Seventy parents gathered at Westmoreland County Community College on May 14th for an event hosted in collaboration with the following agencies: the Private Industry Council, Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County, Center of Excellence: SEEDS, Head Start of Beaver County, Westmoreland County Community Action, and Community Action Southwest.
The parent engagement event featured four speakers: Lois Malmgren from Westmoreland County Community Action; Headda Sharapan from Fred Rogers; Gina Bowen from the Private Industry Council Center of Excellence: SEEDS; and Heidi Hess from the Autism Society of Pittsburgh.
The workshops centered on what parents can do to help their families feel empowered, and address the same collective concerns and needs with their struggles. Parents were provided strategies and support to resolve and overcome family/child challenges with autism and developmental delays, nutrition and health, communication, and behaviors. The workshops enabled parents to share ideas and experiences and reinforce how influential they are in their child’s development.
Parents were also able to gather information and network with representatives from our local community partners, which included: Southwest Immunization Coalition; Women, Infants, and Children [WIC]; A Childs Place at Mercy Hospital; Parent to Parent; Highmark Caring Place; Father’s Initiative of Beaver County; Fayette County Assistance Office; Westmoreland County Drug & Alcohol; Private Industry Council – Adult Education; Aetna; and PA CareerLink Westmoreland County.
In addition, parents enjoyed a catered luncheon, and gift baskets were also raffled to encourage family activities.