36th Annual Title I Citywide Parent Conference: Let’s Go to Work


The Newark Board of Education hosted the 36th Annual Title I Parent Conference last week, at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the first in-person Conference for parents since 2019. 

While the virtual Parent Conference platform has been successful, there was no substitute for the excitement and energy of parents having the opportunity to Reconnect with friends, a chance to Revitalize their spirits and Reimagine a better future for their children. 

The day began with welcoming remarks from Director, Michelina Thornton, Deputy Superintendent Nicole Johnson, and Superintendent Roger León, followed by motivational words from keynote speaker, New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillian.

With a focus on parental engagement, Acting Commissioner Dr. Allen-McMillian shared, "Research tells us that family engagement is one of the most powerful predictors of a child's development, academic growth, and overall success in school and life." 

The layout of the Conference was truly phenomenal. Parents, community members, and parent liaisons were able to experience multiple workshops ranging from financial literacy to social and emotional learning. Also available were countless organizations tabling, which allowed parents and community members to gather information from over 30 partners and several Central Office Departments. 

"This is a fantastic event. There are so many helpful organizations for parents, and I have never been in one place where they have everything for every question I've been looking to answer; it is all here," stated Nyieshia Webb, mother of three.

Maria Mendoza, a mother of two children in the district, said, "It's very exciting to see all the excellent contributions being shared. We have been seen as unable to succeed in Newark, but we have the tools to succeed in Newark, and when everyone gets involved, our kids will succeed."

The Conference honored the memory and contributions of a lifelong pioneer and educational advocate, Ms. Wilhelmina Holder, by dedicating the Conference in her name and having the volunteers wear purple, her favorite color. The award was accepted by her daughter Omayra Molina.

Board President Dawn Haynes said, "Without the devoted parents we have in our district, we wouldn't be able to accomplish all the amazing things we have done so far. Our parents are appreciated and necessary."

Superintendent León stated, "As outlined in the strategic plan, The Next Decade: 2020-30, we are keeping our promise to provide opportunities for parents, guardians, and caregivers to experience continuous learning. We value our parents and we are grateful for a committee who dedicated their time to a memorable event.”