Parent Connection Summit in Steamboat aims to connect, educate |

Parent Connection Summit in Steamboat aims to connect, educate

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A coalition of youth service organizations is hosting a Parent Connection Summit on Nov. 8 at Colorado Mountain College’s Allbright Auditorium in Steamboat Springs. 

The free event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature keynote speaker Diana Andrews, who operates PREP — Personal Responsibility Education Program — in Garfield County will present “What Does Consent Look Like?”

After Andrews’ presentation, parents will have the opportunity to attend break-out sessions on such topics as literacy, fatherhood and how parents can present a united front.

“I work in the school and get to work with lots and lots of parents,” said Beth Wendler, a registered psychotherapist who works in the Steamboat Springs School District and was involved in planning the summit. “I just started having this really strong sense that in our community we serve our kids so well and have so many services for children and teens in this community. I felt like parents just sort of got left out of that.”

Sessions will target parents with children in different age groups including birth to 5, elementary school, middle school and high school.

“Parents can take a look at what is offered and select topics that are more pertinent to their specific stage (in life),” Wendler said. “We really want to see our parents be able to connect with each other on a level that might be more valuable than some people have in the past.

“We want to bust through that stigma of struggling with something here in Steamboat and just kind of being at your wit’s end and not really knowing what to do,” Wendler explained. “We just wanted parents to find a place to connect.”

Planning for the summit was led by Routt County Youth Services and is being supported by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Grand Futures, Partners in Routt County and other organizations. A grant from Yampa Valley Electric Association’s Round Up program helped make the summit possible.

“There has been a whole group of people who have worked on this,” said Sarah Floyd, associate executive director with the Winter Sports Club and a parent of two girls. “It is a morning worth of free workshops and a keynote speaker for parents of kids of all ages 0 to 18. It will cover all topics including school, social and athletics.”

The summit is free for parents, but organizers are asking those who are interested in attending to register for the event at

“We are hoping to give parents some tools, and not just the same parents that go to all the meetings and do all the stuff,” Floyd said. “We wanted to bring it into the broader community.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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