NYSPEP'S mission is to promote and improve parenting education, in order to enhance parenting skills, knowledge and behavior.
NYSPEP eNews is free to members. This valuable resource informs of upcoming professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, trainings, and community events, as well as essential resources and tools for your work with parents, primary caregivers, and families with children.
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Webinar Alert: The NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential--What Is It...Who Should Have It...And Why?
Do you work with parents? Or, supervise staff who work with parents? It’s time to receive recognition for this specific aspect of your professional scope! The process of applying for and the awarding of the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential assesses and acknowledges your experience, knowledge and expertise in parenting education giving your work visibility and credibility. You can apply for the Credential regardless of your work setting or job title; it is for all those who support families and facilitate the growth and development of parents through education and resources.
This webinar will:
For supervisors, this webinar will spell out why you should also apply and be looking to hire staff who are credentialed or helping your current staff obtain the credential.
This webinar will help prepare you to apply for the next application deadline on January 31st!
Toxic Stress: What It Is, How It Can Affect You, And What You Can Do. A New Resource from the Center from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University
For those who've experienced toxic stress, just getting through the day can feel tough, let alone being the best parents or caregivers you can be. In this video, learn more about what toxic stress can feel like, and practical steps you can take to feel better and build resilience for yourself and your children.
Parenting Educators Can Play A Role in Communicating the Importance and Safety of Vaccinations
The National Parenting Education Network (www.npen.org) is, once again, partnering with the CDC to share accurate information about the flu vaccination with parents. We urge you to find opportunities to speak with families and disseminate (in person and/or on social media, email, etc.) the wide range of materials available at the CDC's Seasonal Influenza Reource Center, including print materials, buttons and badges, videos, animated images and web tools (such as the Flu Vaccine Finder).
The CDC's resources are designed to fit various needs, with some for the general population, and many for specific populations, such as pregnant women. Fact sheets are available in multiple languages.
As front line workers interfacing with parents, you can play an influential role in getting the word out about the importance of vaccinations and keeping communities healthy this flu season. Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/index.htm
2020-2021 Community Coalition Application Coming Soon
Calling all interested coalitions! The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) will be releasing the 2019-2020 Community Coalition Application soon, with applications to be due in January. NYSPEP will be awarding mini grants to community coalitions throughout New York State. All interested parties, please keep an eye out in your email and watch the NYSPEP Facebook pages and website for more information, coming in November.
WEBINAR ALERT: Family Home Visits—An Effective Strategy for Relationship Building and Mindset Shifts
Trust is the connective tissue for building relationships. Participants will discover how family (home) visits is an effective strategy to build strong family–school connections and help change mindsets and disrupt implicit bias for both educators and families.
Webinar is presented by Carolyn Williams from the New York State United Teachers
Follow this link to register now:
Community Café Host Training
Friday, November 8, 2019, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Learn how to host a successful Community Café, and become a leader for stronger families in our community. This facilitated training is based on World Café principles, now being used in Community Cafés held across Tompkins County. All are welcome! Bring a friend or two from your community! Light lunch will be provided.
COST: FREE for Tompkins County residents; $50 for those from other counties. Pre–registration is required. Space is limited so don’t delay! Register by November 5 DEADLINE on the "Learn More" link below and we'll provide FREE childcare! When registering please let us know # of children and their ages. For more information, questions, or help with registration; call 607-272-2292
What is a Community Café?
· A Café is a community conversation hosted by parents and community partners
· Café conversations spark leadership to develop the supportive relationships necessary to strengthen families
· Cafés support culturally diverse families to work together for a common cause
· Cafés help to engage and empower families
For more information on Community Cafés model visit:
FREE for Tompkins County residents, $50 for Non-Residents
Greg David, Healthy Start Fatherhood Coordinator, Recipient of The Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship
The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) is pleased to announce the winner of the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship to attend the 2019 Zero to Three Conference! Out of a group of excellent candidates, NPEN’s scholarship review panel selected parenting educator, Greg David who receives full registration at the Zero to Three conference plus a stipend to help defray travel and lodging costs.
The Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) in memory and honor of Wales Brown, who was an integral member of NYSPEP’s Steering Committee and a NYSPEP Credentialed Parenting Educator. Wales was dedicated to helping parents build stronger, healthier connections with their children and developed and implemented collaborative programs focusing on in-home preservation, parent education, fatherhood, and reunification of families with a history of abuse and neglect. His ability to connect with parents and children of varying backgrounds, his immense knowledge, focus and dedication led him to state and national recognition in his field.
Greg David, the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship winner, is the Healthy Start Fatherhood Coordinator at The Family Tree, an information, education and counseling center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Greg's dedication as a parenting educator in the areas of fatherhood and serving at-risk families and his desire to enhance his knowledge and skills and bring cutting-edge information back to his community from the conference perfectly align with Wales’ legacy and make him the ideal beneficiary of this award.
Become A Credentialed NYSPEP Parenting Educator—Next Application Deadline Set
It’s time to receive recognition for your work with parents! The process of applying for and the awarding of the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential assesses and acknowledges your experience, knowledge and expertise in parenting education giving your work visibility and credibility. You can apply for the Credential regardless of your work setting or job title; it is for all those who support families and facilitate the growth and development of parents through support and education.
