Aug 8, 2014 23:19 Group to help parent leaders prepare for school year Group to help parent leaders prepare for school year BY Marsha Sills| email@example.com Aug. 08, 2014 Comments LAFAYETTE — Parents Empowered, a districtwide parent group, will hold a workshop to help parent-leaders get ready for the new school year. The hourlong workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the LITE Center and will provide parents tips on how to organize and manage volunteers. “Some of the hardest things are how to keep track of all those parents and how to utilize them,” said Heather Blanchard, a Woodvale Elementary parent and a founding member of Parents Empowered. “We want to give hints on how to get parents more engaged and keep them engaged.” Information about a free software program to easily manage volunteers and keep them informed will also be shared, Blanchard said. The workshop is for parents who hold leadership positions at their children’s school as well as parents interested in getting more involved, she said. Parents Empowered organized last year as a way to help Lafayette Parish School System parents stay informed and connected with what’s going on in the district and to help parents interested in creating parent-teacher groups get organized. During the spring, the group organized “Cafeteria Conversations,” town hall-style meetings with Superintendent Pat Cooper and other school district supervisors on topics ranging from the Common Core State Standards to the district’s budget and its facilities. The group also is recruiting parents who are interested in serving on the superintendent’s new parent advisory panel. The goal is to have one parent represent every school in the district, and Blanchard said applications are still being accepted. To reserve a place in Wednesday’s workshop at the LITE Center, 537 Cajundome Blvd., or for information about the districtwide parent advisory panel, contact Blanchard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.