Westview conference, Saturday March 22nd,
to have a positive impact on student's success.
by David RosAdvocate Contributor
The famous African words of wisdom that “it takes a village to raise a child,” were once again put into action at Westview Centennial Secondary School at their fourth annual parent teacher engagement conference.
The goal of the conference entitled Parents and Teachers, Making Connections is to get parents and community groups more involved in children's education to help them achieve success not only in their schooling but also in their future career paths.
“Education is the great equalizer,” said Marci Ien, the host of CTV's Canada AM. “A pivotal part of that is parents' involvement in the school and in their child's education.”
Parents and community members who attended the Mar. 22 event held by the Toronto District School Board Northwest group of schools were able to participate in a number of workshops designed to provide them with the knowledge in how they can work together with the schools to become active participants in the education process.
Ien, who was the keynote speaker, said without her parents' support and involvement in her own education, she would not have been able to achieve what she has achieved.
“I had parents that weren't involved in the field that I had set my sights on, who didn't know much about it, but were willing to try and encourage me and believe in me to help me realize my dreams even though they were out of their comfort zone,” Ien said. “It was everything and it continues to be everything.”
To this day, Ien said her parents still have a positive involvement in her career as she calls them after every show to get “a rundown or critique,” of how it went.
Because of this, Ien, a mother of two, said that despite their busy schedules, she and her husband make sure they are involved in their children's education. They are constantly in contact with their children's teachers and often volunteer to participate in school events.
“It's very much a collaborative process,” she said. “The teachers want to hear from you, administrators want to hear from you, so get involved early and get involved often.
“It sends a message to not only the school, but to your kids as well that you're there for them and that your teachers are there for them and that everyone wants to work together to achieve success.”
Afternoon Workshop Sessions:
Pathways – Understanding the Education System By Elizabeth Addo and Lorraine Linton
Children’s Aid Society Toronto By Clayton Greaves and Molly Barnes
Parent, School and Community Engagement By Szimbah Hanley
Next Step and Choices for your Child By Neelu Chadha and Nalinee Dindial
Special Education – What you should know By Julia J Carter
Entrepreneurship By Warren Salmon
Empowering Teen Moms to make Positive Life Choices By Colleen Cho and Josie D'Agostino
Connecting with your Teen By Judith Montreuil
Financial Literacy By Malanie Hawco
Support Services – demystifying the facts about Special Education: Knowing your Rights By Yvonne Wyndham
What do Newcomers need to know? (Multilingual) By Almaz Reda And Moo Moo Say
Parents and Partners Talking Curriculum By Khadra Hussein and Hugh Hurd
Community and Police Interactions By Marc Rainford and Stephen Linton