UK, Prichard Committee partnerships to focus on parent involvement

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					January 25, 2005


                   UK, Prichard Committee partnerships to focus on
                           parent involvement in education

        LEXINGTON, Ky. – Parents of preschool children and those who participate in
the state’s adoptive and foster care program will learn how to become more effective
advocates for their children’s education under two new partnerships announced Tuesday.

        The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the University of
Kentucky will collaborate to expand the committee’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent
Leadership (CIPL) to include the two groups of parents. CIPL, established in 1997,
provides training for parents to help them form partnerships with schools and meet
specific needs to improve student achievement.

       The new partnerships were announced by UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr. and
Robert F. Sexton, executive director of the Prichard Committee.

       “None of us alone can do what all of us together can do,” Todd said. “Today it is
with great pleasure that we can partner with government and education, but most
importantly with parents to improve the educational outcomes for all of our children.”

         One collaborative effort will create a new version of the Prichard Committee’s
CIPL specifically for parents of preschool children. That effort will pair the committee
with UK’s Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute (IHDI) to develop a program
to train parents and professionals to work together to improve children’s early care and
education. The work is supported by a grant to the Prichard Committee from the Knight

        Working parents often have difficulty finding ways to be actively involved in
their child’s care and development, noted Beth Rous, IHDI’s director for community
education and early childhood. “Through our training program, parents and professionals
will have information and tools they need to help increase the family’s active
involvement in their child’s early care and education programs and in supporting their
child’s growth and development.”

        Under the second partnership, the committee with work with UK’s Training
Resource Center in the College of Social Work to make the CIPL training available to
foster and adoptive parents. This work will begin by focusing on at least one foster and
one adoptive parent in each of the state’s 16 regions. They will be trained to mentor other
parents who want to become more involved in their children’s education. The partnership
is supported by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Department for
Community Based Services under a grant to UK.

        “The nature of out-of-home care placement makes it important that those who are
providing care for these children understand how schools work and how school
performance can be affected by the way children in care respond to their new
surroundings,” said Chris Groeber, director of the Training Resource Center.

        “Helping more parents and families be engaged seriously with their schools is
central to improving education,” Sexton noted. “These strong University of Kentucky
programs will be a great help in doing more of this.”

        The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is a nonprofit organization of
citizens who work to improve education for all Kentuckians.


Robert F. Sexton                                           Mary Margaret Colliver
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence                   University of Kentucky                     
859-233-9849 ext. 224                                      859-257-3303