The next upcoming deadline for applications is January 31st, 2020. Credential applicants submit a portfolio documenting their competency learned through education, training, and experience. A volunteer panel of professionals in the field throughout New York State evaluates applicant portfolios in order to establish and grant certification to those professionals who are worthy of the NYSPEP Credential. Just let our Credential Coordinator Jennie Knox know that you’re interested, and she will provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the process. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYSPEP Community Café Training of Trainers Series Creates Actionable Steps to Support NYS Children and Families
On September 10th, 2019 the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) kicked off a series of Community Café Training of Trainers (ToT’s) with the Healthy Moms/ Healthy Babies Coalition of Niagara County in Sanborn, NY. ToT Sessions followed in Clinton County with the Clinton County Parenting Education Coalition and in Tioga County with the Tioga Strong Families Coalition. During morning sessions, participants experienced the community café exploring questions related to supporting children and families in their local communities. Following the discussion of questions, participants began to create lists of actionable steps. In the afternoon sessions, participants were trained in the Community Café Model and had the opportunity to craft questions for their upcoming café series. NYSPEP would like to thank the leadership team at all of our partner agencies for creating an inviting, safe space for participants to engage and explore ideas with community cafés.
Tioga Strong Families Announces October Events
Tioga Strong Families has several community events coming up in October. Follow this link for more details.
NYSPEP 2018 Progress Report Available Online
Wondering what NYSPEP was up to in 2018? Check out our annual progress report.
NYSPEP Webinar Series Launches on September 25th
Missed our Summer Institute day back in June? No worries, NYSPEP is excited to announce that our 2019-2020 webinar series will continue the conversation held during our Summer Institute. Join us on September 25th, 2019 with fathering specialist, Don Campbell, for Part One of the webinar series. Don will be presenting, “What Divides Us: The Foundations of Implicit Bias and Its Impact on Parenting.
Through this webinar, participants will gain a foundational understanding of implicit bias and the ways in which we have come to understand its impact on communities and, more specifically, on raising children.
· Explicit versus implicit bias
· The toxicity of micro aggressions
· Implicit bias in the instructional environment
· Limiting the damage
· Bias and fathering
Don Campbell’s background includes a diversified and extensive base of prior experiences in learning and development and social services, including roles with The New York Public Library, the Literacy Assistance Center of New York City, the City University of New York, State University of New York, the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and WESTMED Practice Partners. Don is a fathering specialist at Forestdale’s Strong Fathers, a program based in Forest Hills, NY that supports fathers aspiring to engage more deeply and provide more meaningfully for their children by helping them grow their parenting skills, emotional intelligence and behavior management skills.
Follow this link to register.
Books Build Connection Toolkit from the American Academy of Pediatrics
As we gear up for the start of the school year and busy autumn schedules, the NYSPEP Website has a terrific resource for parents and caregivers. The Books Build Connections toolkit from the American Academy of Pediatrics gives families practical ideas for staying connected, finding some quiet time and strengthening literacy skills.
This toolkit features a variety of resources for families to explore and expand their understanding of early literacy. A variety of resources are available. https://littoolkit.
For more great family and community resources, follow this link.
Resources on the Impact of Racism from NYSPEP Summer Institute
The 2019 NYSPEP Annual Member Meeting focused on Building Supportive Relationships While Working Respectfully with Families and included discussion of how implicit bias plays a role in all our lives. A list of resources that were shared throughout the day can be found here. Parenting Educators may also be interested in the new recommendations released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on ways to lessen the impact of racism and teens in its policy statement, The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.
NPEN Announces Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship
The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) is pleased to announce the Wales Brown Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to one parenting educator covering the fee for the 2019 Zero to Three Conference, October 2-4 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
This is an excellent opportunity for professional development and networking for a frontline parenting educator. The scholarship will cover the full Zero to Three Conference fee with an additional $100 stipend to offset travel and hotel costs. (Any remaining travel and lodging expenses must be covered by the scholarship recipient.)
More information about Wales Brown and the scholarship can be found here.
The application can be found here. The application deadline is August 12th and the scholarship will be awarded on September 1st.
New Webinar Series: Trauma-Informed Care: Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Unaccompanied Children (Available in English and Spanish)
Led by the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center in Boston and in collaboration with the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, the NCTSN presents this webinar series designed to cover the impact of trauma on children during their migration journey. Nationally recognized speakers from NCTSN are joined by experts from the Irving Harris Foundation’s Professional Development Network to provide best practices for culturally responsive and trauma-informed provision of services. This series features diverse expertise from the fields of refugee and migrant health, cultural studies, mental health, early childhood development, childhood traumatic stress, trauma-informed systems of care, and secondary traumatic stress.
Webinar 1: Culture, the Migration Journey, Trauma, and Assessment
Webinar 2: Culture, Development, Trauma, and Socio-Cultural Responsive Interventions with Youth Ages 7 and Older
MEMBER PROFILE: Jackie Spencer, Family Development Lead Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County
Jackie grew up as the youngest of 6 children in Sayre, PA. After taking a variety of courses in Psychology, Sociology, Child Development, Literature and the Arts as a Liberal Arts major at Corning Community College, she decided to pursue a career supporting healthy parent-child relationships. She transferred to the University of Pittsburgh to study Psychology, focusing coursework in relation to development. She found the Family Resource Center as a parent of a toddler, participating and volunteering for a little over a year. That lead her to the decision that she would like to be a part of the FRC Team. She applied for a position as a home visitor and began her career as a Parenting Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County.
