Associated Press Published

Parents to Learn How to Spearhead Local School Initiatives

Students raising their hands

Education officials are planning a conference this fall to help parents learn how to lead successful initiatives in their local schools.Students raising their hands

The program will be called Families Leading Change, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported earlier this week.

The conference will teach parents and guardians how to start local initiatives such as promoting fatherhood engagement and creating strong school wellness teams, said Charlotte Norris, the program’s director.

“We want to make sure parents are equipped and understand all the things they can have a voice in, and I think having them involved in schools, walking through those doors, not being intimidated — they can change the educational environment,” Norris said.

Thanks to the Pennsylvania-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the program currently has a $50,000 pot for mini-grants to support such ideas, Norris said. The grants range from $500 to $2,000 each.

“(Parents) can apply to replicate some of the things we’ve identified or they can come up with their own great ideas,” Norris said.

Those interested in receiving grants will have to attend the fall conference, where attendees will learn leadership skills and develop plans they can implement, Norris said. Officials have not yet set the location and time for the fall conference.

The program was spearheaded by the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, part of the Our Children, Our Future anti-child-poverty campaign.