Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, New Jersey, offers a lot of support to parents of enrolled children as well as parents from the local community. “We do often hold workshops or evening events for parents,” said Abigail Liu, the school’s associate director of communications. “We're just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, so we are often able to bring in speakers who are fairly well known without the travel expense.”
An event in late January featured Dr. Paul Yellin (pictured at right), the director of the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain, and Education. The lecture attracted not only the staff and parents of Mustard Seed Christian but also parents from local homeschooling communities and local schools. “We had so many people register and show up that we had to move the event to a bigger space than we had planned,” said Liu. “We had about 150 people attend, which is a great crowd for a cold January night.”
Yellin spoke to parents about their children’s attention control systems and how parents can better support them. He expanded on what it means for a child to "pay attention" and the difference between hyperactive and high energy.
In the past, Mustard Seed has brought in speakers like Huffington Post parenting coach and bestselling author Susan Stiffelman, who will likely be back later this year, and the Turansky/Miller author/speaker team from the Center for Biblical Parenting has given a Saturday workshop. The school has also teamed up with other schools to create events to feature speakers such as Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.
The school also employs its own experts—the school’s teachers—to provide workshops for parents and/or local church children and youth pastors on literacy, math, and other topics. Sometimes these take place as a part of a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
These workshops have been a blessing to the school and community. Liu states, “we often open our events to the surrounding community. It's been a great way for us to do outreach as well as support our parent community.”