Alissa Parker is a speaker working with Kirkland Productions through Safe & Sound Schools.
Alissa is a co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools and the mother of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died tragically in the Sandy Hook School Shootings on December 14, 2012. In the wake of the tragedy, Alissa was moved to engage parents in securing the safety of their children in school. She became an active member of the Newtown Public Schools’ Safety Committee and has become passionate about school security and safety, traveling, listening and learning in school communities across the United States.
Alissa graduated from Weber State University in her hometown of Ogden, Utah. She is co-founder of The Emilie Parker Art Connection, which supports art programs for kids across the country, and the author of the best-selling book An Unseen Angel, a Memoir of Faith, Hope, and Healing. Alissa brings a powerful perspective and passion to our foundation. She is devoted to creating a legacy of safety for our nation’s children in honor of her beloved Emilie.
School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective
(Keynote, 1-2 hours depending on requests)
Alissa tells her personal story and recounts the lessons she learned on December 14, 2012 and across the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. She shares the inspiring way she has chosen to help school communities improve school safety in honor of her daughter, Emilie, and in memory of the other 19 children and six teachers lost on December 14, 2012. Alissa’s perspective as a parent provides unique insight and inspiration for parents, administrators, school staff, emergency responders, and community members who strive to make their schools safer.
School Safety: Students First
This presentation, offered by several of our speakers and educators, is designed with students in mind. On our website, we offer a complimentary download of our Safe and Sound Youth Council Kit. This guide is designed to help 6th – 12th grade students, their parents, and their advisors take the first steps toward being a proactive part of the their school’s safety plan. For those schools and school districts who want to take the extra step, Safe and Sound Schools offers speakers who can assist in guidance and implementation, help launch the program, lead site walk-throughs, and ensure that you have all of the tools you need to institute safe school principles for all students. Each program is customized to the unique needs of that school’s community. Our presenters share their personal stories followed by a powerful call to action directing the youth of our nation to step up for school safety. As leaders and problem-solvers in their own right, our next generation is essential to our mission: safe and sound schools for all.
Beyond Tragedy: Response and Recovery Following a School-Based Crisis
(Keynote, 1-2 hours depending on requests)
Alissa shares her personal perspective on the Sandy Hook School response and recovery efforts. Based on her own experiences, those of victims, survivors, first responders, community leaders, educators, families, and children in the Sandy Hook and Newtown communities, Alissa outlines the challenges, successes, and lessons learned in the aftermath of tragedy and loss to better prepare others to respond and recover from emergencies, crisis, and disaster. She shares insights on emergency notification, communication, death notification, protection of victims and victims’ families, mental health needs and services, media management, and financial considerations, as well as other issues surrounding the response and recovery efforts within Sandy Hook and Newtown.
Engaging the Community in School Safety: Tools and Ideas for Safer Schools
(Breakout/workshop, 1-2 hours depending on requests)
Alissa offers a presentation and discussion of the Safe and Sound model and toolkits according to the needs of the attendees. Alissa’s sessions can be tailored to specific and various school safety stakeholders or delivered to a mixed group, shared in a seminar format, hands-on workshop, or breakout style. As an active member of the school safety community, Alissa is prepared to share expert resources and discuss many of the programs and interventions available to communities striving to improve school safety.
Panel Discussions and Q and A Sessions
Alissa offers Q and A sessions following her keynotes or as a separate session. She is also available for panel discussions. As these formats are more organic and highly individualized, Alissa is available to discuss and plan for these types of sessions directly with clients.
Parents for safer schools: tools and resources to become a safety leader
(Breakout/workshop, 90 minutes)
Alissa offers a presentation and hands-on workshop centered around the Parents for Safer Schools program, developed by Safe and Sound Schools, to engage and educate parents and caregivers about their role in school safety. Alissa shares her experiences from the tragedy at Sandy Hook and how the death of her daughter, Emilie, inspired her to become a parent safety advocate. As an active member of the national school safety community, Alissa shares expert resources, programs and initiatives from Safe and Sound School communities and ideas and solutions that will inspire parents to develop their own local safety initiatives and find their voices as Parents for Safer Schools.
As I sat in the audience, I was quickly captivated. The audience, like myself, was transfixed as she shared her story of tragedy, pain, love, and mercy. Alissa spoke as if she had been on the circuit for years. Her demeanor on stage was bold, yet inviting, even tender at times. I have since had the pleasure of presenting with Alissa on several more occasions; my admiration continues to grow.
Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work and Dare, Dream Do