News and Speeches

New York City Department of Education Hosts Conference for Parents of Students Learning English


More than 1,600 Parents Attend Eighth Annual Conference

The New York City Department of Education and the non-profit organization Learning Leaders today hosted the eighth annual conference for parents of students learning English. Over 1,600 parents speaking more than ten languages registered to attend the conference, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center. Today’s event focused on helping parents navigate the services, supports, and academic options available to their children. It also provided parents with guidance about taking advantage of the many cultural and academic resources available throughout the City during the upcoming summer vacation.

“It’s important for all parents to stay involved in their children’s education throughout the summer and school year—but this is especially true for children who require extra support,” said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. “I’m thrilled that so many parents took time out of their busy schedules to participate in today’s conference. Their commitment will go a long way toward ensuring their children’s academic success.”

“In a city as vast and complex as ours, it can be difficult for parents to keep track of all the resources provided in our public schools and by non-profit organizations,” said Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. “An event like this will help us reach thousands more parents and families so that they know exactly how to meet the needs of their children. We are grateful to Learning Leaders for making this event a success year after year.”                   

“It’s inspiring to see so many parents of diverse backgrounds empower themselves with resources and tools that will support the academic achievement of their children” said Executive Director for the Office of English Language Learners Angelica Infante. “Organizing this annual conference is both an honor and a privilege.”

“Throughout the school year, we hold regular conferences, workshops and forums like this one,” said Chief Family Engagement Officer Martine Guerrier. “But there is added importance to an event that brings out more parents than any other—and which happens to support our immigrant families in particular.”

“We are honored to collaborate once again with the Office of English Language Learners by providing public school parents with access to information and tools to support their children’s academic success,” said Learning Leaders President Mindy Duitz.

Currently more than 153,000 students (14 percent) in New York City public schools are classified as English Language Learners (ELLs), and more than 133,000 (13 percent) students are former ELLs. Additionally, 41 percent (439,000) of City students report speaking a language other than English at home.

Learning Leaders, formerly the New York City School Volunteer Program, is a non-profit organization that helps New York City public school students succeed in school by training volunteers to provide tutoring and other school-based support and by equipping parents to foster their children’s educational development. Every year, Learning Leaders trains 10,000 volunteers who work with over 230,000 students — more than one-fifth of the New York City public school population — in over 800 schools throughout the five boroughs.