Parent mentors go to summer school
Posted on July 9, 2014, by GAPMP
By Pam Walley, Rose Calloway and Anne Ladd
Although parent mentors are traditionally working the same schedule as teachers, many parent mentors put in extra time participating in advocacy and learning opportunities during the summer months. Because collaboration with other education, parent advocacy and disability advocacy agencies is so deeply rooted in the work that parent mentors do, these summer events are an important part of setting up the work for the coming school year for many parent mentors.
Here is a brief look at what some parent mentors have been doing this summer:
In July, Atlanta Public Schools Parent Mentor Rose Calloway and Edith Abakare present at the Georgia PTA’s 100th Convention Leadership
Training. They offered information about the PTA Special Needs Committees in Atlanta Public Schools as a way to support inclusion and parents of children with special needs in the school and community. “Being in a metropolitan area it is difficult to have a strong presence at 105 different sites, but if we identify and support the PTA Special Needs Committee leaders we can build capacity within each school, using the train-the-trainer philosophy,” said Rose Calloway. The parent mentors will be using the tools they learned at a training they attended earlier this summer called Leading by Convening.
In June, Parent Mentors Edith Abakare,(Atlanta City) Jackie McNair,(Gwinnett County) Kathy Simmons, (Dodge County) and
Pam Walley (Madison County) were contributing members in a multi-agency Healthcare
Transition meeting hosted by Parent to Parent of Georgia in Atlanta.
This group of parents, professionals, and youth with special healthcare
needs identified problems, and proposed solutions related to
the unique challenges that arise when pediatric healthcare is no longer
appropriate and adult care is needed.
Representatives from state departments including Public Health and
Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Georgia Advocacy
Office, Parent to Parent staff members, individuals with disabilities, and
other interested community members shared their perspectives.
Parent Mentors were invited to provide the “family perspective” to three main
questions on healthcare transition:
-What is currently working?
-What are the system changes that need to occur?
-What are the skills needed by persons with disabilities and their families
to ensure healthcare transition success?
Facilitator Dave Blanchard encouraged networking among meeting attendees
and assured all that conversations on healthcare transition will continue.
Executive director Debi Tucker expressed support, stating, “Successful
healthcare transition is very important to P2P and the families we serve.”
Atlanta Parent Mentor Edith Abakare, Gwinnett Parent Mentor Jackie McNair, Dodge County Parent Mentor, Kathy Simmons, and Madison County Parent Mentor Pam Walley expressed their excitement in participating in this latest collaboration with long-time partners, Parent to Parent of Georgia, and plan to
continue work in the area of Healthcare Transition. Future
developments and upcoming opportunities to learn and be involved are in the works.
At the beginning of June, the annual IDEAS Conference was convened in St. Simons, bringing educators from around the state to share innovative initiatives and best practices in education. The parent mentors were there in force as volunteers, attendees and presenters.
Here is a list of the parent mentors who were spotted at IDEAS.
Haralson County Parent Mentor Cheryl Benefield presented on Youth Mental Health First Aid
Wayne County Parent Mentor April Lee presented on CAFEs
The following mentors were volunteers:
Meriwether County Ginger Henderson
Liberty County Lisa Vaughn
Clarke County Jerolee Oscheck
Paulding County Jenna Dennis
Jones County April Wooten
Lamar County James Butler
Sumter County Yolanda Sanford
The following mentors were attendees:
Dodge County Kathy Simmons
Grady County Rebecca Best
Crawford County Cheryl Whitaker
Henry County Bessie Bonds
Mentors also attended the Ga. DOE Leading by Convening training held in June. They were: Cherokee County’s JoEllen Hancock, Oconee County’s Amy McCollum Haralson County’s Cheryl Benefield, Atlanta Public School’s Rose Calloway, and Barrow County’s Cyndi White .
Several mentors are active participants in the Georgia Future Facillitators, which trains and develops the skills of person centered planning facilitators around the state. This summer the GFF held a training to help facilitators hone their skill in finding the Northstar for individuals.
Parent mentors were also in attendance at the Community Advisory Council’s annual retreat for the Georgia State Center for Leadership in Disability.
Leading By Convening download http://www.ideapartnership.org/documents/NovUploads/Blueprint%20USB/NASDSE%20Leading%20by%20Convening%20Book.pdf