Cincinnati Public Schools recognizes that an important part of all students' academic success is increased parental involvement.
To help parents find ways to be involved and have an impact, CPS partners with Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati (PPSGC) to sponsor the Parent Leadership Institute (PLI).
The PLI teaches parents skills they can use to impact academic achievement in their children’s schools. It offers opportunities for parents to learn from each other and discover how to overcome roadblocks to getting involved in their children’s education. The Institute's goal is to show parents how to turn information and data into projects that can help students succeed.
The two-day PLI, which is held over three weekends in March, April and May, is funded through the Mayersosn Academy.
Each graduate receives $250 to build a team and launch an in-school project that identifies a priority need and ways to address it.
PLI participants become familiar with such things as children's learning styles, Ohio's Learning Standards, the question-formulation technique, how to read each school's Ohio Report Card, and the important skill of partnership building.
Jacqueline Duhon, graduate of the 2011 PLI class, developed a literacy program called Rees E. Price Reads at Price Adacemy. So far, the program has distributed new reading materials to about 250 preschool and first-grade children. Duhon partnered with Ohio Ready to Read to teach the pillars of early childhood literacy to parents and program volunteers. Duhon’s ongoing literacy program is a great asset to her school and is especially valuable considering Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Partnership building, according to Duhon, was the most useful section of the PLI curriculum because it helped her successfully form strong, lasting relationships with her building’s administrators and other parents.
Other ongoing PLI projects:
- Tracy Redding’s Family Homework Help Nights at Pleasant Ridge Montessori School, which seek to involve more parents in the school as well as improve student performance
- Lewis Smith’s United Youth for Change at Bond Hill Academy, which utilizes older students to tutor younger ones.
The 2013 PLI class will implement a variety of projects during the 2013-14 school year, with focuses on such topics as science, literacy, math, mentoring and recycling. Mariana White, a PLI Parent Coach, believes that the value of the Parent Leadership Institute is that it gives parents the skills they need to make a positive, lasting impact in Cincinnati Public Schools.
“When parents graduate from the PLI program, they are really fired up to make a change at their children’s school,” White said. “They also quickly realize they need to be advocates for public education as a whole. Our parent leaders have run for the CPS school board, participated in Education Town Halls and focus groups, and fought against budget cuts. We teach our parents the skills they need to be advocates — not only for their children but for all public school children.”
Interested in applying to the next Parent Leadership Institute class? Visit the Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati Website: www.ppsgc.org