From the News

The Parents as Teachers 2019 International Conference Set for Oct. 14 – 17 at the Hyatt is SOLD OUT

1,600 converge on the city to celebrate nonprofit’s 35th anniversary

Photo of conference location in St. Louis with “SOLD OUT!” superimposed over photo and conference logo

ST. LOUIS, MO – Oct. 9, 2019 – Two nationally-renowned keynote speakers, an endorsement from St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and County Executive Sam Page, 90 professional development workshops and a 35th anniversary celebration have powered Parents as Teachers (PAT) to a record-breaking attendance registration to its annual conference – a first in the organization’s history.

On Oct. 14 – 17, PAT will return its international conference for 2019 to St. Louis, the birthplace of its founding. More than 1,600 early childhood development professionals will travel from across the country to attend the meeting at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch hotel, making a significant impact on the city financial bottom line.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of PAT, which is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Maryland Heights and specializes in preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening families through early childhood development, home visiting and parenting education services.

Mayor Krewson and County Executive Page will attend the conference and deliver welcome remarks and proclamations, proclaiming Parents as Teachers Days in the region. Gov. Mike Parson wrote a welcome letter for the conference’s on-site guide, and the Centene Charitable Foundation returns as the banner sponsor. Other supporters include Edward Jones, Tom and Georgianna Melzer, Tom and Merilee Curran, Enterprise Bank & Trust, Athena, Commerce Bank, and Moneta.

“We are thrilled to bring our international conference back to St. Louis for our 35th anniversary celebration,” said Constance Gully, PAT president and chief executive officer. “St. Louis is where our organization was founded 35 years ago.

“From our humble beginnings in 1984, we have been able to leverage our leadership at PAT along with the talent of our staff and community partners to grow to serve more than 200,000 families and about 227,000 children through 1.8 million home visits nationwide each year. To celebrate this milestone on our home soil is a great honor,” Gully said.

The conference, whose theme is: “35 Years: Investing in Families, Impacting Communities,” will be packed with more than 90 workshops and panel discussions to inspire, train, provide professional development, cultivate peer-to-peer relationships, and insight from worldwide experts and leaders with proven results in effective parenting.

Highlighting the meeting are two renowned keynote speakers; Steve Pemberton, a best-selling author, philanthropist, acclaimed speaker, and senior level executive for the Likes of Monster.com, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Globoforce, and considered one of America’s most inspiring business and HR leaders; and Junlei Li, senior lecturer in early childhood education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He developed the “Simple Interactions” approach to help identify what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in everyday moments.

Beginnings as a child orphaned into foster care, and becoming a successful corporate executive, thought leader, Pemberton’s life has been chronicled in the major motion picture and acclaimed, best-selling memoir “A Chance in the World.”

Li studied and learned from a wide range of developmental settings, including orphanages, childcare centers, classrooms, and community youth programs. He made that the basis for promoting positive system change. His practice focuses on supporting the work of those who serve children and families on the frontlines of education and social services.

Other conference highlights include:

  • Blue Ribbon Awards presentations acknowledging PAT’s highest performing affiliates
  • Mini-plenaries on supporting marginalized populations with breastfeeding, birthing services; The Role of Home Visiting Programs in Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census; and a Children’s Authors Session featuring award winning writers.
  • An Exhibitor Emporium, Zumba and Yoga classes, a Night at the City Museum.
  • Workshops on diversity, equity and inclusion; Panel discussions on research and evaluation, health and wellness, innovative program approaches, parenting and child development.
  • A donation drive to support the St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies, which provides free menstrual products to low-income women.

The 35th anniversary celebration will culminate with a special Jubilee under the Gateway Arch that honors long-time PAT supporters as Trailblazers, and features a musical performance by Kennedy Holmes from The Voice singing competition.

The Trailblazers include: U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO), Arthur Mallory, former Missouri Commissioner of Education; Carolyn Losos, former executive director of The Leadership Center of Greater St. Louis; PAT Founder Mildred Winter, William Mehojah, Jr., co-developer of the Family And Child Education (FACE) program; and former U.S. Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho).

For more information, visit www.parentsasteachersconference.org.