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2017 Parenting Educators Conference slated for May 22

This year’s event features two keynote speakers

parent and child

Calling all parenting educators!

Mark your calendars now for the fourth annual Oregon Parenting Educators Conference. This year’s conference will be held from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, May 22, at LaSells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Oregon State University campus.

The Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families and the Oregon Parenting Education Collaboration are hosting this year’s event, which features two national keynote speakers – Dena Simmons, Ed.D., and Sarah Enos Watamura, Ph.D.

About the keynote speakers

Dena is director of education at Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence. An activist and educator from New York, she writes and speaks nationally about social justice pedagogy and creating emotionally intelligent and safe classrooms. Dena has published numerous articles on bullying, education reform and teacher education. She’s been featured in several publications, has spoken widely and has been a guest speaker on TEDx and Ted Talks.

Sarah is a developmental psychobiologist at the University of Denver and is director of the Department of Psychology’s Child Health & Development Lab. Her research focuses on how young children manage stress and challenge and the consequences stress has on their health and cognitive and social-emotional system development. She also looks at efforts to prevent and mitigate the costs of stress exposure on children’s health, development and achievement.

New this year

Translation service will be available for this year’s keynote, panel presentations and select workshops; and two workshops will be presented in Spanish.

The conference will convene with a panel presentation called “Moving forward: The future of parenting education,” and panelists will present from national, state and community perspectives. Another new component of this year’s event is a poster presentation, during which eight students will present their research. 

Useful information

Conference workshops will cover a broad range of topics of interest to professionals of all skill levels who work with children and families.

The full conference schedule and list of workshops are available in the conference program.

“This is a great conference for anyone who works with children and families, including practitioners, students and faculty,” says Shauna Tominey, assistant professor of practice and parenting education specialist. “The conference is designed to bring individuals together who share a dedication and passion to the field. We aim to inspire conversations and collaborations based on the latest research and current best practices, with the end goal being increased well-being for children and families in Oregon and beyond.”

Past studies have pointed to limited professional development opportunities specific to parenting education in Oregon. Financial support from The Ford Family Foundation, the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative and CPHHS alumna Cheryl Lutz has made professional development opportunities, such as the Parenting Educators Conference, more accessible to educators.

If you’re interested in attending the conference, please see registration and additional conference information. Special group rates and scholarships are available prior to May 8, including a $50 student discount.

Participant feedback

More than 400 people attended last year’s conference. Here are some of the things they liked:

“The excellent quality of presenters and the variety of workshop selections. It is so difficult to find quality training opportunities for people working with families who are providing home visits and other parent training services.”

“There were a lot of great options of sessions to choose from that are relevant to the work with children and families.”

“Networking, keynotes and good interactive courses.”

“All the different information about positive parenting and community building.”

“It was empowering to see so many parenting educators with such passion all in one place.”

“Opportunity to mingle with other professionals.”

“Having a training resource that is specific to the work my staff does and that is priced right for the quality.”