Parent Partnership in Education Newsletter  

Parent Support Network of Rhode Island, is sending peace and love to everyone in this year 2020. As we release this e-news edition we are facing COVID-19 and our children are now learning at home with their families and  are here to support and assist you from a distance.  We thank the students, parents, teachers and school personnel for  adapting to distance learning quickly.   To extend Black history month, which was in February, this quarterly e-news edition features  Ways to Encourage and Celebrate Diversity with Early Learners and Helping Children Learn to Weather Tough Times from the National Association of School Psychologists. Learn more about our upcoming scheduled distance learning workshop schedule. We will be providing ongoing parent support groups and distance learning workshops for parents, educators, and parents who are dedicated to students who are at risk or who have serious emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges in order to be successful in education. We will keep you up to date with COVID -19 educational resources.  Parent Support Network partners with parents, educators, community agencies, and advocates and have peer mentors who are parents with lived experience caring for children with behavioral health, that are here to support and assist parents with their children's behavioral health and school related needs.  

Building Resiliency: Helping Children Learn to Weather Tough Times
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

M ost people have a natural tendency to adapt and bounce back from adversity. However, parents can help their children learn to face challenges successfully, Following are five ways to promote resiliency in your children and help protect them from long-term ill effects of difficult experiences.
1. Think positive!  Modeling positive attitudes and positive emotions is very important. Children need to hear parents thinking out loud positively and being determined to persist until a goal is achieved. Using a "can do" problem-solving approach to problems teaches children a sense of power and promise.
2. Express love and gratitude! Emotions such as love and gratitude increase resiliency. Praise should always occur much more often than criticism. Children and adolescents who are cared for, loved, and supported learn to express positive emotions to others. Positive emotions buffer kids against depression and other negative reactions to adversity.
3. Express yourself! Resilient people appropriately express all emotions, even negative ones. Parents who help kids become more aware of emotions, label emotions appropriately, and help children deal with upsetting events are giving them useful life skills.
4. Get fit! Good physical health prepares the body and mind to be more resilient. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise and adequate sleep protect kids against the stress of tough situations. Regular exercise also decreases negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, and depression.
5. Foster competency! Making sure that children and adolescents achieve academically is great protection against adversity. Children who achieve academic success and who develop individual talents, such as playing sports, drawing, making things, playing musical instruments or playing games are much more likely to feel competent and be able to deal with stress positively. Social competency is also important. Having friends and staying connected to friends and loved ones can increase resiliency. Social competency can even be created by helping others.

Full Link:
National Association of School Psychologists Website 

In Honor of Black History month :
Five Ways to Encourage and Celebrate Diversity with Early Learners
From the Parent Toolkit
by Lindsay Roberts

1 . Read to gain empathy and understanding
Books. Books. Books. Today, we are fortunate to have a robust library of stories available for children that address important lessons, educate about race, diverse traditions, and cultures, or simply have characters that represent the diverse identities of our country, and the world.
There are stories about significant changemakers in history, including those of color; characters of different races and ethnicities, and books featuring a variety of family structures. There are children's books that highlight different religions, beliefs, and traditions. We see characters living in rural areas and busy cities. And we hear true accounts of resilience and fictional tales of children and communities.
A few favorites:
  • It's Ok to Be Different by Todd Parr
  • Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester
  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
  • Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
  • Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
2. Try "show and tell"
In addition to exposing children to the richness of people and culture through stories and pictures, you can add depth to these efforts through real-life experiences and memories.
By exposing children to people who experience lives different from theirs, and visiting places outside of their norm, you can bring about awareness and appreciation-and even more, you can do it as a family.
  • Encourage young children to self-reflect and share what they feel makes them special.
  • Have children draw pictures or describe similarities and differences to their parents, family, and peers.
  • Take walks, visit other neighborhoods, talk to people, and ask questions.
  • Attend events and festivals.
3. Let feelings speak
Young children often openly share their feelings about an event or situation, but you can also encourage this expression and create an environment where they feel safe voicing what is on their mind. It helps for an adult to also share emotions, using words that are age-appropriate for children. This openness can lend itself to important dialogue about differences and similarities, fair and unfair, and exclusion.
"How did it make you feel when you were left out of the game?"
"It made me feel sad when kids said I couldn't play with them."
"It made me feel sad, too."
This acknowledgment of feelings and unfair treatment will help children understand bigger inequalities and approach life with concern and care for other's well-being.

4. Don't be afraid of questions
As an adult, this can be a tough one. You may not know all of the answers. In fact, you will definitely not know all of the answers. It is important to remember, though, that our reactions, behaviors, and words matter-a lot. Race, gender, family, and religion: these are complex topics and conversations that an adult must face themselves when children ask questions. Embrace questions. Answer them simply or try to find the answers. Do not overcomplicate your response.
Young children under the age of five do not need or want extensive details. They want to know, "Why does that child have darker or lighter skin color?" or "What is that covering the woman's head and chest?" Explain that everyone has a unique skin color. Compare the colors of skin in your own family; you will likely see many shades. Share that some people express different beliefs and traditions through clothing or jewelry, like a cross, Star of David, or hijab. Religion and race can be hard to explain, but introducing new words can create a familiarization beyond what they see within their own families and communities.
5. Remind children that they have the power to create change
Embracing diversity and inclusion extends to standing up for what is right. Help young children understand that their words and actions can have a significant impact on their friends and community. Even though they are little, they have "word power."
Even at a young age, children can learn to be inclusive. They can speak up, write letters (parents can take dictation), make posters, ask questions, share, and participate. And remember, you can lead by example, modeling these behaviors and actions. Exhibit empathy when someone is not treated kindly. Donate clothing and toys with your child.

Upcoming  Distance Learning Workshop Schedule

 Virtual -Telephone 
telephone: 1-872-240-3412       
access code: 444-000-093

Call us to register or if you need technical support to prepare for training.

Social Emotional Learning  Workshop Series
Dates:  Wednesdays-  April 15, 22, 29 &  May 6, 2020
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain posi tive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

C ome join our four Series SEL workshop  where you will 
be able to dive deeper  into the 5 SEL competencies and  learn  strategies 
on the following: 

Module 1:Social Emotional Learning 101
Module 2:Self-Awareness and   Self-Management
Module 3:Social awareness & Relationship skills
Module 4: Decision-Making


Strengthening Families: Parental Protective Factors  Workshop Series  
Dates:  Thursdays-  April 16, 23, 30  May 7, 2020
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM 

The Strengthening Families protective factor framework includes the following five protective factors:
Parent Resilience 
Social Connections 
Knowledge o Parenting and Child Development 
Concrete Support in Time of Need
Social Emotional Competence of Children 

This virtual and telephonic workshop will introduce each of these strength based protective factors and practicing them in our everyday lives.

PSN Parent Peer Mentors 

P SN Parent Peer Mentors are family leaders with lived experience raising children, youth, and young adults who are at risk or who have serious emotional and behavioral health challenges; work in partnership with the schools and community partners to promote family engagement and student success; and are knowledgeable of school support services and the special education process. PSN Parent Peer Mentors provide peer support, share up to date information and assist parents to participate in their child's educational team meetings and overall school success. PSN Parent Peer Mentors provide assistance with accessing special education, developing proactive behavioral strategies, dealing with discipline, attendance and truancy issues, and coordinating behavioral health services with education. 

During the COVID-19 
PSN Parent Peer mentors are  available by phone 

PSN has a diverse team with Bilingual Spanish & English Parent Peer Mentors and we work with interpreters and assist with cultural responsiveness.   Partners can access parent peer mentor services by sharing our brochures and information with families or going to our website and work with the family to sign consent and release and send over to our program and we will follow up with the family.

For more information and releases go to:

Naiommy Baret, Bilingual Behavioral Health Education Specialist
Melody Sorea, Bilingual Behavioral Health Education Specialist
 Parent Support Network of Rhode Island
535 Centerville Road, Suite 202
Warwick, Rhode Island