The Maryland and Pennsylvania Statewide Family Engagement Center, Collaborative Action for Family Engagement (CAFE), has launched a Family/Parent Leadership Community of Practice (CoP). The goal of the CoP is to create a user-friendly Leadership Guide for educators to build parents’ and family members’ capacity to serve as leaders in their sphere of influence, whether it be at home, at school, or at the district and/or state levels.
The members of the CoP include participants from the MD and PA advisory council, many of them parents from diverse backgrounds who speak multiple languages, as well as state- and local-level representatives and members from statewide organizations. Through the process of the CoP meetings, members have organically developed relationships with one another, found opportunities to network with each other outside of meetings, shared their leadership journeys, and collectively identified parent leadership resources. Furthermore, and most importantly, there is great synergy among members. The CoP meetings have become a comfortable place for members to share their challenges and successes as leaders and to learn from each other’s experiences and expertise.
Participants in the CoP will ultimately create a Leadership Guide that will include essential themes in parent leadership programs, exemplary parent leadership initiatives in MD and PA, and resources for educators. The guide is expected to be completed by summer 2021.
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