Buffalo parents, teachers, and community members will join Citizen Action, the Alliance for Quality Education, the Public Policy and Education Fund, and the Buffalo Public Schools to address the grassroots effort to keep children safe and in school at a free, day-long conference. Parents and community members committed to Buffalo’s children and the future of public education are invited to participate to solve Buffalo’s attendance challenges.

Building Future Leaders Conference, set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the West Hertel Academy at 489 Hertel Ave., will focus on evidence-based, proven-to-work strategies for reducing absenteeism including implementation of meaningful parent and family engagement, community schools, and restorative justice practices.

The conference will host two nationally known speakers. Hedy Chang, the Director of the National Organization, Attendance Works, will offer tools to help keep students in school. Jitu Brown, the National Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance who just participated in a 34-day hunger strike to save Walter H. Dyett High School in Chicago, will speak about the importance of family engagement.

There will also be workshops throughout the day on topics such as family engagement, overcoming attendance challenges, alternatives to suspension and restorative justice, community schools, special education and more.

Lunch and childcare will be provided. Registration is required at www.ppefny.org/leaders. More information is available by calling 855.1522, ext. 5.