Parent University hosted at Woodmere Middle School


Parents of elementary school students throughout the Hewlett-Woodmere School District were able to take a seat in the classroom and do some learning on setting a good example for their children.

Woodmere Middle School was the site of the seventh annual Parent University night on Jan. 15. There were workshops hosted by education experts who discussed topics pertinent to raising children in the kindergarten through fifth grade. 

The workshops were divided into two 50-minute sessions and included topics such as: cell phone usage, managing a child’s meltdowns and developing study skills. Out of the 140 parents who originally registered roughly 100 attended. 

Mary Harrison, chairwoman of the Hewlett High School Guidance Department, said she brought the Parent University idea from the East Williston School District, where she previously worked. “Parents are always looking for advice on raising their children,” Harrison said. “So, with the resources we have here at the school district, what better place to hold an event like this than at one of our schools?” She added that the district alternates holding Parent University nights for parents of high school and middle school children on a yearly basis. 

Harrison hosted the workshop titled “Easily Implemented Study Skills for Elementary School Students” alongside Ogden Elementary school fourth grade teacher Greg Hronec. According to Hronec, it’s vital for parents to set a good example for their children. “An important thing for parents to keep in mind is how they approach their children’s schoolwork,” Hronec said. “If you have a nonchalant approach to your child’s homework and projects they’re working on, they will pick up on your behavior.”  

Hewlett resident Erika Stroh is an educational consultant and relationship counselor. She has two children who attended Hewlett-Woodmere schools and graduated from Hewlett High. She is the CEO and founder of Parent From The Heart, an organization she founded in 2009 that holds staff development training workshops for teachers and child care professionals.

Stroh presented the “Help your Kids Develop Emotional Intelligence” workshop. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions while also navigating the emotions of others. 

“In studies that followed babies through childhood and into adulthood for 50 years, their success and quality of life was strongly correlated to their emotional intelligence,” Stroh said. “Having close relationships with your children is one of the most important factors in lifelong happiness and overall health. This all starts when your children are young.” 

Stroh noted why a night like this is important for parents. “When it comes to parenting, it’s always important for us to look back in the mirror at ourselves,” she said. “We’re parenting in a different time right now with the emergence of cell phones and social media. We need to know how to give our children the best direction.”