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Parent Power!

By Kim Underwood

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

DECEMBER 3 – At the Parent Power! conference coming up on Thursday Dec. 6, parents can explore such topics as how to keep students engaged during the holiday break, how to support your students in science and in reading, and how to achieve what you want for you and your family.

After a meal that everyone shares together, the young people will head off to a pajama party that includes a showing of The Polar Express movie while the adults will choose among sessions with such names as “Read and Learn Together,” “Stress Busters for Families” and “How to Survive the Teenage Years.”

In the “Stress Busters for Families” class, Penny Hazen, who became a life coach after spending 30 years as a counselor in middle schools, will talk about getting clear about what you want in life. Once you do that, she said, “you begin to create what you want for yourself and your family.”

Her approach, she said, ensures “there will be lots of laughter.”      

Jackie Pierson, the program manager for library media services, will lead the “Read and Learn Together” session, and, in the “Science Synergizer for Parents” session, Benika Thompson, the program manager for science, will talk about developing and encouraging scientific literacy as well as helping your students develop science projects.

Parent Power! is an ongoing Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Education series that, in the past, has included such programs as Dr. Gary Chapman talking about his book “The 5 Love Languages of Children.”

The Parent Power conference will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday Dec. 6 at the school system’s Education Building at 4801 Bethania Station Road. It is sponsored by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the Office of Parental Involvement and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs. For more information, get in touch with Sharon Frazier at 748-4000 Ext. 34225 or

Here’s the schedule:

5:30 to 6:15 p.m. – Registration and dinner

6:15 to 7:45 p.m. – School-age children will participate in The Polar Express Pajama Party. They are, indeed, welcome to wear pajamas. After an opening session, parents will be able to choose from a number of educational sessions.

“Read and Learn Together” – Jackie Pierson

“Science Synergizer for Parents” – Benika Thompson

 “Stress Busters for Families – Penny Hazen

“How to Survive the Teenage Years” – Angie Diaz 

“College and Career READY” (for parents of high school students)

7:45 to 8:15 p.m. – Holiday Celebration

8:15 to 8:30 – Closing with door prizes and a “Holiday Surprise.”


Kim Underwood