Family Engagement Summit Brings Birth-12 Educators Together for Equity Discussion
Registration for the annual event closed in one day.
On Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Early Childhood hosted its annual Family Engagement Summit that featured keynote Dr. Rosemarie Allen, a nationally recognized early childhood development author, leader, and expert. This year’s theme, Understanding Implicit Bias: Engaging Families in Culturally Responsive Ways, highlighted the need for educators to be more sensitive, knowledgeable, and responsive to families’ cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity.
“You have to be fair and treat families justly and with equity,” said Dr. Allen during the Family Engagement Summit. “You must make families feel welcome at every level of your organization, in your program, community, and in this nation.”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rosemarie Allen’s Presentation
In addition to the keynote address and an afternoon workshop, Dr. Allen participated in a suspension and expulsion panel discussion with the Edward Zigler Center Director of Child Development and Social Policy and Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale University, Dr. Walter Gilliam; Catholic Charities Head Start of Baltimore City Director Mary Gunning; Children’s Center of Walkersville Director Virginia “Ginny” Simoneau; and Howard County Public Schools Executive Director of Community, Parent, and School Outreach James LeMon.
“Relationships among teachers and providers, and parents and families are key,” said LeMon during the suspension and expulsion panel discussion.
Summit attendees also had access to other national and local family engagement experts who presented workshop topics such as equity and excellence, health and well-being, social and emotional development, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
In its fourth year, the Family Engagement Summit offers innovative approaches to meeting the needs of parents and families while providing resources that support implementation strategies for early care and education providers. The 2019 Maryland Family Engagement Summit attracted over 200 attendees, including parents, superintendents, teachers, providers, program coordinators, and other stakeholders. The event also was featured live on Facebook and attracted 500 viewers, bringing the total number of attendees on- and offline to more than 700.
- Culturally Responsive Family Engagement
- Introduction to Language-Focused Family Engagement
- A Call to Action: A Vision for Equity and Excellence for Families and Children
- Dismantling Privilege and Structural Racism: How Implicit Bias and Privilege Affect Our Interactions with Families
- Stepping Stones to Equity, One Family at a Time