Friday, June 16, 2017

NYSPEP E-News, June 2017

NYSPEP E-News, June 2017

The focus of this year's Annual Member Meeting is "Working with Immigrant and Refugee Communities to Support Strong, Healthy Families". We are excited to announce that Dr. Alisa Miller and Dr. Luna Mulder of the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center in Boston will join us! The event will be held on June 15th from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham, NY. Registration cost is $50 per person and can be found at:  For more details and updates, follow us at 

A summary of NYSPEP’s activities and accomplishments during the past year, and some comparisons with past years, is now available for review on the home page of our website at

Colleagues at the Cornell University College of Human Ecology have made countless excellent parenting resources available online. Cornell's Parenting Pages are documents written for parents and caregivers that summarize the current research on various parenting and child development topics. The Parenting Programs in New York State list includes popular parenting programs used through the Cornell Cooperative Extension system, as well as other parenting educators, across New York State. Connect with them at

A new film from director Emily Abt, "Daddy Don't Go" will be screened Thursday, June 15th at 3:30 p.m. at the Erie Community College City Campus, 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo in the Minnie Gillette auditorium. "Daddy Don't Go" follows four men for two years in the fight of their lives to be good fathers. Admission is free. The event, sponsored by Erie Community College Parenting and Pregnancy Assistance Program, will also feature informational tables, food and giveaways. See a trailer of the film at

Free multilingual downloads from the Child Mind Institute are now available at . These are resources to help communities in the wake of tragic events.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has received many questions about the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" (13RW). We list the most common questions from parents, schools, media, and community leaders below, with resources to help you talk about the series and suicide risk and prevention, please visit:    

Monday, October 17, 2016

NYSPEP Strong Roots - Presenters and Panelists - Rochester

New York State Parenting Education Partnership is pleased to announce our confirmed presenters and panelists for the Strong Roots Last a Lifetime training institute "Helping Parents Prepare Young Children for School Success" in Rochester, NY on Friday, November 04, 2016. This one-day training is designed for parenting educators and professionals who support parents / primary caregivers in their role of nurturing children.

Register at 
Advance registration is required and closes at 5:00 pm on October 24. 


Judy Wolf
Cornell Cooperative Extension Tioga County (ret.)
Judy Wolf, serves on NYSPEP's Steering and Executive Committees and is Co-chair of the Credential Workgroup. She also has served on the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) Council. A retired Extension Team Leader for the Family Development Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County, she led a variety of programs from parenting skills workshops and home visits. Under her leadership, CCE Tioga has helped to define the Family Resource Center and supported others in implementing that model. 


Panel Moderator

Hillside Children's Center

Alice McAdam the Program Manager for Parents As Teachers at Hillside Children's Center.

Master Cadre Pyramid Model Trainer

Ellen Leopold, MS.Ed.
Children's Institute

Ellen Leopold a supports parents, grandparents, and teachers in identifying practices and strategies to support preschoolers' healthy social emotional development as a Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Consultant for Children's Institute. She has worked in education for more than 30 years and has consulted with Rochester city elementary, preschools, and day care centers on implementing the evidence-based PATHS and PATHS Preschool. She is a certified Pyramid Model trainer and coach under Aspire's New York Works for Children.

Regional Special Education - Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) Behavior Specialist

Megan King
Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC)
Megan King is a preschool behavior specialist with the Western region RSE-TASC. She works with preschools on utilizing evidence-based practices to promote social emotional competence in children. She has been in the education world for over 13 years, with a wide variety of experience and age ranges. Megan received her Master's degree in Special Education at Canisius College. She has a total of five teaching certifications in both general and special education. 

NYSPEP Credentialed Parenting Educator

Kara Georgi, NYSPEP-CPE
New York State Community Cafes Parent Leader
Kara Georgi is a NYSPEP Credentialed Parenting Educator, Certified Protective Factors Trainer, NYS Community Cafes Parent Leader, and Co-chair of the Alliance National Parent Partnership Council. Kara is also a Certified Teacher for Pre-K-6.

Child Care Resource & Referral Representative (CCR&R)

Carla Hibbard
Child Care Aware of Steuben and Schuyler

Carla Hibbard, Director of Child Care Aware of Steuben and Schuyler, manages a $1.5 million budget and staff of 17 to improve the quality, availability, affordability, and accessibility of child care. Previously, Carla worked as a Head Start Family Worker / Resource Advocate and as a Child and Adult Care Food Program Training Coordinator. She also coordinated professional training programs for Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company. Carla serves on the NYS Early Care & Learning Council, Steuben County's Integrated Planning, and the Government Affairs Councils for Watkins Glen and Corning Chamber of Commerce.

Please visit for information and registration.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Parenting and LGBTQI Identified Persons

Recently, Donna Morrison of The Guidance Center of Westchester forwarded a newsletter on the topic of serving transgendered youth. She felt parenting educators would benefit from and be interested in the content.

In reflection, I thought of my own experience at age eight. An adult family friend transitioned gender. Sadly, I only met Shirley once. At that time, my parents introduced her as the estranged widow of our family friend, delivering toys that he would have wanted my brother and I to have.

Below are resources that may be helpful for parenting educators and professionals who support parents and primary caregivers who either identify as LGBTQI*, or who are raising children who self-identify, and their families.

Resources for Youth-Serving Organizations and Professionals

Resources for Parents and Prospective Parents

  • PFLAG is the extended family of the LGBTQ community, founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay-identified son
Final Thoughts
I acknowledge the many colleagues, friends, and family who identify, or are raising children who identify, as LGBTQI or 'Two-Spirit'.

If you would like to suggest other supportive federal, state, not-for-profit, or grassroots resources on the topic of parenting and LGBTQI identified persons, please leave a thoughtful comment** below.

