TulsaKids’ Columnist Goes to Mom Congress
I recently had the opportunity to serve as the delegate from Oklahoma to the 2012 Mom Congress, an event sponsored by Parenting Magazine. Parenting launched this program in March of 2009 as a way of bringing passionate moms together to collectively provide them with an experience that educates, empowers and enables them to return home and bring about positive change for students. One delegate is selected from each state, including the District of Columbia. I was fortunate enough to be selected and serve among 51 outstanding delegates who were flown to our nation’s capital for an exciting and intense three-day experience.
This year the Congress’s focus was dedicated to the fundamental relationship between parents and their children’s teachers. For three days, the delegates attended informative and interactive speaker sessions held at Georgetown University and the National Press Club. During that time, I had the unique privilege to hear over 30 speakers. From the United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to the Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs Mark Kennedy Shriver, the speakers who presented at Mom Congress were experts in their fields of education and learning.
For me, the highlight of the convention was meeting the U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. When he addressed Mom Congress, he was passionate about demanding a better educational experience for our children. To my relief, he acknowledged that No Child Left Behind is “broken.” Currently, a new system is being developed that will replace bubble tests (multiple choice answers) with tests that adequately assess students on a more individual basis. The ultimate goal of the United States by 2020 is to rank as the best educated country in the world. He urged parents to invest more time in the classrooms helping teachers, “Our goal collectively is to see our children reach their academic goals, he emphasized.”
On a more personal note, attending Mom Congress was truly an amazing opportunity. Along with the knowledge I gained, I also had the pleasure of meeting many of the other delegates who shared the same focus of wanting the best for our kids. We enjoyed visiting and sharing ideas about what we are personally passionate about. During that time, I had the pleasure of spending time with Felisa Hilbert, my Mom Congress Mentor, and 2011 Oklahoma Delegate. She is an amazing individual. When Hilbert reflected on her experience after attending for a second year, this time as my mentor and presenter, she commented, “I cannot shake off the conviction of how important one person is at making a difference. At the conference, I witnessed 51 mothers plus mentors and speakers making a difference and being passionate about children’s issues. It was just so invigorating!” The overall experience left me with a greater understanding of the vital role parents play in their child’s classroom and the importance of parents serving as partners in education. Lastly, take a look at the Kid Tested: Parent Approved column in this month’s issue for products that I learned about during Mom Congress.
For additional tools and information related to Mom Congress, check out the following: