The Third Annual Parent Summit was held earlier this month at Riverbank High School to promote higher education for students with knowledge for the parents through a variety of workshops. Interested parties registered for the event where they were provided with breakfast, lunch and childcare for kids ages 2 to 8 while they attended the event.
The Parent Summit Committee organizers were Araseli C. Zamora, RUSD Program/Grant Manager; Nancy Garcia, Riverbank Unified AVID District Director; Alma Calzada, Karen De La Torre, and Lupe Duarte along with childcare staff Blanca Basulto, Maria Santillan and Aurora Luna. Bianca Lopez and Monica Villarreal gave additional support at the event as well.
“Each year keeps getting better,” stated Zamora. “Mrs. Garcia was the mastermind behind the idea. What we wish to accomplish through the Parent Summit is to promote college awareness and inspire our students to pursue the college dream, and for our parents to be more engaged and supportive. Additionally, it is an opportunity to bring former RHS Alumni to share their college and career story and the obstacles and challenges they had to overcome to be where they are at today.”
Riverbank Unified School District has hosted the summit for the past few years with guest speakers and networking. The event began at 9 a.m. and ended about 1:30 p.m. in the Ray Fauria Gym. The opening Keynote Speaker was Gabriela Soto, Executive Director at the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) and closing the event was Mr. Jose Lopez-Higareda, RAIZ Promotores Coordinator at Behavior Health and Recovery Services, Prevention and Early Intervention.
“It was a great event and very inspirational,” stated Garcia. “Gabriela, a former RHS student, gave a very inspirational speech and gave great advice on how parents can support students. Her touching story about studying for finals and her mom wanting to help her and the only thing she could think of doing was to provide a warm blanket and food. This was a gentle reminder to parents that support isn’t always academic but emotional as well. Her parents for the first time heard her speak by attending the summit. She recognized them at the summit and it was a very touching moment.”
“They (guest speakers) were fabulous,” said Zamora. “We would like to thank our presenters, speakers, staff, parents, students, and community for participating and making this a successful event. Thank you to Starbucks and Save Mart for contributing.”
The event was free for all that attended. There were seven workshops offered, College 101, How to Encourage College and Career Readiness, Family Wellbeing, Family Leadership, Parenting Skills, Financial Literacy, and Digital Citizenship. They had additional resources including several information booths. There were also raffle prizes that were given.
There were over 200 people in attendance at the event including 68 parents, 35 high school students, and four middle school students. Childcare was provided to 21 children during the event.
According to Garcia, on a survey parents took regarding the event, many of them commented that the event is motivating and informative and they would definitely attend the summit again. She added that RUSD Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp advised that it is on the calendar for the second weekend in March in 2020 and will continue.
“For me it was awesome to see fathers take part in this event,” added Zamora. “We received great feedback. Look forward to next year’s event.”