Parental Information and Resource Centers

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2007 Grant Abstracts

Delaware

Grantee Name:Parent Information Center of Delaware, Inc.
Mailing Address:5570 Kirkwood Highway
Orchard Commons Business Center
Wilmington, DE 19808
Project Director:Marie-Anne Aghazadian, Executive Director
Contact Numbers:Phone: (302) 999-7394 Fax: (302) 999-7637

The research tells us what common sense suggests. Engaged parents form the basis for great schools and are the key factor in their children's school success. Unfortunately, many parents don't know how to engage with schools or how to even choose a school that is right for their child. Families and communities must play a crucial role in supporting student learning. However, for programs to be effective, schools, in collaboration with family and community, have to create structures that encourage and support families and community members in their efforts to support learning and improve student performance.

Low performance and large achievement gaps in Delaware start early and continue into college. For example, in 2005, 50% of white 4th Grade students in Delaware were proficient in math and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress compared to only 15% of African American 4th grade students. The college readiness gap is less profound, but strikingly low across the board. In 2005, only 36% of white students in Delaware left high school "college ready," compared with 27 % of African American high school students. Meeting the diverse interests and learning needs of Delaware's nearly 120,000 students requires creating multiple options- one size does not fit all. This is especially important at the high school level where lack of engagement is a major contributor to student dropout. Instructional options must be paired with better information about these choices. Moreover, families must be empowered with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be full partners in their children's education.

The Delaware Family Empowerment Network (DEFEN) is a consortium comprised of: The Parent Information Center of Delaware, the Delaware Department of Education's Parents as Teachers Program and the Rodel Foundation of Delaware. The mission of DEFEN is to: Advance academic outcomes for students most at-risk for academic failure by empowering parents and caregivers to become knowledgeable and powerful advocates for school improvement and student success. DEFEN will accomplish its mission by achieving the following outcomes:

  • Move from limited coordination of services to a coordinated menu of services through DEFEN's public/private partnership;
  • Transform disconnected and under-resourced services to increased statewide capacity designed, to yield immediate and increased family engagement, student impact and sustainable results;
  • Provide low impact workshops for larger numbers of parents that will shift to deep interventions with smaller numbers of parents. Such deeper intervention leads to real change and in the long run impacts student achievement and empowers parents to impact other parents in more profound and meaningful ways.
  • The DEFEN as a result of its coordination will gain traction with Vision 2015, a powerful statewide education reform effort to build a world-class education system in Delaware. This initiative is built around six core recommendations, one of which is focused specifically on family and community engagement. The fact that public and private leaders at the highest levels statewide have embraced and supported our efforts bodes well for our ability to leverage additional local support and increases the likelihood that the DEFEN's efforts will be sustained beyond the PIRC grant period.

Guam

Grantee Name:Guam's Positive Parents Together, Inc.
Mailing Address:P.O. Box 4297
Hagatna, Guam 96932
Project Director:Ann Marie D. Cruz, President
Contact Number:Phone: (671) 653-7991

As evidenced by years of low performance on standardized tests, public-school children on Guam are not reaching their full potential. Among the critical factors that influence student achievement is the involvement of parents in the educational process.

Many parents work and sacrifice to see their children succeed, while others do not know how to begin to make those dreams come true. Some parents have children who do not fit into the educational system and have difficulty getting the system to respond to their child's needs. Other parents are themselves challenged by educational, cultural, and economic hindrances that make their dreams for success harder to achieve.

Realizing that many parents need support, information and resources to help their children succeed in school, Guam's Positive Parents Together, Inc. (GPPT), a coalition of parent groups organized as a non-profit corporation registered on Guam, has undertaken Project DREAMS. Dedicated to Reaching Excellence And Maintaining Success, the project brings together parents, youth, public school teachers and administrators, public agencies and private service providers. Project DREAMS will establish a Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC) that will offer information and training to all parents to equip them to meet their children's educational success and make their dreams come true.

Guam is currently without a PIRC. Project DREAMS will be the first time there has been a partnership between parent support groups and the Guam Public School System with the expressed purpose of improving student academic achievement through parental involvement. GPPT is a parent group, representing the interests of parents of pre-school and school-age children, whose main goal is to improve student achievement by increasing parental involvement in education.

The primary component of GPPT's approach is outreach. Through a well-crafted approach to developing school-parent partnerships, GPPT will: 1) develop and implement successful and effective parental involvement policies, programs, and activities; 2) develop and implement effective schooled-based strategies that will strengthen partnerships among parents, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel in meeting the educational needs for our children; 3) develop and implement effective community outreach strategies that increase parent knowledge and skills for improving student achievement, and 4) establish, expand, and operate effective early childhood research-based strategies and practices that are culturally appropriate.

Within the grant period, GPPT expects to reach at least 95 percent of the parents of the 31,000 public school children on Guam. As GPPT gives parents the tools to help their children, GPPT knows there will be an improvement in student achievement, because research has shown that achievement goes up when parents are involved.


 
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Last Modified: 07/09/2007