Jackie has worked in Parenting Education for 16 years. Her primary goal as a parenting educator is to provide parents with research based information and skills to nurture their children’s development. “Parenting is hard work and our culture has not fully shifted to non-violent parenting beliefs as a whole. I believe that parenting education can reduce the occurrence of unintentional abuse and neglect by providing parents with better tools for managing children’s behavior.”
She also enjoys spending time in her garden growing flowers of all types.
RESOURCES: NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW…NOW!
The Power of Play: How Fun and Games Help Children Thrive
With just about a month left of summer vacation, we thought we would put PLAY front and center with this article about how play helps children thrive. You can find the article here:
Is there a teen in your house? Or in your not too distant future? Check out this article from the National Institutes of Health:
The NYSPEP Annual Member Meeting was held on June 5th, 2019 this year at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham, NY. The theme for the day was Building Supportive Relationships While Working Respectfully with Families. Our keynote speaker, Julika von Stackelberg kicked us off with a presentation on working respectfully with all families and discussed our current systems and structures as well as how implicit bias plays a role in all our lives. Julika shared a video created by PBS called "Implicit Bias: Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism" In the afternoon, we were joined by a panel of four experienced individuals in the field of parenting education. Don Campbell shared his experience working as a fathering specialist in Queens, NY while Priscilla Shorter shared her experience raising her son as a young mother navigating through the healthcare systems. Jackie and Michael Campbell share their experience as facilitators of the Effective Black Parenting Curriculum in Rochester, NY. Our Parent Leader, Kara Georgi continued the conversation with participates through a community cafe discussion. Participates shared their thoughts, ideas and experience and the relevance of the theme for the day through the cafe discussion. NYSPEP would like to thank our speakers for the day, the planning committee for putting the day together and our participates for their enthusiasm and dedication to parenting education. We hope to see you next year!
Resources from the 2019 Summer Institute are available here.
You can help shape the narrative around parenting education by participating in a survey linked below being conducted by the National Parenting Education Network. NPEN is committed to the promotion of parenting education and seeks to advance the depiction and utilization of skills and the portrayal of parenting and family education professionals in entertainment media. By completing this short survey after viewing a TV show, movie or advertisement, you are helping us collect data that we can use as we pursue working with media professionals.
Our goal is to increase storylines that include family members seeking parenting education information, families using skills acquired from various resources and characters who are professional parenting education providers. Media exposure will go a long way in the normalization of parenting education and the promotion of a profession often unrecognized by family members, policy makers, legislators, funders, researchers and academia.
To complete this very brief survey, you can draw from something previously viewed, something you are watching now, or when you watch something in the immediate future. Please complete the survey, throughout the month of July, one per media experience, although you are not limited to the number of media occasions you survey.
Please forward this email to all your professional and personal contacts as the more data we collect, the better. We will analyze the date and share the results with the entertainment media professionals.
Simply follow the link, https://forms.gle/
DC:0-5 is a research and clinically-informed multi-axial diagnostic system that provides a comprehensive guide to the clinical disorders found in young children. New York State plans to make DC:0-5 the recommended diagnostic tool for all children birth to age 5.
This comprehensive training is specifically designed for participants who are directly involved in the developmental and mental health evaluation and diagnosis of children birth to five years of age.
This training provides history and background around the need for and development of a specialized diagnostic classification system for infancy and early childhood, as well as approaches to diagnosis from an Infant Mental Health perspective which is developmentally informed, relationship based, contextual and culturally competent.
Participants will learn about the multi-axial classification system and gain an understanding of each: Axis I Clinical Disorders, Axis II Relational Context, Axis III Physical Health Conditions and Considerations, Axis IV Psychosocial Stressors, and Axis V Developmental Competence.
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in Community of Practice calls following the training for support on use of DC:0-5™ in their practice.
Participation in this training is free of charge and participants will receive a complimentary DC:0-5 manual.
This training will offer 11 CE contact hours for licensed social workers and LMHCs through the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Participants must attend both days to receive full credit. Attendees will be able to access certificates online following the training.
Register early since capacity is limited. Additional trainings will be offered based on demand in each location.
Please register below (All Trainings are 1.5 days (9am-5pm on Day 1 & 9am-1pm on Day 2):
Buffalo Niagara Marriott
1340 Millersport Hwy, Amherst NY, 14221
July 11 & 12
1350 Walt Whitman Road Melville, NY 11747
July 25 & 26
September 12 & 13
In collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
615 Willow Avenue
Ithaca, NY, 14850
September 26 & 27
Doubletree by Hilton
455 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591
September 26 & 27
Hyatt Regency Rochester
125 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604
Sept 30, October 1
Marriott Syracuse Downtown
100 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 14604
October 2, 3
Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
40 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
October 7 & 8
Holiday Inn Plattsburgh
406 New York 3, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
October 17 & 18
November 6 & 7
Century House, 997 New Loudon RD., Latham NY 12110
Connie Desmarais received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from SUNY Oswego and a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling from Pepperdine University. Connie has been working in the human services field for over 25 years with the majority of her career being in early childhood and home visiting programs. Connie’s passion for serving young children and families can be traced back to her high school and college years where she spent significant time working as a babysitter, camp counselor and day care teacher.
