Early Childhood Program

The Maryland Parental Information Resource Center (MD PIRC) collaborates with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Judy Centers, and the Family Support Centers -- coordinated by Friends of the Family -- that work with low-income parents and families of 0-5-year-olds throughout Maryland.

Using existing networks, proven programs, and strategies, the MD PIRC will provide the essential cultural bridge for taking the next steps to build a positive connection between families and schools.

During the 2007-2008 school year, Friends of the Family will provide parent leadership training to fathers, mothers, and primary caregivers of children from birth to age five who participate in Judy Center Partnerships in four jurisdictions:

-- Baltimore City (John Eager Howard Elementary School),
-- Prince George's County (Cool Spring Elementary School),
-- Washington County (Bester Elementary School), and
-- Wicomico County (Pemberton Elementary School).

Participants for the training will be drawn from any program serving children from birth to age five in the Judy partnership, which may include:

-- School-based kindergarten and pre-school;
-- Infants and Toddlers (Part C);
-- Head Start and Early Head Start;
-- Family literacy programs;
-- Licensed, regulated child care and informal family care;
-- Family Support Centers;
-- Early childhood home visiting programs; and
-- Public libraries

Goals and Objectives: The goal of the Parent Leadership Training is to give 30 parents of young children in each jurisdiction (120 total) the skills they need to take an active, effective leadership role within their families and communities, and especially in the school system. The Parent Leadership training is expected to achieve the following results:

-- Objective: Parents will use new leadership skills at home, in their local school system, and in Judy Partnership programs, including participating in governance activities;

-- Objective: Parents will produce a set of recommendations for improving the family-friendliness of school-based settings and related training for faculty and administrative staff.

-- Objective: Parents will enjoy the training, meeting new peers, and report that they received a benefit from the Parent Leadership experience.


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