Four New State Leaders to Develop and Grow Network of Parents as Teachers Programs

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Dr. Ruth Elswood (Fla.); Helma Irving (Md.); Jennifer Barshack (Minn.); and Anita Deck (W. Va.) will help lead advocacy efforts for Parents as Teachers at the state and national levels and collaborate with other programs interested in expanding early learning, child development and parent involvement.

Four new state leaders are now in place and charged with growing and expanding Parents as Teachers, one of the largest parent education programs in the nation. Dr. Ruth Elswood (Fla.); Helma Irving (Md.); Jennifer Barshack (Minn.); and Anita Deck (W. Va.) each work out of the sponsoring agency in their respective states that is helping lead the expansion of early childhood initiatives.

The new state leaders along with their sponsoring agencies will help lead advocacy efforts for Parents as Teachers at the state and national levels and collaborate with other programs interested in expanding early learning, child development and parent involvement. They will also support the delivery of training and professional development of early childhood professionals in their state and oversee quality improvement for the programs offering Parents as Teachers services.

Elswood will serve as state leader for the Florida Parental Information and Resource Center (PIRC) at the University of South Florida. This agency is one of two PIRC's in Tampa. It is charged with implementing successful, effective parent involvement programs and practices that lead to increase school success as well as stronger partnerships between parents and educators.

Irving will serve as state leader for Family Services Agency, Inc., an organization that has a 100 year history as the first social service agency in Montgomery County. The agency helps children, youth and families by implementing relevant in-home and community-based services, prevention and early intervention programs as well as psychiatric rehabilitation services.

Barshack will serve as state leader of Parents as Teachers National Center - Minnesota Regional Office. This agency is an extension of Parents as Teachers National Center whose goals align with the National Center's development and expansion initiatives for both the Born to Learn® and Meld trainings in Minnesota.

Deck will serve as state leader of the West Virginia Parent Connections at Edvantia. Edvantia is an education research and development not-for-profit corporation that partners with educators, agencies, publishers, and service providers to improve learning and advance student success.

About Parents as Teachers National Center
Based in St. Louis, Parents as Teachers National Center is the resource base and backbone of Parents as Teachers, a parent education and early childhood development program serving parents throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually age 5. The nonprofit National Center oversees approximately 3,000 programs offering Parents as Teachers services nationwide as well as in several other countries. For more information about Parents as Teachers, visit http://www.ParentsAsTeachers.org.

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