Two-day conference focuses on community learning centers in Cincinnati Public Schools

Conference introduces concept of creating centers out of traditional schools to enhance learning environment | September 1, 2006

Cincinnati Public School parents, potential partners and the general community are coming together to learn more about community learning centers at a two-day conference on Friday, Sept. 8, and Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Schiff Family Conference Center. The conference, titled “Parents, Partners and Schools: Creating Community Learning Centers Together,” is free and open to the public. Lunch is provided.

The conference begins each day at 8:00 a.m. and runs until late afternoon. The purpose of the conference is to introduce the concept of creating community learning centers (CLC) out of traditional schools to enhance the learning environment for all involved. CLCs bring parents, students and the community together to encourage cultural enrichment, partnering among business, arts and health organizations. These centers add value to neighborhoods, and their constituents design them to meet their specific needs.

The first day of the conference begins with a presentation by Rob Reifsnyder, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Following his opening remarks, participants take part in a variety of breakout sessions that focus on topics such as facilities, the benefits of creating a CLC and how CLCs can act as a catalyst for change.

Salvador Gonzales and Antuanette Mester, principal and assistant principal of Chopin School in Chicago are giving a lunchtime address. Gonzales and Mester have spent many years collaborating with community-based organizations, residents and parents to make Chopin a community-friendly school. The afternoon focuses on partner sessions such as the arts collaborative and the health collaborative.

Morning sessions on day two of the conference focus on national examples of community learning centers, asset-based community development and how local committees can impact school design and community learning centers. The conference concludes with afternoon sessions on community learning center case studies, parent involvement, finance and more.

Registration is required to reserve breakout sessions and a place for lunch. The deadline for registration is Friday, Sept. 1. For more information and a registration form log on to