Over 40 parents of Hopwood Middle School students joined about 20 Public School System employees last Thursday at the Kanoa Resort Saipan for a parent literacy seminar that taught participants techniques on communicating effectively with their children
Hopwood counselor and PSS 2019 state counselor of the year Jillian Pladevega told Saipan Tribune that the attendees learned from PSS mental health specialist Laura Kyonka; Youth Suicide Prevention Program representatives Mia Jones and Fred Fatialofa; Garrett-Lee-Smith; and Community Guidance Center speakers led by Bryan Beck.
According to Hopwood principal Dr. Rizalina Liwag, the final activity had the parents write a letter to their 13-year-old self as a means to put their new skills to practice with their younger selves.
“This [was] the perfect activity to end the day because they can reflect on how they can [communicate] with their child and what advice they would give their child because they remembered how they felt at the time,” Pladevega said, adding that the summit was also open to other middle school parents.
“This was the first time the school provides a…seminar for our parents because we feel the need for us to reach out to the parents and help them with activities on how to help and support their children by providing their needs mentally, physically, and emotionally,” Liwag noted in an interview.
She added that parent literacy is important to PSS. “It takes a community to raise a child and it’s one way for us to come together as a community,” she said.
Pladevega pointed out that learning starts from home, hence the importance of parent literacy.
“If we can get them to grow at home…they can do better at school,” Pladevega added.