More than 1,200 early childhood development experts, educators, researchers, behavioral scientists, public policy advocates and parent educators are gathered in Dallas, Texas this week for the annual Parents as Teachers National Conference.
Founded in Missouri in 1984, Parents as Teachers serves more than 240,000 children in all 50 U.S. states, more than 100 Tribal organizations, schools and communities, and six other countries. The organization’s mission is supporting parent engagement with children from birth through kindergarten and providing parent education — primarily through personal visits and group meetings.
“With compelling keynote speakers and 50 knowledge-building workshops, attendees will walk away with something new and insightful for them, their programs and the families they impact,” said Scott Hippert, President and CEO, Parents as Teachers. “As always at our national conference, there will be opportunities to learn, connect, share, grow and rejuvenate.”
Keynote speakers are Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop and leader in the education arena; and William Mehojah Jr., past director of the Office of Indian Education Programs, who commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Family and Child Education Program (FACE), a program he played a key role in creating to serve parents and children in Native American communities.
The Parents as Teachers National Conference takes place at the Sheraton Dallas on Nov. 9-11, 2015. Workshops and presentations include something for every parenting educator, including: educational activities to enjoy as a family, the value of community resources to parenting; unique needs of teen parents, parents of special needs children, and LGBTQ parents; supporting children in poverty-stricken families; supporting cultural needs of Native American parents; reducing the infant mortality rate; long term benefits of ensuring early milestones for grade level reading; early identification of children with autism disorder spectrum; partnering with public housing organizations and healthcare providers; convening and creating strategic alliances for family success; health and well-being and more.
Some of the workshops taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 10 address: the special needs of spirited children and their parents; kitchen skill building activities in math, science and literacy; poverty, parenting and preschool children; creating a community voice to support early childhood education; help for homeless families; the impact of domestic violence on children; using books to encourage children during difficult times; and identifying children with autism spectrum disorder.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 workshops include: oral health resources for families; enhancing learning through playful reading; fighting childhood obesity; differences in maternal and paternal parenting approaches; and teaching students to think.
More than a dozen outcome studies have been conducted on the effects of the Parents as Teachers model. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals show statistically significant and sustained effects. When educators, child care providers and health providers partner with parents through Parents as Teachers, children are prepared for a stronger start in life and greater success in school.