When she’s not conducting outreach and encouraging partners in the Western New York area to look at the possibility of implementing developmental screening into their work, Connie is a mother/stepmother to six children, grandmother of two, and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing with her family and her dogs.
Currently she helps to educate community partners such as pediatric offices, school systems, community based organizations, and parents on the topic of developmental milestones and how they can best support each child in the achievement of these milestones through her work at Help Me Grow. They offer free developmental screening tools to families and partners as well as providing follow-up on the results of the screenings along with any additional resources the family may need to help support them in their parenting. She was also the Program Manager for Healthy Families Niagara for 14 years.
NYSPEP would like to congratulate our Steering Committee member Gail Volk (State Education Department) on her retirement. NYSPEP would like to thank Gail for her dedication to parenting education and her involvement in the Committees and workgroup.
Parenting Educators are invited to apply for the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential. The NYSPEP Credential recognizes your professional development and competence and gives you increased visibility in the field of parenting education. The application process involves developing a portfolio to document your knowledge, skills and competencies for work in the field of parenting education.
The next application deadline is July 31, 2019. Those who are preparing applications will have the opportunity to be partnered with a mentor to help guide you through the application process. You can learn more about the history and content of the NYSPEP Parenting Educator Credential at http://nyspep.org/professionals/credentialing. To begin the application process or ask questions contact the Credential Coordinator at Credential@nyspep.org.
Equity from the Start: Promoting Social Justice in Early Childhood Programs
Keynote Speaker Eva Marie Shivers, JD, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Indigo Cultural Center
Friday, June 14, 2019
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
130 East 59th Street
New York, New York
Early childhood programs abound with diversity in both the children and the families who participate. This diversity comes from differences across race, class, developmental ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, languages spoken, and immigration status, to name a few. How do we, as early childhood professionals, develop our own awareness of the power and privilege afforded to some and of the oppression and marginalization foisted upon others on the basis of these identifiers? How can we make sure that we inadvertently don't add to the weight of oppression experienced by the families we serve? How can we, instead, become instruments of social justice?
Our keynote presenter, Eva Marie Shivers, JD, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Indigo Cultural Center, and our breakout presenters will address these questions. Dr. Shivers will begin the day looking at racial identity and how, through mindful transformation, we can be bias disruptors and champion social justice in early childhood programs. After her plenary presentation, we will break into small groups to discuss and process her talk.
In the afternoon, the following breakout presenters will continue the exploration: Michelle Gantt, Alexandra Martinez & Quiana Jackson, Veera Mookerjee, Renee Ortega, Laurel Salmon, and Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok & Lauren Tobing-Puente. Some will address the personal work required to develop intercultural competency, with a focus on self-reflection and therapeutic use of self, and others will focus on racial literacy in early childhood classrooms. Still others will address a range of challenges including international immigration, developmental differences, and incarceration.
Breakfast and Lunch will be provided! Group rates are available. Register today!
What: PS: It Works! Personal-Professional Communication Skills
When: Wednesday and Thursday, July 10 & 11, 2019, 9:00 am to 4:30pm
Where: CCE-Tompkins Education Center, 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850
Facilitators: Anna Steinkraus, Serena Ward & Judy Burrill
Cost: $200 registration fee, includes: training, lunch, snack and Parenting Skills Workshop Series Manual
Additional $25 fee to obtain NY State MSW/LCSW contact hours
Preregistration is required.
Register here: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/PSItWorks-2_250. For more information: email: email@example.com , or call Anna at (607) 272-2292.
NYSPEP E-NEWS, 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.
NYSPEP E-News, April 2019
NYSPEP Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Colleague Wales Brown
We were all shocked and saddened to hear about the death of our colleague Wales Brown.
For nearly 30 years, Wales dedicated his life to helping parents build stronger, healthier connections with their children throughout upstate New York and beyond. He developed and implemented collaborative programs focusing on in-home preservation, parent education, and reunification of families with a history of abuse and neglect. His ability to connect with parents and children of varying backgrounds, his immense knowledge, and his dedication led him to state and national recognition in his field. Being awarded the prestigious ZERO TO THREE Fellowship (Class of 2014-2016) was a shining example of Wales’s accomplishments and his desire to always strive to expand his knowledge and influence as a leader in the field.
Wales was also a foster parent for more than a decade and was a single father of four boys with special needs who were freed for adoption. He worked in Ecuador, Egypt, and India in children's residential facilities and was a founding member of the Leadership Training Initiative for people living with HIV/AIDS, developing programming to respond to the needs of those in undeserved communities.
His personal and professional background made him uniquely qualified to work with the children and families of Northeast Parent & Child Society in Schenectady, New York, where he worked for 29 years. He was responsible for coordinating and teaching parenting groups for parents of children in different age groups through selected evidence-based curriculums. In addition to the group processes, he provided intensive individual in-home consultations and was a clinician in a supervised visitation program, coordinating and coaching visits using a coached visiting model and working with birth parents to build parenting skills and parental bonding. He completed his Masters in Adult Learning at SUNY Empire State College, and he was a nationally recognized Certified Family Life Educator (National Council on Family Relations). He also coordinated a fathering program in his community service work to help fathers that were separated from their children and worked privately in rural areas providing parent education.
