Organized by Parenting magazine and co-sponsored by KinderCare learning centers and LeapFrog, the Mom Congress aimed to gather some of the most passionate parent involvement advocates from across the country to discuss how to effect meaningful change in American education and to mobilize millions of parents to become more involved in their children’s learning. Susan Kane, editorial director of The Parenting Group, noted, “It’s no easy task, but there’s no better group to tackle this mission than the moms that we’ve assembled here.”
Parenting magazine launched the Mom Congress initiative in March 2009 to celebrate and connect mothers who were advocating for reform in their local school systems. One mother from every state and Washington, D.C. was selected, based on a review of applications, to participate in the congress as a delegate. The conference at Georgetown University marked the first time all 51 delegates had the opportunity to meet, discuss their concerns about the nation’s schools, and share success stories.
As the keynote speaker, Secretary Duncan applauded the delegates for their achievements and noted, “…Good parenting and family involvement in schools are essential if children are going to flourish and fulfill their dreams. … Parenting is the most important job that every parent takes on. No other activity in our lives carries the same degree of responsibility or influence.”
The Secretary urged parents to work together with teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and other stakeholders as advisors and decision-makers who can choose the best educational options for children. He encouraged the 51 delegates and parents across the country to look in the mirror and develop a “can-do” list of actions for how they can improve schools and better support student learning.
Gwen Eaddy-Samuel, the Mom Congress delegate from Connecticut, echoed the Secretary’s call for engaged and informed education consumers, stating, “Just like children, when parents know more and better, they do more and better.”
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