Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Metropolitan Parent Center January Highlights

Sinergia's Metropolitan Parent Center had a busy month in January! Here are some highlights.

Improving Spanish Translations for Special Ed 
It was selected to participate on a Spanish Glossary Project Review Team that met on January 24 & 25, in Washington, D.C. The intent of this project, which is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), is for team participants to review Spanish translations of special education terms and phrases and come to a consensus of which of the words are the most appropriate that will then compiled and distributed to Parent Centers throughout the United States that work with diverse Spanish speaking communities. It was a demanding task that required that a panel of 16 individuals from diverse areas of the country, working in groups of four to review and revise glossary terms located in a 44-page document. Each group engaged in conversations, discussed their opinions and arrived at a consensus regarding the words assigned to the group. Afterward each group reported on their findings and sought the consensus of the other groups in order to determine which terms and phrases were the most appropriate one. 

Technology and Leadership Training 
A few days after that Godfrey Rivera and Cassandra Archie, the Co-Directors of the MPC, attended the National Parent Technical Assistance Center's ALLIANCE Technology and Leadership & Management Institutes, which took place in Washington, D.C. on January 26 & 27. Mr. Rivera attended a variety of sessions on website content management systems, webinars and collaborative online workgroups (i.e. Wikis, Big Tent and Ning) at the Technology Institute. Ms. Archie on the other hand learned about effective management leadership strategies, motivating staff, and compliance issues for implementing grants at the IBM Management Institute.

Using Technology to Help Parents
Finally, later in the month, the MPC was also selected to participate in a Technology Leadership Initiative which consisted of representatives from six Parent Training and Information Centers (PTICs) and two Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs). The chosen Parent Centers were from NYC, Tennessee, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, California, Pennsylvania and Colorado. This is a three-year project whose task is to develop a model on how to use technology to enhance Parent Center's ability to meet their missions of helping families of children with disabilities and to serve as mentors to training other parent centers. There was a training session on January 28 where participants met each other, the technology consultant, John Kenyon, and started to outline the project by articulating benchmarks and goals.

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