Martha Co-Chairs MCEC Conference
Co-Chairs Martha Schrader and Julie Parrish
Around 200 people gathered in Salem, Oregon to attend the Military Child Education Coalition’s (MCEC) “Supporting the Military Child Conference.” The Military Child Education Coalition is a non-profit organization who’s mission is to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, a sick or injured parent, cycles of deployment, family separation, trauma or loss, and develop resilience skills during good times.
The theme of this conference was “Living in the New Normal: Helping Children Thrive through Good and Challenging Times.” Martha Schrader and Rep. Julie Parish chaired the event with the help of a steering committee active in supporting military children. Conference speakers included Mrs. Patty Shinseki, Wife of General Shinseki of Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Mary Keller, Executive Director of MCEC; and Oregon Attorney General John Kroger. The conference brought together leaders from all sectors of the community including, business, education, healthcare, faith-based and service providers, as well as, service clubs and organizations. Participants traveled from across the State of Oregon to attend, including active duty service members, educators, military parents, and others concerned about the educational needs of military children.
Highlights of the conference included special workshops with over 20 topics such as healthcare, forming partnerships, and using technology to connect schools to the communities. Each workshop developed a state action plan to identify community capabilities, synchronize resources, and plan home-front responses to support military children during time of uncertainty due to deployment, transitions and other challenges.
Mrs. Shinseki spoke about supporting the military child and stressed that MCEC had made extraordinary strides in addressing the needs of military children. She said MCEC’s programs are grounded in research and provide parents, communities, educational facilities, and parents, the tools they need to mitigate risks and amplify positive responses to a challenging military family environment. Attorney General John Kroger spoke about being a Marine Veteran and how the state needs to be aware of the issues that are facing the Oregon National Guardsman and the Reserve Components.
The first phase of the MCEC conference was the dinner on October 26th, followed a full of planning and training on the 27th. MCEC guests in attendance during the event included Governor John Kitzhaber with First Lady Cylvia Hayes, Senator Brian Boquist, Representatives Dave Hunt, Kevin Cameron, and Matt Wingard, Portland Commissioner Diane Mckeel, Clackamas County Commissioners Jim Bernard and Jamie Damon. Representatives from Oregon’s Federal Delegation, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s office and Senator Suzanne Bonamici’s office also attended.
Posted on October 31, 2011 in Events.