Wales served for many years on the NYS Parenting Education PartnershipSteering Committee as well as the Credential Committee and Communications Committee. He was one of the first Parenting Educators in New York to apply for and be awarded the NYSPEP Tier III Credential: Senior Parenting Educator. While continuing his deep engagement with NYSPEP, he was elected to the National Parenting Education Network - NPEN in 2016 and was involved with the Communications and Membership Committees and had been serving the past two years on the Executive Committee as Secretary. He was instrumental in so much of the work of both organizations and volunteered his time and expertise generously.
Wales's death will be felt deeply in his community and throughout the world of parenting education.
Success in Strong Roots Events in Orange and Richmond Counties
On March 19th, 2019, the Orange County Parenting Coalition hosted their 22nd annual Making Healthful Decisions Conference (Regional Strong Roots). This year’s theme, Building Resilience focus on the collective effort of community members strengthening and understanding the impact of coming together to create positive change within their community. Participates had the opportunity to view the film, Resilience where Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris discusses the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the effects ACEs has on the development of children’s bodies and brain structures. Following the film, participates engaged in a guided discussion with Tamaé Memole (Prevent Child Abuse NY) and Kristin Fortuna (Rehabilitation Support Services). NYSPEP would like to thank the Orange County Parenting Coalition for hosting the event.
On March 22nd, 2019 the Staten Island Perinatal Network hosted their Regional Strong Roots in Richmond County. This year’s theme, Triumph Over Trauma focus on supporting and promoting a positive parenting environment for individuals with a history of trauma. The keynote was presented by Dr. Myra Sabir from Binghamton University, who shared the significance of Life Writing. Following Dr. Sabir’s keynote address, a panel of parenting educators and medical professionals discussed the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the connection to their work. NYSPEP would like to thank the Staten Island Perinatal Network for hosting the event.
For the first time, the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 compares national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers.
The current state of babies tells an important story about what it is like to be a very young child in this country, and where we are headed as a nation. Far too many babies face persistent hardships—such as food insecurity, unstable housing and exposure to violence—that undermine their ability to grow and thrive.
To create a brighter future for all, we must implement policies based on science and budgets that make babies a priority. Report and state rankings at https://stateofbabies.org.
Shamise Quinn is the Project Coordinator at the Community Health Center of Richmond. The center serves as the backbone organization for the Staten Island Perinatal Network for Better Birth Outcomes, a cross-sectoral partnership of more than 40 community-based organizations, health care entities, social service agencies and other related partners dedicated to improving birth outcomes and the livelihood of women, children, and families on Staten Island’s North Shore.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Public Administration from John Jay College and has 23 credit hours of project management education from the Project Management Institute. She is an energized project manager/coordinator with documented success in planning, estimating and organizing the overall implementation of assigned projects and is highly competent at providing daily direction, motivation and support for a project team to ensure that project specifications and deadlines are met.
As the project coordinator for the Staten Island Perinatal Network, Shamise continues to make linkages and build relationships between different organizations within the coalition. Shamise ensures that parenting education information is spread throughout the network, and the community. Shamise realizes the importance of parenting education and works hard to make sure that parents, and families are provided with support and resources needed to succeed.
Shamise also loves to read and is a huge fan of Beyonce.
2019-2020 Mini-Grant Recipients Announced
NYSPEP is excited is to announce notifications have gone out to the 2019-2020 Mini-Grant Recipients! Special thanks to the NYSPEP Mini-Grant Review Committee and all those across New York State who applied. This year our review committee has decided to fund four Community Coalitions:
Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, Inc.
Genesee Valley Health Partnership (GVHP)/ Trauma Informed Communities (TIC) Coalition
Healthy Moms/ Healthy Babies Coalition of Niagara County
Tioga Strong Families
NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Susan Perkins
Susan Perkins’s career began with adult education roles in Cooperative Extension in Berks County, Pennsylvania, as well as Continuing Medical Education at the Hershey Medical Center. After moving to the Finger Lakes with her young family, she volunteered and was then hired by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Tompkins County, leading programming in Family Development and Parenting Education there, and at Cortland County Extension.
Before joining the NYS Council on Children and Families in 2000, Susan was the director of an Even Start Family Literacy program in Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga counties. This experience served her well at the Council as a program manager for a statewide family literacy initiative. That is also where she got her start with NYSPEP, as an active member since its inception. She contributed to NYSPEP in several capacities, ultimately serving as co-chair of the Partnership.
Following her retirement from the Council, Susan has remained active in NYSPEP. It is her hope to connect the work of NYSPEP with other organizations with similar vision and to strengthen and expand the capacity of parenting educators across the state.
In addition to all of her professional and volunteer roles, Susan loves the live events at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), where she has ushered for the annual Jazz Festival, New York City Ballet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra for over 15 years!
Susan would love to see NYSPEP be recognized at the local and state level for its advocacy on behalf of parents--providing the information, strategies and support they deserve to raise healthy children.
SAVE THE DATE FOR SUMMER INSTITUTE: JUNE 5TH
The NYSPEP Summer Institute will be held on June 5th this year. Please mark your calendars and save the date! More information and details to follow.
