SEATTLE/SOUTH KING COUNTY – The first Road Map Region Parent Forum on Saturday was a big success, drawing 750 parents and hundreds of children to Foster High School in Tukwila for a day of workshops, inspirational speakers and an interactive Resource Fair. The purpose of this first-of-its-kind, regional event was to give parents the information they need to help their children do well in school – from cradle to college and career.

The Parent Forum was hosted by the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort to dramatically improve student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. Road Map Project partners, including nonprofit organizations, public health and housing agencies, school districts and parents, collaborated and co-designed the forum to address needs identified by parents.

“Parents are a child’s first teacher. Parents are key to student success. Parents want to be involved with the schools as a valued partner. We need to talk less and listen more to the people closest to the children,” said featured speaker Norman B. Rice, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, during the forum’s opening assembly. Other speakers included Highline Public Schools parent Patricia Gonzalez, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton and Tukwila School Board President Mark Wahlstrom.

Every effort was made to remove barriers that would prevent parents from attending the forum – attendees had access to simultaneous translation, child care, transportation and food from different cultures.

The event’s workshops were well-attended and spanned many topics, including the exploration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with Radio Disney, understanding the school system, understanding the importance of early learning, preparing for college and advocating for children with special needs. Parents were also given the opportunity to connect with school district leadership in discussion sessions.

Throughout the day, parents and children explored the Resource Fair, which gave parents access to practical resources, including dental screenings and job training, in addition to the opportunity to talk with incredible experts in many fields, such as brain development and robotics.

Parents also had a chance to win great prizes, such as a Microsoft Surface, Target gift cards, passes to family attractions, as well as iPad Minis from Radio Disney.

The Parent Forum would not have been possible without planning and volunteer support from hundreds of people across the region.

To learn more about the Road Map Project, please visit

Posted in: Family Engagement

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