In the past two years, we have served more than 15,000 parents helping them access and become educated on local public school resources. More specifically, we have provided in-depth, multi-session Parent Engagement Programming (PEP) to over 800 parents across the country. The majority of our parents, an average of 74%, are considered low-income as measured by the percentage eligible for free and reduced lunch, and an average of 73% are minority. Parents who participate in our program develop individual leadership plans and implement their plans over a two-year period. Parent individual leadership plans include focused work on literacy, STEM experiences in the schools, math proficiency, behavior concerns, and dropout prevention. In the Quitman County School District in Mississippi, our student graduation rate increased from 49% in 2008 to 70% in 2012. In a recent study of our parent engagement program, parents reported that, after participating, they were more involved in their child’s school (75%) and interacted more with their child’s teacher (79%). Also, in Philadelphia, MS, PPS parents at Philadelphia Elementary School wanted more science opportunities for the fifth graders. They started a science program in the fall of 2013. A year later, the school saw improvement on the MCT-Science (Science test on Mississippi Standards). The fifth grade scores from 2012-2013 school year to the 2013-2014 school year, the minimal score decreased from 21.9 to 9.1; basic stayed the same, proficient increased from 32.8 to 42, and advanced increased from 10.9 to 14.8.
My experience with Parent Engagement Program (PEP) provided me with an opportunity to hear and be heard and to create a stronger connection between home and school. It also gave me more knowledge of how to help build a stronger school community. -Patsy Hickman , PEP Graduate
My participation in the PEP is an investment in my child’s future that I take very seriously. If we want a better education for our children, we have to start as soon as possible. [In PEP], not only did I learn more about the school system and fellow parents, I came out of the training with a specific, achievable plan toward a project that will help our schools. I may be getting a bit of a head start for my newborn, but the future dividends will be rewarding for our entire community." -Jacob Starks, PEP Graduate