When you sense your child is being pressured by the classroom clique and may be being driven down the wrong path, do you know how to handle it?
Do you yourself feel sometimes targeted in the work environment, but think you’re just being paranoid? Do you worry about setting a good example for your kids and others around you?
The Vision & Voice Family Engagement Conference will tackle these and many more issues on Feb. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at West Rome Baptist Church. Vision & Voice is a youth bully prevention conference for parents and educators, and it’s completely free.
“Vision &Voice is something I’m really excited the community is doing, and we hope that a lot of families will attend,” said Carol Willis of the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth. “It is not for children; it is for parents and educators.”
There are 19 workshops being offered at the conference that range from bullying, mental illness, how to teach kids to save money and helping children with special needs, to talking to kids about substance abuse, teen pregnancy, recognizing child neglect, child abuse, developing literacy skills and saving energy.
“It’s just an opportunity for us to spend a day focusing on the need for this community to provide more for our children and youth,” Willis said. “Good parenting goes hand in hand with good teaching, and the children need both.”
Willis will be presenting a workshop focused on helping parents and educators combat boredom, bullying, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and child neglect, among other issues.
Amy Weaver, director of the Hospitality House for Women, will present a workshop about safe dating, tackling issues like dating violence and abusive relationships, as well as appropriate use of social media.
Weaver said she is looking forward to the conference.
“This is an amazing example of how well the youth-serving agencies in Rome and Floyd County come together to support families and share our wealth of knowledge,” she said. “Hospitality House is honored to have been selected to present our Lose the Drama workshop on Teen Dating Awareness and Pop Culture at the conference. Lunch will be provided and there will be great door prizes, and it’s all free.”
Another huge, relevant topic that affects nearly everyone is bullying and the effects of bullying. Lisa Drake, counselor at Midway Primary School, will be presenting a lesson about how to protect yourself and your children from bullies.
“It’s a lesson, really for parents, educators and even business leaders,” she said. “Because for one, it will be really specific as to what bullying is. We’re going to be educating the community, and we’re going to be talking about the steps and the only steps for prevention.”
Drake said the class will dispel many myths about bullies and dealing with them.
“We’re going to put power in parents’ hands and in community members’ hands, so we can make sure we’re being more effective at preventing bullying,” she said, adding that she hoped parents would go home and use that knowledge to empower their kids and spread the word throughout youth groups, Sunday school classes, clubs and other youth-oriented organizations.
“We can’t always be there to protect children,” she said. “We’re going to send them out in the community, to their schools. We have got to start arming kids with effective skills instead of telling them to laugh at bullies or telling them to hit them back. We’ve got to give them more effective skills than what we’ve been doing.”
Willis said anyone and everyone is invited to attend the free conference, but those interested must register since lunch will be provided. Registration forms are available on the Floyd County Schools homepage on the left hand part of the screen under “Direct Links.”
For questions about the conference Willis said she can be contacted at her office at 706-232-0703 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.