Beaufort County school workshops offer tips on parenting, family matters

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 18, 2012 

When parents arrive at workshops at Hilton Head Island High School or Coosa Elementary School this week, it won't be to talk to their child's teacher or learn about what's going on in the classroom.

The workshops aim to offer tips for everyday life -- basic first aid, family budgeting or healthy eating.

The programs are new -- this is the first Parent Fair for Coosa and the second Parent University for Hilton Head High. Organizers say helping parents will, in turn, help students.

Hilton Head High bookkeeper Dianne Morgan, who organized Parent University, said boosting parents' confidence in their parenting and life skills can translate to more-confident kids.

"It gets passed down to the children," she said.

Coosa Principal Carmen Dillard said the school's Parent Fair aims to be convenient for busy families.

"It's sort of one-stop shopping," she said. "We'll have several topics, and it will hopefully be helpful."

The district offers other workshops for parents. About 100 sessions -- divided into categories such as "helping your child learn in the 21st century" and "personal growth and development" -- have been planned, according to N'Kia Campbell, district director of academic initiatives.

For the first time, the district has assembled a course catalog of the workshops, which is scheduled to be published next week. The catalog will be available online and at schools and lists mostly free events that are open to any parent in the district.

Compiling the events made Campbell and the committee she worked with realize how much was offered and think about any gaps, she said.

Any parent-training events that would be added probably would be tied to new district initiatives, such as "common core standards," national curriculum standards the district is implementing.

Dillard and Morgan said hopes are high for the workshops and feedback has been positive.

"This is a fun and friendly way to get (parents) in the front door and more comfortable coming in (to school)," Morgan said.

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

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