Annual parenting conference opens to broader community, adds bilingual sessions

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Feb. 12, 2013) -- A free conference for Eugene and Springfield area parents to learn parenting techniques from early childhood special educators and community leaders is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23.

Presented by Early Childhood CARES, LaneKids and the Early Intervention Council, the 6th annual Power of Parenting Conference is from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at the HEDCO Education Building at the University of Oregon, 1655 Alder St. This year, the conference is open to all parents in the community, in addition to those with special needs children. Also new this year is the addition of bilingual sessions, which affords Spanish-speaking parents in the community more sessions to attend.

Laura Dahill, Early Childhood CARES Outreach Coordinator and a mother of twin boys, one of whom experiences an autism spectrum disorder, says,  "Year after year, the Power of Parenting Conference provides helpful parenting tips and strategies to help parents add to their parenting toolbox.”

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy will kick off the conference with opening remarks and local comedian Leigh Anne Jasheway will present this year’s keynote address, “Parents Need (and Deserve) Recess, Too.”

The conference includes two tracks of educational sessions for parents, with topics including getting ready for kindergarten, positive communication and helping children heal from internalized racism (offered in Spanish).

“The sessions provide great ideas and practical suggestions for parents to take and implement in their own homes. It's also a great way for parents to meet and connect with others in the community," says Dahill.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call Early Childhood CARES at 541-346-2578 or email to register. A downloadable conference schedule is available online at

A stipend will be provided for self-arranged childcare. Limited childcare is available onsite. To reserve onsite childcare, call 541-346-2578 by Friday, Feb. 15.

Early Childhood CARES provides early intervention and early childhood special education services – such as speech, physical and occupational therapy, autism and behavior services, and specialized preschool – to more than 1,200 children in Lane County.

Eugene Pediatric Associates, PeaceHealth and McKenzie Pediatrics are sponsoring this year's conference.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Brown, UO media relations, 541-346-3185,

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Laura Dahill, Early Childhood CARES Outreach Coordinator, 541-346-2571; cell (for day of event): 971-226-1368

Judy Newman, Co-director Early Childhood CARES, 541-346-2639; cell (for day of event): 541-520-6083