PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 9, 2012 — As students immerse themselves in their lessons in the classroom, parents play a key role in working with teachers and school administrators to make sure their child is thriving at school. These days, more grandparents and other relatives are stepping up to raise children, so it’s important that these caregivers understand the ways they too can ensure the child’s success in school.

State Sens. Anthony H. Williams and Shirley Kitchen, in partnership with the Kinship Care Committee and Center in the Park, are hosting an upcoming free discussion on “The ABCs of Standing Up for Your Child in School.”

The discussion, which is open to all relatives, other than parents, who are providing care to a child, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Ave. in Philadelphia.  The event is part of Williams’ ongoing Kinship Care Discussion series for kinship caregivers.

“Kinship caregivers who have selflessly chosen to raise a child or multiple children deserve our support. They need access to resources and professionals who can guide them,” said Williams (D-Phila./Delaware). “My Kinship Care Discussions focus on the many aspects of raising a child, and this specific discussion is designed to offer support to caregivers of school-age children.”

“A parent is a child’s greatest advocate and ally, but the role of ‘parent’ is now being assumed by grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members,” said Kitchen (D-Phila.). “It’s important that these caregivers understand that their advocacy at the child’s school will help that child’s overall progress, and this discussion is devoted to assisting this special group of people.”

There will be a panel discussion with Hallam Roth of the Education Law Center, Sylvia Simms of Parent Power, and Claudia Averette from the School District of Philadelphia, followed by a question-and-answer period.

In addition, there will be facilitated informal support group discussions by child’s age, resources tables and light refreshments.Child care is available for this event. Call Brenda Rich at 215-875-4955 to register for child care.

Free parking is available in the lot behind the center off West Rittenhouse Street and McCallum Street. The location is also easily accessible by public transportation.

More information on Sen. Williams’ Kinship Care Discussion series is available on his website at