-Angelina M. Hart

* LGBTQI is the acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered, Questioning, or Intersexed persons

** Comments are screened prior to posting. We are unable to promote resources that advertise or promote for-profit products or services.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Laurie Rivera

Laurie Rivera, Families Together in New York State

Laurie Rivera has served Families Together in New York State (FTNYS) for over 13 years. She is also a member of the NYSPEP Steering Committee and has volunteered to be the Announcer for the upcoming 2016 Strong Roots training institute in Latham, NY. 

In her current position as Program Manager with FTNYS, she manages the Family Peer Advocate Credential and the Parent Empowerment Program, in addition to the Information and Referral Line. She also co-coordinates the Legislative Awareness Day and Family Peer Support projects, and serves as staff liaison for the Board of Directors. 

Laurie brings a wealth of both lived and professional experience to her work with families and hopes that every struggling parent has a support person to lean on and empower them to be their own best advocate for their child. She was crowned “Mother of the Year” in 2016 at the Albany Tulip Festival and is the mother of four children. 

NYSPEP Member Spotlight: Gail Volk

Gail Volk, NYS Education Dept., Office of Early Learning
Gail Volk currently serves the Office of Early Learning at the New York State Education Department, where she is a member of the Upstate Review Team in the Office of Accountability. She also serves on the NYSPEP Steering Committee and is an active member of NYSPEP's Professional Development workgroup.

Previously, Gail helped to develop and implement health policies for the Western Suffolk BOCES school districts focusing on low-income areas. She also served as Executive Director of the Community Wellness Council of the Bellmores and Merricks, which fostered physical and emotional wellness. She developed partnerships among five school boards, the Parent-Teacher Association, clergy, legislators, and parents, who played a large role in social norms.

Additionally, Gail is a past President of the Child Care Council of Nassau and Director of Scholarships and Development for the American Foreign Service Association. She earned her Master’s in Higher Education Administration at New York University and holds a N-6 Teaching Certificate.

As a mother of two, Gail understands that becoming a parent can be a huge adjustment. Reflecting back on her experience as a new mother, she recalled one day in February when she looked out the window only to realize she needed to dress her infant baby from head to toe just to walk to the mailbox! After her second child, Gail moved to Long Island. There, apart from family and friends, she sought-out the support of community- and parent-resources with the intention of becoming the best nurturing parent she could be.

Gail is pleased to announce the availability of a diagnostic tool to map family and community engagement at:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Announcing NYSPEP Strong Roots Professional Development Training Institutes

NYSPEP "Strong Roots" Last a Lifetime professional development trainings provide high-quality content developed by experienced professionals. Topics focus on the realities families face and are associated with effectiveness in parenting education.
Many parents find it difficult to prepare their young children for school success, and can be baffled or even intimidated by the school culture. This one-day institute will share information about the social and emotional development of both parents and their children, provide new strategies that can assist in helping parents support their school-age children, and will reveal the "hidden rules" that govern school relationships with parents.

"Helping Parents Prepare Young Children for School Success" will be repeated in four locations to increase access to parenting educators, family service providers, and para-professionals who support parents / primary caregivers in their role of nurturing children:
Start off with a facilitated panelist forum, composed of a regional mix of invited experts including: Pyramid Model trainers, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support specialists, and NYSPEP Credentialed Parenting Educators.

In the afternoon, participants attend the afternoon workshop of their choice: Birth to Pre-K with a focus on school readiness -OR- Kindergarten to Grade-6 focused on helping parents support their child's learning. Each workshop will impart specific skills, tools and resources to use with parents and primary caregivers of children for the selected age group. Participants will also have opportunity to connect with others and share during process activities and breaks.

For more information and to register, please visit
Advance pre-registration is required. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Applications for NYSPEP Mini-Grants Now Available

2016-2017 NYSPEP Mini-Grants Are Here!

The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP), through funding from the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), is once again pleased to offer NYSPEP Mini-grants.

A limited number of grants, of up to $2,000 each, will be awarded to service providers in New York for the purpose of increasing access and/or reducing barriers to participate in evidence based and promising parenting education programs that support parents and primary caregivers of children in their role.

Awardees will also be eligible to present a poster session at the 2018 New York State Child Abuse Prevention Conference, slated to be held in the Capital District in the Spring.

In awarding these grants, NYSPEP is interested in how the funds will increase access and/or decrease barriers to participate in quality parenting education programs that promote one or more of the five Strengthening Families Protective Factors. NYSPEP is also interested in evidence that the funded program has a positive impact on parents' lives. Mini-grant funds are expected to be used with other funding or in collaborative work to support sustainability.

Please visit where you can find:
  • 2016 Mini-Grant Application (fillable form*)
  • 2016-2017 Reporting Template Sample
  • Additional information including previous awardees
At least one grant will be awarded in each of the five OMH regions, if applications that meet eligibility and application requirements are received from each region. Applications received by 5:00 PM, Friday, October 14, 2016 are eligible for consideration. 

Selected applicants will be notified by email on November 23, 2016 with awards to follow by postal mail. The expenditure period starts December 1, 2016 and ends September 30, 2017. Reports are due October 15, 2017.

If you have a question, please email: with the subject line: Mini-Grant Question.

Timeline Reminder for 2015-2016 Awardees

For those who received a mini-grant during the previous award cycle for 2015-2016, please note the important dates below.
  • Expenditure Period Ends: September 30, 2016
  • Reporting Template Due: October 31, 2016
2016-2017 Applicants can download and type directly into the fillable application form. Toggle back and forth between fields using the "tab" key to advance or the "shift" + "tab" keys to return to the previous field. Save the completed application file and email as an attachment to: with the subject line: 2016 MG APP. Options to submit by fax or postal mail appear on the application form.