Suffolk resident leads education webinars

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A proponent of what she calls “collaborative education” and published author from Suffolk will lead a webinar Wednesday exploring how citizens and organizations can expand learning beyond academics.

Patricia Moore Harbour, a Suffolk resident of seven years, is the author of “Community Educators: A Resource for Education and Developing Our Youth.”



She is an associate of the Kettering Foundation, a nonprofit focused on ways to make democracy work that, in collaboration with mentoring services program Friends for Youth, sponsors the webinar series.

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Wednesday’s webinar, the second of four free online events, will focus on how various communities across the U.S. have zeroed in on developing the “whole child.”

“The purpose of the webinar is to inform people about the possibilities in communities for educating and developing our children,” Harbour said. She cited local efforts involving Capt. Stephanie Burch of Suffolk Police Department and Suffolk Fire and Rescue fire investigator Pam King.

“We are not trying to substitute, nor are we trying to supplant, the schools,” Harbour continued. “We want people to know about what other people are doing. There are many programs.”

Instead of assigning blame for youth issues, Harbour said, “Perhaps we need to remember that it takes a village to raise a child, and (to) engage all the community in focusing on youth in different kinds of ways.”

Harbour said she would be joined in Wednesday’s webinar by Dr. Mary K. Boyd, co-creator of the Every Body’s In coalition in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and Gevonee Ford, founder of the Network for the Development of Children of African Descent.

Wednesday’s webinar runs from 2 to 3:15 p.m. To register, go to The final two webinars are planned for the same hours on March 19 and April 2.

The first installment, which featured Harbour and Community Action Coalition of Suffolk co-founder and facilitator Robert Stephens, had more than 250 registrations, according to Harbour.

“It’s completely open to the public; we want the public to be involved,” Harbour said. “We continue to talk around the topic, not realizing that the resources and strategies (to overcome issues) are available.”

Harbour said she first became aware of the power of collaborative education when, as a 15-year-old, she volunteered teaching theater to younger children.

In Suffolk, she is president at Harbour Center for Quality Education, which Harbour described as an independent educational consultancy.

Harbour has served in various federal government roles, including executive director for the United State Federal Observances for the International Year of the Child, and has been a classroom teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.