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HomeImprove Your SchoolVolunteering & Fundraising

Three parents who made a difference at their schools

Page 3 of 4

By Marian Wilde , GreatSchools Staff

Additional resources

Leadership training centers

Several centers now offer leadership training for parents wanting to make a difference at their school:

KSA-Plus Communications
This site has a Parent Leadership Group section that offers tools for parents who wish to become partners with schools.

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
This advocacy group works to improve education in Kentucky. Their Web site contains useful links and information on educational activism.

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership
CIPL is a program sponsored by the Prichard Committee that promotes parent engagement in schools.

Center for Parent Leadership
Another initiative of the Prichard Committee, this Web site offers publications for downloading, and information about workshops and seminars. Regional focus is on the Kentucky area, but there is an abundance of information for parents looking for ideas.

Regional centers

These regional centers offer help to involved parents in specific geographic areas. They also provide general information of use to all parents:

Parents United for Responsible Education
This organization exists to support positive change in public education in Chicago. Their site provides information on parent involvement workshops, plus tip sheets and fact sheets to help parents advocate for their schools.

Parents For Public Schools
This is the site of a national organization with local chapters in many cities. They promote public schools and "A New Brand of Parent Involvement."

San Francisco Chapter of Parents for Public Schools
This site offers a downloadable Parent Involvement Handbook, an article on How to Market Your School and much more.

San Francisco Unified School District
This will take you to a page on the San Francisco Unified School District Web site that showcases recipes by parents on how to complete various school improvement projects.

Books

Henderson, Anne, Bonnie Jacob, Adam Kernan-Schloss and Bev Raimondo. The Case for Parent Leadership. KSA-Plus Communications and The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, 2004.
This spiralbound book is a call to action for parents to get involved in their schools. Contains a scoring guide to help determine if a school is open to parent involvement.
You can order it from the Center for Parent Leadership Web site.

Dougherty, Chrys. Improving Your Child's Education: A Parent's Handbook for Working With Schools. San Antonio, Texas: Omni Publishers, 1997.
Another spiralbound book, this one is based on the premise that if parents are well informed, schools will improve. The first part explains how to evaluate a school; the second part gives specific suggestions for improving schools.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

10/10/2006:
"The topics were interesting. I have not seen an article that specifically addresses the plight of the rural community schools with low average family income. We struggle with small PTO bugets and work hard on various fundraising. We have a small core group of PTO parents, but as you might tell, resources are scarce, both in financial and human. Any ideas?"
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