Parent PowerED: Parents Powering Solutions in Education
Introducing Parent PowerED, a parent-centered multimedia campaign elevating critical educational priorities.February 27, 2023
“What does it mean for me as a parent to have people authentically engage? It means the world. It means we’re actually coming to the table and being listened to and looking for sustainable solutions.”
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Parent PowerED campaign. Parent PowerED is a multi-media campaign launched in collaboration with our partners at PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education), Kids First Chicago, and National Parents Union. The campaign includes original content that centers parent voices on matters that are important to them.
The pandemic illuminated the role of families as critical partners in education. When schools shifted to remote learning in 2020, homes became the new classrooms and parents* and educators had to work together to sustain the growth and wellbeing of children.
To understand the experience of educators and parents during this time, New Profit conducted a series of focus groups in 2021 with education leaders, field influencers, parents, educators, and students to zero in on the question, “What should the future of education look like in order to best support students?”
While there were many nuances in the responses, one defining theme remained consistent: parents play an integral role in their children’s education, and it is essential that we do not miss out on this opportunity to elevate parent voices and expertise. This became the first pillar of our Education team’s strategy:
1. Recognizing Parent Power: The pandemic has caused a long overdue mindset shift around the value of parents in education. Parents need to have a permanent space at the decision-making table and be seen as experts in their children’s education—because they are.
Based on the insights we heard in the focus groups from parents and other stakeholders, we are also focused on the following two pillars around leveraging technology and centering wellbeing:
2. Leveraging Technology: We need to leverage the right technology at the right time to advance learning and build relationships. During the pandemic, technology access became more widespread and use became ubiquitous. We experienced the promise of technology supporting customization and personalization play out. And we also saw how technology could, somewhat counter-intuitively, support relationship building. It is critical that we catalog those innovations and utilize them to augment and enhance our in-person education experience.
3. Centering Wellbeing: The pandemic highlighted a fact long understood by many in the education field but never as widely recognized as in the last three years— academics cannot be separated from social and emotional learning or mental health. Indeed the overarching purpose of education needs to be about holistic wellbeing. And this cannot be limited to students—we need to attend to educator and family wellbeing as part of our core work.
"Parents are the paradigm shift that we’ve been looking for since day one.”
We invite you to listen and share the stories of these parent leaders and check out the set of tools, resources, and readings on the blog to activate parent power in your community.
- Follow the campaign on social media for weekly release of the videos and reshare with your networks
- Check out our panel on Parent Power at SXSW here on March 6, 2023 Beyond the PTA: Reimagining Parent Engagement
- Get Involved: Visit www.parent-powered.org to learn more and discover tools and resources to help activate the parent power in your community, schools, or districts.
- Get Connected: Contact our partner organizations to connect with other parents, get access to resources, and make your voice heard! These are just some of the parent groups across the nation working to make schools parent powered.