UNION COUNTY, NJ — Parents, guardians, and adult mentors of elementary and middle school-aged children who are interested in learning how they can “Help Your Child Succeed In School” are invited to attend a free educational presentation, 6:30-8:15 p.m. on Monday, March 18 at Plainfield High School.

Parents can decide when they pre-register whether to take part in the highly interactive presentation in English or Spanish. Union County Division of Youth Services instructor Jennifer Scott will conduct the English presentation, while Tonya Mustipher will present in Spanish. Both workshops will be presented in the school cafeteria.

Jennifer Scott has been facilitating the Parent Support Groups for the Union County Division of Youth Services for the past three years.  She draws much of her experience on building self-esteem and helping children succeed in school from 23 years of studying and working in early childhood development and family interactions. When not helping families support children's development, Jennifer also enjoys being a real estate agent. Jennifer understands and can speak some Haitian Creole and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

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Tonya Mustipher earned her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Sociology and Business Management from St. Peter’s College.  She also earned a Master of Social Work Degree from Rutgers University.  Tonya has 20 years of experience working with diverse clients in a variety of settings where she’s provided services such as crisis intervention, advocacy, case management, and individual, family, and group psychotherapy.  Tonya is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey and currently works as a Psychiatric Social Worker.

“There are so many aspects that need to be considered for a student to succeed in school,” said Jo Ann Hamilton, Co-Chair of the Union County Human Relations Commission (UCHRC), the program sponsor, who recently retired from a long career in education. “Relationships with peers, study habits, homework, and communication with teachers and their school, as well as between parents and their children, are important, but there are so many other facets as well.”

“Parents who have attended previous iterations of this presentation have said they have greatly benefitted from the interactive dialogue created within an open forum in which they can speak honestly, ask questions, and get answers about dealing with specific issues,” added UCHRC co-chair Mark Spivey, Director of Communications for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The presenters will identify issues, strategies, and resources to help parents improve their children’s well-being and academic performance. The program, sponsored by the Union County Human Relations Commission, will be kicked off by UCHRC Commissioners Alfred Brown, a Plainfield resident, and Reverend of Cranford Baptist Church, and Esmeralda Vargas.

The program is being co-sponsored by the Office of the Union County Superintendent of Schools, the Union County Division of Youth Services, and Plainfield Public Schools.

Light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available, and the facility is wheelchair-accessible.

Pre-registration for this free program is required. Register online at www.ucnj.org/uchrc.   
For more information, please call 908-889-9028 or email uchrc@ucnj.org.