This year marks the continuation of grandparents day, which was Sunday, Sept. 8. However, the celebration should be all year round. Grandparents, more and more, are being asked to raise their grandchildren, and this is as true in the Pocono-Northeast as it is across the United States.
Literally millions of children are being raised by their grandparents, and in this region, the celebration is headed by the forthcoming 7th annual conference to be held at the Woodlands on Friday, Sept. 13, 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a series of panel presentations and a keynote speaker, the Honorable Judge Jennifer Rogers from the Luzerne County Family Court system.
Among the panel presenters are four attorneys who currently practice family law. Other notable presentations include the role of Children and Youth, healthy power in parenting, drawing boundaries between parents and custodial grandparents, parenting 101, post-permanent adoption, HELPLINE, and final remarks by Rabbi Larry Kaplan of Temple Israel.
Conference chair is Brenda Saba, a grandparent raising a grandchild with her husband and a member of the Coalition. This 7th annual conference follows a number of activities of the Coalition, which produced several years ago a Directory of Services, had a paid Coordinator for several years, and began a process of either answering questions from grandparents or referring the request to an appropriate agency.
The Coalition recognizes the role that all grandparents play, and that is why the celebration on September 8th and the Conference on September 13th are just two days of a year round celebration that honors all grandparents in this region and elsewhere.
The objectives of the Coalition include ensuring that families and community organizations obtain basic knowledge of available community resources, understand community systems, missions, programs and eligibility requirements, and to educate families and providers with ways to access information, ensure families and community organizations have the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and develop new skills as grandparents, family caregivers and providers, and explore core issues and concerns of grandparents.
To make a reservation free to grandparents, contact Susan Harding at the Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-252-1512 0r 570-822-1159, ext. 2429. Professionals pay a fee of $35 to register but can receive continuing education credits through the Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley. You can e-mail Susan at sharding @aging.luzerne-wyoming.org
The challenges facing grandparents either raising grandchildren or just being a grandparent cause the need to celebrate their participation in family life 365 days a year. Come to the Conference and learn more about their role.
Howard J. Grossman,
NEPA Intergenerational Coalition
Pittston Memorial Library