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Speaker series focuses on children

Family psychologist kicks off event on campus tonight

The focus on education during the recent presidential election prompted the University to choose "Our Children's Future" as the topic for this year's 21st Century Speakers Series at UNM.

This is the second year the series will be held at UNM, and it will bring five national children and youth specialists to speak at the UNM Continuing Education Conference Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd.

The speaker series begins today with family psychologist John Rosemond presenting "Bringing out the Best in Children," which is drawn from his personal experience as a parent and more than 20 years of counseling parents about school performance and classroom behavior. Rosemond's parenting column is syndicated in about 200 newspapers nationwide, and he is the author of nine best-selling books.

Kim Jarigese, coordinator of the series and marketing manager for continuing education and the extended University, said the lecture series was developed to bring in speakers who would cover issues prevalent in the new millennium.

"Education was a big issue in campaigning," she said.

The committee that organized the series is headed by Judy Jones, vice-president of institutional advancement, and is funded by the Board of Regents.

"They wanted to do something to kind of kick off the new millennium," Jarigese said of the committee who came up with the idea to host a speaker's series.

Last year, the series focused on peace and featured three Nobel Peace Laureates.

"It was responded to very favorably, we had a minimum of 200 people at each of the talks," Jarigese said.

This year's series will include five speakers. Rosemond will speak first, followed by child advocate Kati Haycock, who will present "Learning to Learn: Strategies and Models for Educational Reform" on March 30. Herman D'Hooge of the Intel Smart Toy Laboratory will present, "Exploring New Uses of Technology for Learning and Playing" on April 6. Education correspondent for National Public Radio Claudio Sanchez will speak April 20 about, "Our Changing Schools: A Reporter's Perspective." Motivational speaker Ann Forts will present, "A Brave New World: New Opportunities for Children with Disabilities" on April 27.

"I think it's applicable to everyone - teachers, parents, people who maybe are with the department of health or services that deal with children or people with special needs," Jarigese said.

Tickets are $10 and $5 for students with identification. A 10 percent discount will be given to people who register for all of the lectures. Tickets will be sold at the door 30 minutes before each presentation. Each lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by questions-and-answers sessions or a book signing.

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