NYSPEP'S mission is to promote and improve parenting education, in order to enhance parenting skills, knowledge and behavior.

NYSPEP E-News Latest Edition (May 2019)


NYSPEP Attends Babypalooza at Fort Drum

We would like to thank the staff at Fort Drum for inviting us to table and provide outreach at their annual Baby Palooza event. Our staff were able to meet and provide resources to service members and their families. Many attendees were first time parents and/or expecting parents.


NYSPEP Site Visitations!

Between April 2nd-9th, NYSPEP Steering Committee Members, Timothy Hathaway, Kristin Weller, Judy Wolf, and Melody Tien visited our 2019-2020 Community Coalition cohorts. NYSPEP is excited to partner with these local coalitions and support the parenting engagement work happening in each of these communities. NYSPEP would like to thank the community coalition leads for organizing the half-day meetings and the coalition members for providing space for the opportunity to convene.


Project Teach: Parent & Family Resource Page

OMH is  pleased to announce that Project TEACH has developed resources for parents and families which are now available on the Project TEACH Parent & Family Resource page. These videos and downloadables provide information for parents about mental wellness at different stages of a child/youth’s development and about the typical questions that may be asked in a child’s wellness visit with their pediatrician.

We all have a hand in promoting good mental health. One key role for parents and family members is being aware of the warning signs for mental health concerns. These Project TEACH resources can support a parent’s ability to identify concerns and have conversations with health care providers.

Guiding Caregivers: How to Talk to a Child about Deportation or Separation (Available in Spanish and English)

News reports and adult discussions about deportation can cause children many worries, such as fearing separation from a parent. Caretakers often wonder if it is better to keep silent so as not to upset their children. Having an open conversation, at the child’s developmental level, typically is the best approach. That way, the caregiver can give accurate information and explain the family plan in the event of a separation or deportation. This 2-page handout—created by NCTSN-partner Center for Child Stress & Health at Florida State University—gives examples of developmentally appropriate analogies to aid such discussions. 



NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Renee Falanga Brenner


Renee Falanga-Brenner has a good reason for doing what she does--her oldest daughter Serena, who celebrated her 25th birthday this past December! "Specialists said she wouldn't live past the age of four because of her extensive brain damage suffered at birth!" The impact of that experience has benefited over a thousand parents and early childhood professionals, as Renee has spent the past 19 years providing workshops and one-on-one support to parents who are concerned about their child's development or disability. "I provide strategies, resources, and empower parents with ways they can advocate for Early Intervention or Preschool services. I also share how they can support their child at home, in the community and within their family." She also gives workshops for Early Childhood Educators, School Districts, Head Starts, and Preschool Special Education Programs on topics including Social and Emotional Development and Creating the Ultimate Classroom: Addressing the Needs of All Children.

Renee has been involved with NYSPEP for a little over a year and she hopes to become a Credentialed Parenting Educator and continue the work of providing information about ACEs and Protective Factors via Community Cafes to Ulster, Dutchess, and Sullivan Counties.

In addition to Serena, Renee has three other children, making her the blessed mom of four children ages 16-25. She is a Core Volunteer for Christmas Wishes of Ulster County and is very civically minded, serving as President of the New Paltz HS PTSA; President of Ulster County Youth Board; Co-Chair of Orange County Parenting Coalition; Co-Chair of Hudson Valley Special Education Task Force; and member of the Newburgh Basics Steering Committee.


Conference Alert, This Saturday: Annual Forum--Innovative Practices in Prevention Science

A dynamic conference to help incubate strategies and solutions for moving prevention science from policy to practice in New York State.

Saturday, May 4, 2019 -- 8:30am to 3:15pm

Network with leaders in prevention science. Explore how early interventions improve outcomes in primary care settings. Strategize on the path from idea to policy to practice. And contribute to better health and a brighter future for children and adolescents in New York State.

This conference is presented by Project TEACH, a project funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

 Register Now