Leadership Skills learning opportunity available to parents

BURNABY, JUNE 4: Two parents from each school district in the province will have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills that can advance them in their careers–at no cost–but they will be expected to use these skills in their volunteer work with the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC).

BCCPAC is looking for applicants for its Supporting Parent Leadership Seminar Series. The education, travel to and from the seminar location, meals and accommodation will be provided free to the successful applicants. The money for this comes from a $600,000 grant that the Ministry of Education provided to BCCPAC to allow it to better support its parent volunteers. People not currently volunteering with BCCPAC–as well as those already involved with parent advisory councils (PACs) and district advisory councils (DPACs) — may apply.

The deadline for applications is June 30. Applications and brochures are available on the BCCPAC website homepage. They can also be obtained from your local school principal or school district superintendent. You can also e-mail to: SPLSS@bccpac.bc.ca to have one sent to you.

?With the deadline for applications coming after the school year, we?re hoping the media will help us get the word out to all parents of children enrolled in the public school system,? said Kim Howland, President of BCCPAC.

Participants will learn skills that are in great demand in the workplace: building positive relationships, leading meetings and forums through a variety of facilitation skills,

presentation skills, developing shared leadership skills through teams or partnership development, leadership coaching and mentoring and preparing short and long-term plans.

The seminars will be taught by experts drawn from international, national and local areas, and will be held in three-day segments. The first will be in the Fall of this year and then three series of three-day seminars will be held in 2008: one in January-February, another in May and the last in November. The seminar participants will then be expected to volunteer as BCCPAC resource people in their school district for two years, providing support to PACs and DPACs.

?The voluntary component can be done by someone who also holds a full-time job,? said BCCPAC President Kim Howland, who also works, ?This is a wonderful opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills, but it requires a substantial commitment to helping parents in your community. That said, it would cost someone several thousands of dollars to obtain similar training and then they might not get the opportunity to use it. We can guarantee they get the opportunity to use it. I?m reasonably sure that, once they get involved with the PACs and DPACs, they?ll want to stay involved. It really is rewarding for volunteers to see the improvements they can make in children?s education.?

If two parents from each district participate there will be a total of 120 participants. This group is going to be divided into three cohorts that will all be trained over the 2007-2008 period, but in different seminar groupings.