HARLINGEN — Just to learn a little more.

That’s why Diana Bermudez came yesterday to the Parental Involvement/Dropout Prevention Program 30th Annual District-Wide Conference at Texas State Technical College.

“There’s a lot of information, really good information,” said Bermudez, who’d brought her 11-year-old daughter to the conference.

“There’s a lot of good information, good interesting things that keep you in touch with the community,” she said.

And so there was, 19 presenters and 30 informational booths. Such topics included simply “Why Parents Are *Important,” “Attendance Matters” and “E-Cigarettes.”

“We have four sessions going on and they can select from different topics,” said Jose Luis Cavazos, director for Harlingen CISD Parental Involvement/Dropout Prevention Programs.

“The purpose is we want to empower parents,” Cavazos said. “We want to make sure parents are informed and they’re up to date with anything that has to do with the education system in Texas.”

The many presenters were more than happy to make parents “familiar” with opportunities in the district. Just ask Jesse Saldivar, director of ACE (After-School Centers on Education). He was telling everyone he could about the program, and there were plenty to tell. After all, more than 800 parents had arrived in the first hour.

“This morning we’re promoting our ACE after-school program,” Saldivar said. “We’re promoting all our different activities that are being in-house with the program. We’re promoting our STEM, culinary arts, music … programming that can drive our after-school program in the academics.”

Mike Rangel was talking to parents about the STAAR End Of Course exam,

“This is a website where they can log in and parents can see what their students’ STAAR grade results are,” said Rangel, director of information systems for the school district.

“We’re also sharing a home access center where parents can log-in periodically and look at students’ grades,” he said. “We’ve had quite a few people come through.”

There was also information on how parents can help their kids.

“We have writing sessions going on for the parents so parents can become familiar,” Cavazos said. “We have tips on writing, how to be a better writer, how to work better with math as well. That way they’ll know what to do to help their children with early literacy, reading, all that.”