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CHIEMSEE, Germany — A gathering of delegates and officials of the European Congress of American Parents, Teachers and Students is learning about ways to help educate children.

About 70 delegates and 10 board members are attending the organization’s annual three-day conference, which wraps up Wednesday at the Armed Forces Recreation Center in Chiemsee.

“I began the [opening ceremony] with: ‘The destination of this bus is better education and lives for children through parent involvement.’ With that said, nobody left,” said Dave Mattingly, ECAPTS president.

Instead, the delegates conducted general business meetings, held question-and-answer sessions, and broke into groups for workshops on information for new members, running effective meetings, effective advocacy and parent involvement for the middle and high school levels.

The convention’s agenda is broken down into three areas: programs, training and advocacy.

Programs include ECAPTS’ spelling bee and Reflections, which honors students for excellence in the arts.

The training and advocacy workshops included information on a number of committees that schools can use to encourage change.

Diana Ohman, Department of Defense Dependents School-Europe, discussed some of the committees, including the School Advisory Committee and Installation Advisory Committee.

Other scheduled speakers for the convention were: Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, European Command chief of staff and chairman for the European Schools Council; Anna Weselak, from the National PTA board of directors; Leslie Cohen, assistant vice president of Human Resources-Empire State College in New York; and Donald Armell, European PTA Parent Involvement spokesman.

The delegates are about a half-and-half mix of parents and teachers, Mattingly said. Four districts are represented at the convention: Bavaria, Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern and Mediterranean.

The convention closes Wednesday with a general session and three more workshops.

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