Strong Roots Training Institute to be held in Staten Island
NPEN Webinar Opportunity: Competencies for Effective Parenting Education Practice
Members of NPEN’s Professional Preparation & Recognition Committee developed Parenting Educator Competencies: A Resource Document for the Field of Parenting Education (https://tinyurl.com/npencompetencies) to describe the knowledge, practice skills, and attitudes and dispositions that are foundational to effective practice for parenting educators. NPEN will host a webinar on March 6 to provide an overview of the document, how it was developed, and its potential uses. Please join us to learn more about this important resource.
Identifying Competencies for Effective Parenting Education Practice: An Overview of NPEN’s Parenting Educator Competencies Resource Document
March 6, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1:00 CT, 12:00 MT, 11:00 PT)
Presenters: Betty Cooke, Glen Palm, and Stephanie Jones
Register in advance for this webinar at https://tinyurl.com/npenwebinar
The webinar is free for current NPEN members. Others will be directed to join NPEN to attend. Membership is $25. Visit https://npen.org/membership/ to join. Registration confirmation is subject to membership verification. For more information, email Judy Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in New York
You are invited to the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in New York Free Seminar – register now to secure your attendance at the NYAEYC Pre-Conference Day! Hosted by the NYS Council on Children and Families, NYS Head Start Collaboration Office and experts in Early Childhood Mental Health in New York State. Come learn about how NY is working to meet the Social and Emotional Needs of all children Birth through Five.
April 4, 2019; 1pm-4pm; Mohawk Room, Turningstone Conference Center, Verona, NY
1. Infant Mental Health in NYS Overview, resources, training available for early care and education providers, Head Start/Early Head Start and PreK
2. Screening for possible social emotional health concerns and Early Intervention eligibility
3. A picture of the Pyramid Model and Infant Mental Health Consultation in NYS – One agencies success story
4. Next steps in NYS, initiatives, discussion of progress and challenges
We’ll be announcing more speakers in the upcoming weeks. Please register today for this free presentation – room capacity limits apply. Lunch is not included, so please plan accordingly. Questions please email Weller, Kristin (CCF) Kristin.Weller@ccf.ny.gov
Strong Roots Training Event Success in Hornell
On February 8th, 2019, NYSPEP and Kids on Track Steuben County held a Community Coalition Strong Roots training event in Hornell, NY. The theme for the day was Deep Roots are not Reached by the Frost with Danielle Asher from the Family Leadership Network (FLN) as the keynote speaker. Danielle engaged participants with her professional and personal experiences. Participates were able to hear from a panel of ten individuals comprised of parents who were the growing leaders and professionals who were the connectors. NYSPEP would like to thank Kids on Track for their partnership and planning for the professional development day!
NYSPEP Represents at BMCC Student Parent Resource Fair
On February 20th, 2019 NYSPEP Steering Committee Member, Meg Akabas and NYSPEP Program Coordinator, Melody Tien attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s (BMCC) Student Parent Resource Fair. Meg and Melody provided information on professional development opportunities, parenting tips and tricks and set up interactive games and questions to students, parents and professionals. NYSPEP would like to thank BMCC for the opportunity to table at the fair.
Agencies Unite to Increase Resilience in Orange County Families
On Friday, December 14 the Orange County Parenting Coalition, in collaboration with the Trauma Institute of Orange County and the Departments of Mental Health and Social Services held a screening of the film Resilience at the Emergency Services Center that was attended by nearly 120 professionals.
The purpose of the screening was to raise awareness among individuals who work with families and children, as well as to learn about how ACEs can be prevented by increasing resilience in families and in our community. Following the film, participants actively engaged in a discussion about how to incorporate this knowledge into their work, how to employ a trauma-informed approach, and how to create welcoming environments for the families they work with.
Orange County Commissioner of Social Services and Mental Health Darcie Miller encouraged participants to take what they learned and discuss it with their colleagues, friends and families with the goal to engage the larger community in developing the skills that lead to greater resilience across the board. As Commissioner Miller said, “Prevention is really what is most effective to ensure the future health and well-being of our community. While the concept of a trauma-informed approach is not new in the field of mental health, it is my hope that this approach will be adopted by all fields of human services and across sectors.”
Julika von Stackelberg, Co-Chair of the Orange County Parenting Coalition and Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Parenting & Family Life Educator states, "Our vision is for Orange County to become a poster child for the creation of a coordinated community response to adverse childhood experiences and building resilience not only to improve the health and well-being of our community, but in a way that it can be replicated by other communities nationwide."
An additional screening and community discussion is planned at the Annual Making Healthful Decisions Conference on March 19 at Mount Saint Mary College. For more information or to register for these events, please call 845-344-1234.
NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Meg Akabas
Meg Akabas has been a leader in the parenting education world for more than ten years through her direct work with parents and expectant parents, writing about parenting, professionalization of the field, and policy work around supporting parents on a state and national level. Meg Akabas is the founder of New York City-based Parenting Solutions™, a consultancy designed to help parents discover the joy in parenting, and is the author of 52 Weeks of Parenting Wisdom: Effective Strategies for Raising Happy, Responsible Kids.
