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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 


‘Strengthening families through parent leadership’

The COTA booth informed attendees of the services the agency provides. (Jayson Camacho) Over 100 parents, children, and community members attended the Division of Youth Service Parent Education Program’s 10th Annual Parent Leadership Month Workshop on Saturday at the Kagman Community Center.

The workshop started at 7:30am and ended 3pm with various divisions of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs putting up exhibits and organizations showcasing their outreach programs. Other government and non-government groups also put up informational booths.

The workshop also held breakout sessions that taught attendees about outreach programs on Saipan, including parenting strategies, health and chronic diseases, emergency planning, and teen parenting. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks were also provided throughout the workshop. There was also entertainments and raffle drawing for prizes.

DYS administrator Vivian T. Sablan was thrilled to be hosting the workshop in Kagman. “This is the first time we have held it here in Kagman and we’ve always wanted to serve the Kagman community closer to home and DCCA got assigned to the center so we took it as an opportunity,” she said.

One of the highlights of the workshops was the nomination for parent recognition, which recognized the parents of children from various schools. Some 38 parents were given certificates of recognition during the workshop.

One of the nominees, Dandan PTSA president Melrosa H. Rebuenog, said she was surprised that she got nominated since it’s her first time there. “I’m really thankful for them recognizing me as a parent,” she said.

Arthur Anda, another parent nominee for Green Meadow School, said, “I feel honored for being recognized, because it’s also good for the community” where he comes from.

Lucy Norita-Shilling, who led the breakout sessions on parenting strategies, was so enthusiastic with the turnout that she felt the sessions were too short.

“I love teaching, it’s my passion. I feel good and since these are short sessions I feel that it’s too short because it usually lasts up to three hours” she said.

Norita-Shilling teaches the Early Childhood Systematic Training for Effective Parenting and Active Parenting classes for the Parent Education Program of the Division of Youth Services.

Amber Lynn Mendiola, educator for the Non-Communicable Disease Health and Lifestyle, did minor workouts for the Let’s Move Marianas Campaign and presentations on chronic diseases.

“I felt good about the workshop; parents were very cooperative and responsive,” Mendiola said.

Public School System’s behavior specialist Lynn Corella led sessions on parent counseling, while Homeland Security and Emergency Management did a presentation on planning for emergencies and getting ready for natural disasters.

The Parent Leadership Month Workshop was made possible by various DYS planning committees and outreach organizations and took two months to prepare. The main focus of the workshop was “strengthening families through parent leadership.”

Parents Anonymous Inc. created National Parent Leadership Month in February 2004 to recognize courage and drive on parents who have reached out to make improvements in their families and communities.

On Jan. 31 2014, acting governor Jude U. Hofschneider signed the proclamation designating February as Parent Leadership Month.

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