June 26, 2011—More than 160 parents from towns and cities across Connecticut will graduate Wednesday, June 29, from a first-of-its-kind family civics program, the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI).
The graduates-from Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Plymouth, and Waterbury-will receive legislative citations after putting in more than 100 hours to develop the skills needed to become leaders in their communities.
A major requirement of PLTI is completing a community project of the student's choosing. The projects of this year's graduates showed a wide range of creativity, such as creating educational television programming for parents of children with disabilities (Bloomfield), improving children's financial literacy (Meriden), and holding after-school classes in manners and etiquette (Norwalk).
PLTI was launched in 1992 by the Connecticut Commission on Children, which had seen growing scientific evidence that one of the best ways to improve the health, safety, and learning of Connecticut children is to help their parents develop the skills needed to lead in their communities. PLTI graduates have gone on to lead community organizations, serve on local school boards, and win election to the state legislature.
"With the economy forcing our state and local governments to make very difficult decisions about the health, safety, and learning of children, it's vital that parents participate as equal partners and make their concerns known," said Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman. "PLTI gives them the 'democracy tool kit' to accomplish just that. As we always say in PLTI, 'It's amazing what one parent can do.'"
Wednesday's graduation ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. in the atrium of the Legislative Office Building, at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford. Photography is welcome and parent leaders will be available afterward for interviews.