Parent Education Summit Tour Stops at Arcadia University in Suburban Philadelphia

Program to raise parents’ awareness of learning challenges facing children

LOS ANGELES (MARCH 21, 2012) – The Tavis Smiley Foundation will present the third stop of its national series of parent education seminars in the Philadelphia area to give parents tools and information on how they can ensure their child’s success in learning.

The Too Important to Fail Parent Education Summit  offered by the Tavis Smiley Foundation and the Black Male Development Symposium  www.blackmaledevelopment.com will be held Saturday, March 31 from 9 am – 3 p.m. at Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA. The program is free and admission includes lunch for participants. Advance registration is requested; however on-site registration will be accepted subject to space availability. Attendees can register atwww.youthtoleaders.org or http://rsvpbook.com/PhiladelphiaSummit.

The Parent Education Summit is a grassroots parents’ engagement effort to inform parents and the community about educational initiatives and programs, family and school partnerships, and school district resources. The workshop sessions will include learning strategies to support homework, planning summer learning activities, and the impacts of absenteeism and role models as well as health and safety on learning. 

Parents will learn how grade-level reading determines high school performance and what they can do if their child is not reading at grade level. A special emphasis will focus on the challenges facing African American boys. Research shows less than 50 percent of young Black males will graduate from high school and on average their 12th grade reading scores are significantly lower than those across every other racial and ethnic group.

Some of the Philadelphia area community and grassroots organizations presenting the workshop sessions include: The Black Male Development Symposium, Nu Sigma Youth Services, and The Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc.

The Parent Education Summit program began in October 2011 with Los Angeles. A previous summit was held in Atlanta. The upcoming city stops include Chicago (April 14) and Memphis (April 21). The program will be held in Houston and the Washington, DC area in May.

Funding for the initiative is provided by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) and Hyundai Motor America. National program partners include the National Education Association.

The Parent Education Summits are one part of a holistic effort to raise awareness and spark action by parents to become more involved in the education crisis, according to founder Tavis Smiley. Recently, Smiley’s Too Important to Fail television documentary premiered on PBS examining the link between illiteracy and high school drop-out rates among African American boys.

Through the interactive web portal, www.tooimportanttofail.com, summit attendees and the general public can learn more about the issues and engage in dialogue with organizations and constituents. Visitors can share ideas and vote on what they consider priorities through the use of social media.

Media Contact: Vonda Paige, Tavis Smiley Foundation, vpaige@tavistalks.com, 323-290-1888

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ABOUT THE TAVIS SMILEY FOUNDATION

The Tavis Smiley Foundation was founded in 1999 to enlighten, encourage, and empower youth by providing leadership training that will promote and enhance the quality of life for themselves, their community and our world. Since its inception, more than 6,500 youth have participated in the Foundation's leadership workshops and conferences and it has awarded more than $500,000 in college scholarships. For more information, visit www.youthtoleaders.org.