WASHINGTON – Parenting magazine and Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies will kick off the first annual Mom Congress™ on Education and Learning Conference May 2 in Washington, D.C. Fifty-one moms, representing each state and Washington, D.C., were chosen to receive an all-expense paid trip to the event for their outstanding contributions and dedication to improving local schools. The Mom Congress on Education and Learning conference is presented by KinderCare, in partnership with LeapFrog.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will keynote the conference on Monday, May 3, where he will host a Town Hall meeting with Mom Congress delegates and hundreds of D.C.-area parents about the crucial role that parents play in helping implement America’s education goals for improving the country’s school system and the educational opportunities available to our nation’s children.
During the conference, the Mom Congress delegates will work towards creating Parenting’s “Lesson Plan for Change”, a guide to help empower parents nationwide to get more involved in their children’s education. Attendees will collaborate with members of the Mom Congress advisory board, which includes leaders from the National PTA, the National Education Association, PBS, MomsRising, the George Lucas Educational Foundation and others. Faculty members from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies – the Mom Congress educational provider – will also lead sessions during the event, and the school will offer scholarships for non-credit courses to up to 10 outstanding mom advocates per semester.
Driven by the ever-increasing role that parents play in advocating for positive change in the education system, Parenting magazine launched the Mom Congress initiative in March 2009 to celebrate and connect moms fighting for better schools. Each month, the School Years edition of Parenting gives readers the education news and resources they need to make a difference, and highlights one of 17,000+ Mom Congress members whose efforts have brought about positive change for students.
“Preparing our children for success in school and in life is everyone’s responsibility, and as their child’s first teacher, parents have a crucial role to play,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The members of the Mom Congress join countless parents and other family members across the country who are pushing for education reform from the classroom to the capitol—not just for their own children but for the children of their communities and our nation.”
“This event brings to life everything that Parenting has tried to accomplish with the creation of the Mom Congress on Education and Learning,” said Susan Kane, editor-in-chief of Parenting magazine and editorial director of The Parenting Group. “We’re gathering 51 of the country’s most passionate mom education advocates in the hope of effecting real change in our education system and mobilizing millions of parents to do the same. It’s no easy task, but there’s no better group to tackle this mission than the moms that we’ve assembled here today.”
“We look forward to helping families learn how to change the lives of local school children and are honored to host the first Mom Congress conference at Georgetown,” said Robert L. Manuel, dean of the School of Continuing Studies. “Georgetown will provide the knowledge, tools and skills parents need to engage in dialogue that can make a difference in their communities.”
In its role as presenting sponsor of the Mom Congress on Education and Learning conference, KinderCare Learning Centers, a leading provider in early childhood education with more than 1,700 centers nationwide, will be providing the Mom Congress delegates with the resources they need to advocate for early childhood education programs in their school districts. In addition, KinderCare will be working with each of the 51 mom delegates to donate in their name a book station complete with a bookcase and dozens of books to an underserved family center, school or community organization within their state to encourage childhood literacy. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a leading designer, developer, and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and content, will contribute to the early literacy conference discussion and donate more than $100,000 worth of products to schools designated by the delegates. The LeapFrog donations will consist of Tag School Reading Systems – an interactive tool that brings books to life and gets children excited about learning to read – and a full library of Tag phonics-based learn-to-read sets, storybooks, and activity books.
“As an organization that is passionate about the well being, growth and development of every child, KinderCare is honored to be a part of the first ever Mom Congress,” said Dr. Elanna Yalow, Executive Vice President of Knowledge Universe, the parent company of KinderCare (www.KinderCare.com) and the largest private provider of early childhood and school-age education and care, and Vice Chair of Knowledge Learning Corporation. Yalow, who will speak at Mom Congress, continued, “We are eager to meet each mom delegate and hear their insights and perspectives on positively impacting education within their community and state. KinderCare is also especially excited to donate a book station to an early reading program in the hometown of every Mom Congress delegate – because our outstanding educators know that a fundamental first step in early childhood education is literacy and access to books.”
“At LeapFrog, we encourage kids to learn to read and love to read by making it fun, engaging, and interactive. During the early literacy session, I will be sharing tips to help empower moms to support and reinforce their children’s growing reading skills beyond the classroom. LeapFrog is excited to be a part of the first annual Mom Congress as a champion of moms across the country,” said Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, Literacy Expert for LeapFrog.
For more information on the Mom Congress on Education and Learning and live updates throughout the conference, visit the Mom Congress blog at Parenting.com/momcongress. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Town Hall presentation to the Mom Congress delegates will be webcast live on www.parenting.com/momcongress on Monday, May 3 at 10:30am EDT.