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Child development expert visits Kalamazoo

Oct. 19, 2006

KALAMAZOO--An authority on child development, family relations and how to help children achieve success in school will visit the Western Michigan University campus to meet with students and faculty and give a public presentation Oct. 26 at Kalamazoo's Martin Luther King Jr. - Westwood Elementary School.

Dr. Judith Myers-Walls, associate professor of child development and family studies at Purdue University, is coming to campus Oct. 26-29 through the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. Her public presentation, "School Success: Achieving the Promise," begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the gymnasium of King-Westwood Elementary, 1100 Nichols Road, and is supported by Kalamazoo Communities in Schools and the WMU Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Myers-Walls will focus on parenting practices identified in the National Extension Parent Education Model that relate to school success. She will also address connecting with community resources, the role of parents as advocates for the child, supporting homework, encouraging learning at home and communicating with the school.

In addition to being an associate professor, Myers-Walls is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations. As an extension specialist and a family life educator for nearly 30 years, she has prepared students and professionals to be effective parenting educators. She is the author of more than 40 articles and book chapters, 50 extension publications and curricula and 80 international and national presentations. Her work on children and terrorism, war and peace has gained international attention and is often highlighted in the media. She has appeared in broadcast media, including NBC's "Today Show," the BBC's "Four Corners" and "Talk of the Nation" on National Public Radio. She is the recipient of many professional and civic awards.

While on campus, Myers-Walls also will be a guest lecturer at two family and consumer sciences classes, a keynote speaker for a workshop and a presenter at a conference.

The half-day workshop, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, is offered to professionals from organizations that serve families throughout Michigan. Myers-Walls will address "Strengthening Families through Family Life Education" and how to evaluate family life education materials. Registration is free. For more information, contact Dr. Karen Blaisure, WMU professor of family and consumer sciences, at karen.blaisure@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3663.

Myers-Walls will offer a two-hour presentation on parent/provider communication at the 17th Annual Southwest Michigan Early Childhood Conference on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. For more conference information, call Child Care Resources at (269) 349-3296 or (800) 343-3470 or visit the Web at www.workfamilysolutions.com.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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