Room
Saturday, Dec. 1-Open for parents only
9-9:30 a.m. (Cochran Ballroom) “Cochran and Coffee”: Browse resources and displays, enjoy a cup of coffee and network with other parents
Saturday Breakout Sessions: All Breakout Sessions-Cochran Hall
Welcome and Introductions: 9:30 – 9:45 a.m., Cochran Ballroom
Breakout I: 9:45 - 10:35 a.m.
Monica Riley, department chair-Department of Education, Mississippi University for Women, Choosing Literature that Will Inspire Passion for Reading in Your Children
Robert Sanders and teachers, principal, West Lowndes Elementary School, Building Community and Parent Support in Rural Schools
Lesley Sullivan, The Center in Amory, Best Practices in Early Childhood
BREAK 10:35 – 10:45 a.m.
Breakout II: 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Corlis Curry, principal, Lawhon Elementary, Tupelo Public Schools, What Parents Need to Know about the Common Core State Standards
Shelley Moss, assistant director of admissions, MUW, Getting Prepared for College and Finding Scholarship Money
Nadine Gilbert, assistant principal, Jackson Public Schools and Vice President of Mississippi Association of Partners in Education, Parent Advocacy
Lunch Panel Discussion: Noon - 1:30 p.m., Pope Banquet Room, Hogarth
MAPE Board Members Building Strong Community-School Partnerships
Danette McAlexander, dropout prevention specialist, Hattiesburg Public Schools
Rebecca Starling, director, Partners in Education, Jackson Public Schools
Nadine Gilbert, assistant principal, Jackson Public Schools and Vice President of Mississippi Association of Partners in Education
Breakout III: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Marty Brock, chair, Department of Business, MUW, Internet Safety for Students
Simeon Weatherby, math teacher, West Lowndes High School, Strategies for Getting Kids Excited About Mathematics
Melinda Lowe, associate director, MUW Center for Creative Learning, What Parents Need to Know About Brain-Compatible Learning Strategies
Closing and Evaluations: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m., Cochran Ballroom