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Finding Your Voice in Working with Parents

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Workshops & Training

by Cathy Liu Scott, Office of Education Ombudsman

A unique program has been making its way around the state. Finding Your Voice (FYV) is a program developed by the Office of the Education Ombudsman (OEO) to help parents become better partners with their schools, understand the public school system and support the education of their children. The program targets families who are new to our public school system, as well as families who have been marginalized because of limited English, race, culture or economic status.

Finding Your Voice is unique because it trains educators and community professionals who already work with these families and gives them a flexible curriculum based on what parents have said they need to know to help their children in school.  The Office of the Education Ombudsman developed this curriculum based on the research as well as having worked with parents over the last six years to resolve many different issues with the public schools.  Often parents would say, “I didn’t realize that was the way things work. If I had known, I might have done things differently.”

Finding Your Voice is a two-part program. Part 1 consists of the Train-the-Trainer Seminar which takes place over three days–Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Part 2 is the free, Parent Institute held on Saturday (day 3 of the Train-the-Trainer).  The Saturday serves as practicum for the seminar attendees as they teach the parents who attend the Parent Institute.  OEO provides technical assistance to these trainers during their practicum as well as after they return to their own communities to conduct more training.

FYV is coming to Eastern Washington this fall and spring.  November 1, 2 and 3rd the program will be held in Spokane.  On November 15, 16, and 17th it will be held in the Lower Yakima Valley.  In March of 2013 FYV will be held in the Tri-Cities.

For more information or to register for the Train-the-Trainer Seminar (download the flier) or the Parent Institute (download the flier), you can visit the website www.parentprep.org, e-mail oeoinfo@gov.wa.gov or call toll free 1-866-297-2597.

The Office of the Education Ombudsman is charged with promoting family involvement in education around Washington State.  OEO Education Ombudsman resolve complaints, disputes, and problems between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning. This office is the only state-wide education ombudsman office in the nation.  You can find more information on our website www.waparentslearn.org.

 


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