The Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership will begin training in Louisville this week, giving parents with children in struggling schools a chance to change the way they participate in their education.
The institute was started by Kentucky’s Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence 16 years ago, says Carol Edelen, Prichard’s community supports coordinator.
Since then, funding has dried up and fewer training opportunities have been offered, but the institute is needed, she says.
“Parents want to be engaged but they have to learn what they can do to help support the work in the classroom, at home. They have to gain knowledge and skills. They need to understand how to read the data,” she says.
Now, 37 Jefferson County parents will attend classes beginning Friday. The institute will help them read student and school data and each participant will develop individual projects they can take back to their children’s schools, Edelen says.
“This is something that they do, they look at the school plan. They see where the need is, they know what their passion is and then they create a project to make it happen. They make it happen. They build that capacity among themselves,” she says.
About 24 of the parents selected to participate are minorities and most participants have students in Jefferson County’s lowest performing schools, she says.
The institute was made possible through private fundraising and no public funds were used, she says.