March 24, 2014

Conference helps Peel board parents 'Make a difference in literacy and beyond'

Free conference provides practical ways parents can boost learning at home

Parents will become students for a day at the 13th annual Make a difference in literacy and beyond parent conference on March 29 at Mississauga Secondary School. The event features a keynote presentation on engaging parents as partners in education, by George Couros, a Canadian expert on digital literacy in education, plus more than 30 workshops designed to provide parents with tips and resources to help their children succeed in school.

"The parent conference provides something for everyone, whether your child is starting kindergarten, needs support developing study skills in middle school, or is considering their post-secondary options," says Tony Pontes, director of education.

More than 1,300 Peel board parents from schools in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga have registered for the event, which begins with Couros’ keynote at 8:30 a.m. Most of the workshops offered throughout the day are facilitated by Peel board staff. Topics include:

• digital citizenship
• social skill development
• success in math
• how to help teens successfully transition to high school
• using games to boost success
• connecting literacy to physical activity

Tip sheets will be provided at each workshop and will be available after the conference on The event also features three afternoon general sessions:
• MyBlueprint and secondary school course selection, with Karen Robertson, guidance and career education instructional co-ordinator, and Gill Silberstein, president and co-founder of MyBlueprint
• Your digital footprint, with Couros, division principal for innovative teaching and learning with Parkland School Division
• Help your child be successful in French Immersion, with Margaret Pratter, resource teacher - French, and Annette Ackerman, resource teacher

During breaks, parents can browse booths set up in the exhibitor area, which include various local non-profit organizations and companies offering books, toys and other goods for purchase. Parents will also receive a conference bag with giveaways, enjoy a free lunch and snacks, and have a chance to win one of more than 200 door prizes. 
"It's important to us to continue to make this conference accessible to all Peel board parents, and that's why we're grateful to have the generous support of a number of major sponsors and supporters," notes Brian Woodland, director of communications and community relations support services. "Again this year, we're pleased to have support from a number of organizations including conference partner CIBC, sponsors Dell Canada, Friends of the Mississauga Library, Kidssentials and bag sponsor the Peel board’s Parent Involvement Committee. Special thanks to Starbucks and Harris Tea Company for contributing to the morning break. All of this support has allowed us to make this event possible at no cost to parents." 
The Peel board serves more than 153,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12. Operating more than 242 schools in the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, the Peel board is the largest employer in Peel. The board's annual budget is $1.3 billion. For more information, visit the board's website at
Mississauga Secondary School is located 550 Courtneypark Drive West in Mississauga. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and will be followed by opening remarks and the keynote presentation at 8:30 a.m. Workshops begin at 10 a.m. and the conference concludes at 2:30 p.m. Registration is now closed.

Media contact: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications and Community Relations Support Services, 905-890-1010 or 1-800-668-1146, ext. 2812, [email protected]     
Anne-Marie Brown, Communications Officer, 905-890-1010 or 1-800-668-1146, ext. 2626, [email protected]

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