Family Seminar

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

March 8, 1996

Families Can Be Involved in Education

By Jaime Larson
UW-RF News Bureau

UW-River Falls will host "Family Involvement in Education," a Phi Delta Kappa leadership skill institute, April 19-20 at Hagestad Student Center on the UW-RF campus.

The institute, titled "Caring for the Children We Share," promotes partnerships that will increase parent involvement and participation in the social, emotional and academic growth of children. The institute focuses on an audience of parents, teachers, school board members, administrators and site-based management teams.

Professor Jose Vega, institute coordinator and assistant dean of the College of Education, said the institute addresses a very important connection between schools and families.

"It's extremely important because the research on families and children strongly suggests that strong families are the key to success in education," Vega said. "It's not only the school alone."

The event will feature both speakers and breakout sessions centered on family involvement in education.

The two-day event will begin Friday evening with an address from Dr. Don Davies titled "Crossing Boundaries: Can We Share the Duty of Children's Learning." Davies is the founder of the Institute for Responsive Education, a nonprofit public interest organization that works to encourage family- community-school partnerships. He has also co-directed the Center on Families, Communities, Schools and Children's Learning, a national research and development center, since 1990.

The second day will open with an address from Dr. Carol O'Connell titled "It Takes a Village to Educate a Child." O'Connell was the first woman president of the international Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity. She has been a teacher in the Dayton, Ohio, school system, a consultant with the Ohio Department of Education and director of elementary education for the Northmont Ohio City Schools.

The institute will also feature Jane L. Grinde, director of Family-School-Community Partnerships and publications for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction within the Division for Libraries and Community Learning since 1988. Grinde also served five years as communications director for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and is a past president of the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association.

Also featured as a breakout session co-presenter will be Sheryl Miller, Janesville, who serves as president of the Wisconsin PTA. Miller, along with colleague Edie Elliott, will present a session titled "Parents as Partners."

Some of the other breakout sessions include "A+ for Community Involvement," "Parent Assisted Learning Process in the River Falls School District," "Title I Parent/School/Student Compacts," "Family Literacy: Contributing to Parent and Child Growth," "Connections: Building a Response-ability Based School System," "Making Connections for School-Parent Partnerships," "Building Responsive Parent-School Collaborations," "On Motivation and Spirit: What Schools Can't Do," "The FAST Program: Families, Schools, Together," and "Goals 2000 and Parent-School Involvement."

The institute is sponsored by the professional education association Phi Delta Kappa International; PDK Educational Foundation; the UW-River Falls chapter of Phi Delta Kappa; UW-RF Continuing Education Extension; the UW-RF College of Education departments of professional studies and secondary education, counseling and school psychology; and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Registration costs $55 for both days, $20 for Friday only and $45 for Saturday only, with a registration due by April 12. Continuing education and graduate credit options are available.

For more information call 715/425-3256 or 800/228-5607.

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