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A Message to the 2011 Mom Congress Delegates


Today I purchased travel hairspray I won’t likely use. I never use travel hairspray.  I’m counting down the days until the Mom Congress Conference that convenes this Sunday night in D.C. and buying travel hairspray seemed like a good step to take with only two days left until go time.

In many ways I don’t think I can fully be prepared for what’s going to happen over the next several days.  Just reading about the amazing women I’ll be meeting, I’m simultaneously excited, intimidated and exhausted.    The work they’re doing and the big dreams they have for educating our children are inspiring and I can’t wait to see all the good that will arise from this group of women as they come together to share their talent and insights. 

It’s going to be a good time.  I think it might get loud… in a good way.  I can’t wait.

This week I asked some of the Delegates from Mom Congress 2010 to share some thoughts, good wishes and advice with the new women who will be joining us.  Here is what they had to say:

Congrats and Welcome to the 2011 Mom Congress Delegates!  I am so looking forward to a long weekend surrounded with the best of the best mom’s in America!  Please bring your energy and your love of children with you as we discuss and celebrate what is working and what we can do to lift and inspire our local leaders to change what is not working.  All my best ~Lori Harding – Utah Delegate Mentor 2010


My heartfelt congratulations to the 2011 Mom Congress Delegates.  You are in for an amazing experience!  My advice is to come armed with the advocacy issues that are your top priority and find ways to connect with other Moms who share your same passions - they will be there.  Don't expect to have a chance to bend the ear of the Department of Education, but you will have opportunities to network and share what you've learned and accomplished.  Connect with the Parenting folks as they are fabulous connectors and resources.  Look for the hidden blessings and opportunities in this event and you will go home a changed Mom! 

The most valuable part of Mom Congress, for me, was the establishment of relationships with some of the most amazing Moms from across our great country.  It is an honor to call many of these women my friends and I look forward to continuing to support the great work we do separately and together!

I think it is time though, for the Mom Congress to get together and hold our Federal Government and State Government's collective feet to the fire to bring about some real reform in education that supports sustainable practices that do not hamstring schools due to the uncertainty of funding. ~Laura Taylor – California Delegate 2010


As I say congratulations to all 2011 Mom Congress Delegates, I also advise all to count this opportunity an unforgettable honor and privilege because if utilized correctly the experiences can be positively life altering for not only you but also many others whom you assist in your home states. So, ask questions, listen, learn, enjoy, and be ready to make a positive impact when you return home!  ~O. Pearl Andrews – Tennessee Delegate 2010


Congratulations on your selection to the Moms Congress.  You may feel like you’re not sure what you’ve gotten into but don’t worry, we felt the same way!  Parenting Magazine has created an engaging environment where you’ll learn more about challenges facing our educational system and share your experience and insight on how to make a positive impact.  Be prepared to listen, learn and share!  I look forward to meeting you!  ~Emily Rempe – Ohio Delegate 2010


Congratulations 2011 Mom Congress delegates!  I hope you learn as much from the conference as I did.  Just enjoy taking it all in and talking to all of the other great moms in attendance.  ~Jennifer Allison – Wyoming Delegate 2010


Congratulations to all the new delegates.  Enjoy your time and soak in the experiences of all the other delegates.  It's a wonderful opportunity to spend 3 days with other education activists that really get it!  ~Christine Morin – Virginia Delegate 2010


To the 2011 Delegates:

First of all, congratulations for all you do for kids and education!  Your hard work is bringing you to DC to be recognized (and utilized) for all that you do every day!  I want to encourage you all to do the following as you step into Mom Congress for the first time....

Remember you will be entering a room of 70 women who are almost all Type A personalities and like to get things done... (that's all I have to say about that!); come with an open mind ready to learn from each other - we may not always agree on everything, but we can always learn from each other;  bring your camera!; have your listening ears in high working order.. you will take in A LOT of information in a 3 day time span - don't let yourself get overwhelmed; plan to make life-long friends while you are here!; learn to tweet or at the very least, join Facebook - either before you leave or as soon as you return, it will be a must to keep us all engaged together going forward;  and finally - bring the passion and love you have for education and is why we are all joined together in the first place and when you put all that passion into one single room, you can actually feel the energy flowing - it is an amazing feeling you will find very few places these days!  Safe travels and looking forward to a fantastic few days together! 

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."  -Ryunosuke Satoro  ~Jen DeFranco – Illinois Delegate 2010


Congratulations to all the 2011 Mom Congress delegates. This historical journey you are about to embark on at Georgetown University will transform your lives in ways you cannot imagine.  You will never be the same as you collaborate with MOMs across the country, face to face, on developing and shaping ideas on how to improve the educational and well-being of children.  You will laugh, you will cry, but one thing is for sure you will feel like and know you are a "Super Mom", a change agent that can draw from the collective positive energy from other moms and educators across the country.  Bring your creative thinking hats as Mom Congress strengthens the course and rewrites history regarding the true meaning of the "power of collective action" via parent & family engagement. See ya soon :) ~Gwen Samuel – Connecticut Delegate 2010


We have NEW US Dietary Guidelines


NEW Proposed regulations for all school meals in the US.

We are going to see dramatic changes in the school meals.

It’s important to understand that for children to function their best, they need the right “fuel” to be healthy, and to concentrate.

So my advice is to read up on the new school meal regulations of the Child Nutrition Act, and to get involved because our children are not expected to make it to the same age as their parents – the first generation in history – and learning how to eat healthfully is a life skill that can make a difference between a healthy life full of joy and a life with chronic health problems that reduces productivity and impacts the quality of life.

We need parents to get involved because even with the new regulations, we want to make sure they are implemented healthfully and not with the bare minimum standards. ~Amie Hamlin – New York Delegate 2010


Mom Congress is a great way to feel honored for the tireless and sometimes thankless work that we do on behalf of children in our community to make sure that each one is receiving the best possible education.  Take a moment at the conference and feel appreciated for your efforts!  And then, look around, and be inspired that there are so many other moms just like you - dedicated, working hard and pushing on to make this world a better place for children!  Congrats to all the new delegates!  ~Karyn White – New Jersey Delegate 2010


To all the 2011 Mom Congress Delegates: Congratulations! This is a well-deserved honor and you should be proud of your accomplishments as well as excited about your prospects! As busy as the next few days will be (and they will be busy days!) you should also remember that it is not just what you are learning that is important, but who you are learning with. The friendships you make here today will see you through the challenges that await us all in education. A Chinese proverb says "A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study." Be confident, be clear, be curious. But most of all, be yourself! ~Myrdin Thompson – Kentucky Delegate 2010