A New York Certified Parenting Educator, she is the current Chairperson of the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) and she has served on the Steering Committee of the New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) since 2008. In addition, her extensive involvement with NYSPEP has included working on the Parenting Educator Credential, Professional Development, and New Parent Kit committees and developing and leading Strong Roots events. She has also presented workshops at conferences and webinars for NYSPEP on the topics of normal infant development, and how to design and facilitate parenting classes for expectant parents.
Meg has more than 18 years of leadership experience in schools and has served as president of the board of two schools in New York City. She is dedicated to helping parents raise emotionally healthy, responsible and kind children and is on the childbirth education staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City where she regularly teaches an intensive workshop on infant development and parenting. Ms. Akabas holds an MBA from Columbia University Business School, a bachelor and master's from Manhattan School of Music and is a certified group fitness instructor. She lives with her husband Seth in Manhattan, where they have raised their four children.
The latest episode of NPEN supported "Practically Perfect Parenting" podcast is here! "Why Kids Lie and What to Do About." Share with parents and/or use the series for professional development. It's free and available at the following link and on iTunes.Practically Perfect Parenting Podcasts
The following are from a recent issue of “Baby Talk,” a monthly listserv supported by Pritzker Children's Initiative and North Carolina Children's Initiative. (To join the listserv, send an email with no message to email@example.com.)
Talking to Infants Supports Their Brain Development: A survey of families found that advice given a babies’ one-month well-child visits focused more on feeding and the baby’s weight than on development or learning. For families who want to nurture their child’s brain development, talking, reading, and singing from day one are the strategies to pursue. These actions help create a language-rich environment that supports babies’ brain growth. Read more or watch a video in English or Spanish at parents-prescription-talk-read-and-sing
Toddlers Need More Laps Than Apps: In a December 2018 interview with leading pediatrician, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Hospital, he explains that toddlers are depending more and more on screens for self-soothing. When toddlers are left on their own with the device, they are "missing out on those critical human interactions" during a vulnerable period of brain development. He states that "toddlers need laps more than apps" and promotes the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics to avoid digital media use for children under age 2. Read more and watch a related video at cbsNews: effects-of-screen-time-on-kids
How to Raise a Reader: From the moment you’re expecting your first child, you are bombarded with messages about the importance of reading. For good reason: The benefits of reading at every stage of a child’s development are well documented. This article offers strategies for building the capacity to read in infants and toddlers that are fun, rewarding and relatively easy. how-to-raise-a-reader
Screen Sense: Impact of Media Use on Children Under 3 ZERO TO THREE has created evidence-based Screen-Sense Resources to assist caregivers of children under 3 years old to assess safe media content and usage for young children. The site includes a tool for choosing content and guidance on how to be a screen use role model for young children.
Lullabies of the World: Looking for international lullabies? The European Choral Association offers free access to recordings, scores, sing-alongs, and pronunciation of the lyrics. Search by 40 languages or dialects to find a song to soothe. lullabiesoftheworld.org
Resources on social-emotional development: All of the following are from the NYS Department of Health website page on social-emotional development.
Free CDC's Milestone Tracker App:
The CDC's Milestone Tracker is free app for tracking every child's development in a fun and easy way, now available in Spanish. This updated version of the app includes several improvements and can be used in either English or Spanish. Users can even track milestones in their preferred language and switch between languages during use or before sharing the summary. Milestones App
From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN):
New Fact Sheet: For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence Teens will learn from this fact sheet about the common and expected reactions of youth who experience or witness mass violence. The fact sheet also gives tips for taking care of themselves, such as reaching out to others. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/for-teens-coping-after-mass-violence
New Fact Sheet: The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies Caregivers can benefit from this fact sheet which offers guidance on talking to your child after a parent or caregiver dies. It gives suggestions on how to help children who are facing new fears, how to take care of yourself, how to maintain essential routines while adjusting to the loss and possible new changes, how to create comforting connections to the past while building new relationships, and how to seek out resources and supports for your children. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/power-of-parenting-how-to-help-your-child-after-a-parent-or-caregiver-dies
From Zero to Three:
Grand-Plan Partner Toolkit For many families with children under 5, grandparents fill a critical need for infant-toddler child care that is trusted, affordable, and accessible. Grandparents are out there providing contributions of love, time, and effort in families of every description. This partner toolkit helps early childhood professionals understand those relationships, support parents and grandparents, and share their stories.
Resources and information for fathers of infants and preschool age children at Fathers Matter.
Strong Roots Training Institute to be held in Staten Island
On March 22 there will be a regional Strong Roots Event held at Staten Island University. For more information and details, please contact Shamise Quinn at squinn@CHCRichmond.org.
ProAction of Steuben and Yates hosting Strong Roots Training Institute
On February 8th, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates will be hosting Deep Roots Are Not Reached by the Frost at The Main Place in Hornell, NY. For more information and details, please contact Margie Lawlor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making Healthful Decisions Conference
On March 19 Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County will be holding a Making Healthful Decisions Conference. For more information and details, please follow this link: http://cceorangecounty.org/events/2019/03/19/22nd-making-healthful-decisions-conference
NPEN to Introduce Parenting Educator Competencies Resource Document
The National Parenting Education Network will introduce Parenting Educator Competencies: A Resource Document for the Field of Parenting Education in a national webinar on March 6. NPEN's purpose in creating this document is to describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes and dispositions that are the foundation for effective practice for parenting educators. The webinar will review the development of this resource and its potential uses. The webinar is free for NPEN members. For others, the cost is $25 and includes the webinar and a one year membership in NPEN. For more information on the document and to receive notice of registration information send email to email@example.com.
