Bookmark and Share
Vol 2014-01         

In This Issue
.. Parents Talk
.. Floor-Showing
.. Reading Everywhere
.. Shirlee's Desk
.. What's New
.. Volunteer Spotlight
.. Donor Highlight

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter

Join Our Mailing List!mailing list sign-up


Quick Links

news you can use


Star News-Tales of Our City featured five engaging local storytellers on this theme: "You Can Fight City Hall". Community activist Shirlee Smith entertained the crowd by presenting a full version of "Dr Mom vs Arrogant Teacher" (See blog under Floor Showing).  Smith maintains that our local schools are in a sense "City Hall, too" and told of her fight against a teacher who tried to force her asthmatic daughter to exercise when the campus was filled with both wind and forest fire smoke.

On February 26, Smith joined with LA County Sheirffs and other county officials in touring the California Institution for Women facilities and receiving an introduction to many of the programs available for the inmates.

CEO Smith chairs the Pacific Clinics FACES Advisory Board.  Board member, Diane Tangretti has recently been appointed to the Pacific Clinics Trustee Board. The entire FACES board is extremely proud of Diane's long time role as a child/parent advocate.
Shirlee was a presenter at PACTL Second Child Welfare Round Table held at Flintridge Foundation, where participants determined families need to be educated about the child welfare system. Learn more about the round table and the organization at


"....the crowning glory of it all!!!! was your parenting class, the exposure you and the women who assisted you, gave me the ability to connect again to my deep love of being a mother. i come from a very very large family and i had a mother, 4 sisters, a brother, two children, 2 grand babys, in-laws, nieces and nephews that fought desperately to get me back from the very deep."


Above is an excerpt from an email received from a former inmate recently released from the California Institution for Women, who also talked about the positive impact of the other programs at the prison.  She remembered our emphasis on reading with children and our commitment to send books to the released inmates' children.  She asked for and we sent her 5 books for her grandchildren.

             >>>>floorshowing <<<<

Slaves were Happy, No More, No Less......
America has advanced from Negro History Week to Black History Month. High school textbooks have come a long way since the time when there was no mention of slavery in them and then to a couple of......More >>>

Related links: Oscar winning best picture of the year 
Dr Mom vs Arrogant Teacher.......  
Fires were raging in the foothills and the Santa Ana winds were reportedly blowing at 70 miles
per hour, when the 6th grader told the teacher she was not to be on the playing field.  He made her participate, anyway.....More >>> 

It just happened without a plan. Well, maybe there was one, but not really, this just plain 'ol emerged because the mothers in our class at the prison were so excited about the idea of reading books to their kids.  Greta Pruitt brought books for her presentation and then she donated them to the prison library.  Then Barbara Mc brought books from the public library for her presentation and then..... Now we have people donating books for the children of recently released moms. Join the club. Clean your kids' bookshelves like Peggy Lewis did, send 'em to us.  We'll pay the postage and we'll get them into the hands of our former class participants, and some we'll donate to the prison library. As quiet as it's kept, our moms love reading kids' books!  Desmond Tuttu's book on forgiveness was a big hit when Greta read to the class.


   shirlee's desk

The tighter the economy gets the more our workshop, Your Kids Your Money, is being asked for. Look for upcoming dates at Glendale Community College.


That expression, "Be careful what you ask for....." has certainly played out at CIW.  Our wait list continues to have over 100 incarcerated mothers wanting to take our parenting classes.  Word has spread on the yard, I'm told, that our class is a no-nonsense-accept-responsibility program.


We have a "unique" approach. No question about that.  Our presenters include: Pasadena Police Chief, Phillip Sanchez; Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education President, Renatta Cooper; Pomona Valley NAMI Education Specialist, Lora Illic; Caltech Librarian, Barbara Mckenzie Slater; Retired Educator, Greta Pruitt; Family Law Attorney, Robert Howell; Family Therapist, Mercedes Borrayo; former inmate, Gloria Barrios and her daughter, Lorene Fleming; Benefit Specialist, Michael Van Essen.



Yer Kids Yer Money
Preview Workshop
When: Saturday, March 29, 2014, 10:00am-12:00 noon

Where: Pasadena City College

Class Description/ Registration:
Click here for details

Fee: $39

Mothers Behind Bars

The Parent Puzzle Benefit Event held Oct. 27 at Hillsides in Pasadena is now on video and can be seen on the following cable television stations:

The Event video and additional clips will soon be available on our YouTube Channel.

Mothers Behind Bars



Volunteer Spotlight


Board member, Ivan Light, Ph.D., was acknowledged in Forbes Magazine for path-breaking work on business ownership and entrepreneurship among immigrants and ethnic minorities.  Click here to read more.

Brooke Petersen, former Guest Coordinator for Talk About Parenting with Shirlee Smith "LIVE", is now producing and hosting her own show quite appropriately named "Sweet Life".  Click here to view her youtube channel.


Florence Beller

  • Education Research

  • Susan Grey

  • Content Editor/ Proofreader

  • Linda Lavin

  • Consultant

  • volunteers

    Brandi Armstrong, Gary Bitten,

    Pamela Davis, Brooke Petersen,

    Andy Takakjian 


  • Social Media Team

  • Siew Tan

  • Website Maintenance
  • Newsletter Design/Editing

  • donorhighlite
    Thanks to recent donors


    Michael D Antonovich (Los Angeles County Supervisor)

    Phil Argento

    Adelaide Hixon

    Peggy Lewis

    Greta Pruitt

    Phillip Sanchez (Chief, Pasadena Police Dept.)

    AT&T Employee Giving




    Times are tough and WE know that.  We are grateful for donations, whatever the size.  Donate online through PayPal or send a check to P.O. Box 40547, Pasadena, CA 91114.



    1. To donate through our website: Click here
    2. To donate through Ralph's Community Program: Register your Ralphs or Food4Less Club card using the following steps.  The donation does not come out of YOUR pocket!  It comes from the stores - a percentage of your store purchase!
      • Click on the links below to download the respective scanbar letter:-
      • Bring it to Ralphs or Food4Less when you go shopping
      • Give it to the checkout clerk together with your rewards card or phone number
      • That is all you need to do! 


    Designed and Created by
    TalkAboutParentingWithShirleeSmith, Inc. | P.O. Box 40547 | Pasadena | CA | 91114-7547