This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
A new support organization for parent involvement in Philadelphia schools was officially launched this winter – the Parent Leadership Academy.
Currently housed in three schools in three regions of the city, the PLA intends to provide free programs for parents on topics relating both to personal development and school involvement.
“Our primary goal is to help parents further develop their leadership and planning skills to encourage more active and more in-depth parent participation in our schools and our communities,” says the PLA mission statement.
The Parent Leadership Academy is co-sponsored by the William Penn Foundation and the School District and is governed by a board largely made up of School District parents and community representatives.
Free workshops, seminars, and classes are planned for parents at the different PLA sites on topics ranging from School District budgets to GED preparation. An eight-session class on “School District Basics” is one of the initial offerings.
The first PLA center opened officially January 19 in a newly renovated wing of the Academy at Palumbo (formerly Palumbo School), 12th and Catherine St. in South Philadelphia.
The other PLA centers are Meehan Middle School, Ryan and Sandyford Road in Mayfair and Cleveland Elementary School, 19th St. and Erie Ave. in North Philadelphia. The centers include classroom and meeting space as well as a collection of parent resources.
For more information, contact Florence Mickens, PLA Program Manager, at 215-400-5551.