Strong Roots Training Institute Kicks Off in Tompkins County
On January 25th, 2019, NYSPEP and Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County held our first Community Coalition Strong Roots training event of the year in Ithaca, NY. The theme for the day was Trauma Responsive Care at Home and in Schools with Renee Hettich from the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York as the keynote speaker. Renee engaged participants with her professional and personal experiences. Participates were able to “Build a Brain” based on the Brain Architect Game developed by Harvard University. NYSPEP would like to thank CCE Tompkins County for their partnership and planning for the professional development day!
Protective Factors Framework Training in Orange County
The Orange County Parenting Coalition hosted a two-day Protective Factors Framework training on January 10th and 11th in Middletown, NY. During the interactive training, participants were introduced to the five protective factors that help make families strong and equipped with concrete tools to build resilience in children and families. Participant feedback was outstanding. NYSPEP would like to thank Tamaé Memole and Kara Georgi for facilitating the training and discussions.
NYSPEP in the News
Local Agencies Discuss Effects of Childhood Stress
Community Coalition Application Released, Webinar Recording Available
Calling all interested coalitions! The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) is proud to announce the release of our 2019-2020 Community Coalition Application. NYSPEP will be awarding four mini grants to community coalitions throughout New York State.
All interested parties, please read through the application materials and complete the application by COB January 18th, 2019 at 4pm.
NYSPEP hosted a webinar on December 6th, 2018 at 12 PM to go through the application materials and answer any questions about the application process. Missed the webinar? Please click HERE for the recording.
To learn more about NYSPEP, please visit our website at www.nyspep.org
NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Margie Lawlor
Margie Lawlor’s first interaction with NYSPEP was in roughly 2008 while assisting with some social marketing work being done by one of the committees. She became re-engaged when her organization, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc. offered to pilot the New Parent Kit in 2016.
Throughout her career she has successfully combined her professional strengths in communications, marketing, strategic nonprofit management and analysis to build a career advancing the effectiveness of the social sector. From her work at the turn of the century in the United Way system, through a successful consulting practice, to her current leadership role in a Community Action agency, she has gained a breadth of wisdom informing her work. Areas of specific content knowledge include early childhood education, K-12 education, family strengthening, housing, healthcare, poverty reduction and community change.
Margie has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish from George Mason University and a Master of Public Administration from Binghamton University. She lives in Corning, New York with her loving family, including her husband and two young adult sons. She is inspired by her origins in a large Irish family from the working class suburbs of Philadelphia.
Fun fact! Margie hung around with some of the same people as Tina Fey did in high school, and Tina mentioned one of them in her book BossyPants.
Webinar Alerts: "Introduction to the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support" and "Nurturing Fathering"
NYSPEP'S Professional Development Series continues on January 24th from 12:00-1:00 p.m. with Introduction to the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support. Please join us to learn more about the nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support.
Since being issued by the California Network of Family Strengthening Networks in 2012, and adopted by the National Network of Family Support and Strengthening Networks in 2013, these Standards are being used across the country by public departments, foundations, networks, community-based organizations, and families.
Based on the Principles of Family Support Practice and the Strengthening Families Framework and its research-based evidence-informed 5 Protective Factors, they have created a common language across different kinds of Family Strengthening and Family Support programs such as Family Resource Centers, home visiting programs, and child development programs. They are used a tool for planning, providing, and assessing quality practice.
You can also register for Nurturing Fathering: Using A Group Approach to Help Dads Think and Learn About Fathering, rescheduled to January 14th from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Participants will become familiar with the Nurturing Fathers Program. If you are interested in this webinar, please register HERE.
NYSPEP Summer Institute Planned, Save the Date
The NYSPEP Summer Institute will be held on June 5th this year. Please mark your calendars and save the date! More information and details to follow.
Motherhood Cafe Offered at New York Foundling
Healthy Families New York, NYSPEP and Staten Island Perinatal Network are hosting a Motherhood Cafe at the New York Foundling on January 7, 2019 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for moms to eat, relax and talk. There are only 20 slots available. If someone that you know or work with would like to attend, please have them call Shamise at (917) 830-1200, ext. 7611.
Strong Roots Training Institutes for 2019 are Kicking Off
On January 25th, a Strong Roots Training entitled Trauma Responsive Care at Home and in Schools will be offered at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Ithaca, NY. The cost is $50 and pre-registration is required. In order to register, follow this link.
Then, on February 8th, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates will be hosting Deep Roots Are Not Reached by the Frost at The Main Place in Hornell, NY. For more information and details, please contact Margie Lawlor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Cafe Rescheduled to January 14th
ProAction of Steuben and Yates, Hornell Area Family Resource Center and Hornell City School District are hosting a Community Cafe at Hornell Family Resource Center at Hornell Intermediate School on January 14, 2019 from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Please spread the word about this great opportunity for refreshments and conversations with your neighbors. For more information call Hornell FRC at (607) 324-1304, ext. 1741.