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Perham school parents, staff hear Kronenberg presentation

Anna Aakre from the Perham Women of FOCUS presented a gift basket to speaker Corwin Kronenberg at the "Family Night" presentation Oct. 2. At left, elementary principal Kari Yates.

"Positive Parenting" was the theme for the day, as nationally known speaker Corwin Kronenberg visited the Perham Heart of the Lakes Elementary School Oct. 2.

Parenting is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for a lifetime, said Kronenberg to a crowd of about 100, mostly parents, during his evening presentation.

"Once you're a parent, you're a parent forever," said Kronenberg, who stresses parental and child responsibility as a thread in his presentation.

Parents must state the rules, determine the consequences--and then deliver those consequences, he emphasized.

It was a return engagement for Kronenberg, as many Perham-Dent staff members heard him speak in May 2007.

"Children are a living message we send to a future we never see," said Kronenberg.

"It's such a great message. We need to hear it again and again," commented teacher Tracy Hein.

Parents left the presentation with smiles on their faces. One mom said, "I can't believe he held my husband's attention for an hour and a half!"

"We were delighted with both the turnout and the message," said Perham elementary principal Kari Yates. "Corwin delivers such an important and serious message, but does so with such a healthy dose of humor. We laughed until our bellies hurt, but were learning the whole time. Our staff has previously had the opportunity to hear Corwin and work with his strategies. Staff members were excited to hear him again and to extend the message to parents as well. When parents and school staff are on the same page, kids are the winners."

Activities were provided for school age students and childcare was provided for children as young as 12 months. Parochial schools were invited and the audience included parents from both St. Henry's and St. Paul's.

"We are thrilled that the Women of FOCUS were able to sponsor this event," commented Perham elementary school principal Kari Yates. "What a great gift to the whole community."

"He is a very entertaining, down-to-earth presenter, with real life experiences that help us (the audience) learn," commented teacher Kersten Buskirk.

A meal was also served for those attending, provided in part by Barrel O' Fun. Girl Scouts and adult volunteers provided childcare support during Kronenberg's presentation.

"This event was definitely a community effort," said Yates.