Family Forum to Take a Look at Learning and School Readiness

Dr. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology at New York University, will deliver the event’s evening lecture on Oct. 3 and keynote address of the daytime events on
Oct. 4.

UT Dallas’ Center for Children and Families (CCF) will welcome parents and educators to campus this week for a forum focused on helping young children succeed in school.

The theme of the third annual event is “Learning How to Learn: Promoting School Readiness and Academic Achievement.” Dr. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology at New York University, will deliver the event’s evening lecture on October Oct. 3 and keynote address of the daytime events on Oct. 4.

The two-day forum features local and national experts on child development and family dynamics. Raver and other panel members will discuss their perspectives on school readiness and preparation for academic achievement. – The panel will feature faculty members from UT Dallas and other universities, as well as clinical, counseling and education experts from the community.

Dr. Margaret Tresch Owen, director of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ Center for Children and Families, said  the 21st century workworld requires preparing children for school success.

“Since the 1960s, the achievement gap between low-income and high-income children has increased by nearly 40 percent,” said Owen, Robinson Family Endowed Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. “There is now strong experimental evidence of the connection between children’s emotional, behavioral competence as they enter school and their academic achievement. Dr. Raver, our keynote speaker, will share compelling findings showing how we can teach children self-regulation and social-emotional skills that can help mitigate poverty’s impact and help them pursue a more successful track in school.”

Dr. Margaret Owen, director of the Center for Children and Families, said there are strong links between behavioral competence and school achievement.

The forum kicks off Wednesday night with a free public lecture, when Raver will talk about the science of self-regulation. The address will discuss the dual roles played by parents and teachers.

Raver’s research focuses on evaluating and supporting school readiness programs for low-income children. A vice provost at New York University, she advises local and federal officials and private foundations on issues involving school readiness among young children. Raver has received a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar award and support from the Spencer Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Thursday’s schedule features a series of presentations connected to school readiness and academic success. One presenter, Marnie Glaser, is from Commit!, a Dallas County initiative targeting broader investment in public education from cradle to career. She will provide a perspective on local school achievement issues and discuss her organization’s strategies to promote high-quality education throughout Dallas County.

The evening lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Alexander Clark Center, and daytime forum events will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 pm in the Galaxy Rooms of the Student Union.

The evening lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Registration for the daytime events on Thursday is $25 and covers morning refreshments, lunch and continuing education credits.  Students, faculty and staff can attend for free with their Comet Cards.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].