With their families and state officials looking on, more than 170 parents from across Connecticut graduated on June 24, 2009, from the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), a family civics initiative of the Connecticut Commission on Children.
Parents from Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury and Windsor gathered for the ceremonies in the atrium of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
It was the culmination of 20 weeks of adership training and hard work on community projects.
Since 1992, more than 1,700 parents have made a difference in their communities with the help of PLTI. They have taken leadership roles for children in local parent-teacher organizations, parent involvement committees, boards of education, town commissions, city councils, nonprofit boards, and in the Connecticut General Assembly. Many of those graduates were on hand Wednesday evening to congratulate the new class.
PLTI improves the health, safety and learning of Connecticut's children by helping parents develop the leadership skills for making change in schools, communities, and state and local government. The program requires a retreat to develop group communication, 10 weeks of classes on the self and perception of leadership, 10 weeks of practicing democracy skills, and a community project based on the student's personal passions. Learn more about PLTI
This year's community projects were spectacularly diverse. In Waterbury, one parent worked to create an after-school program on African culture. In Milford, another lobbied to get a traffic signal installed on a busy street. In Windsor, a third gave real-estate agents information about local programs and services for families with young children, so they could pass it along to new families. For a complete list of the projects, see the PLTI graduation program (PDF)
A recent longitudinal study of training graduates conducted by RMC Research Corporation concluded that "PLTI provides parents with new skills and knowledge for supporting child outcomes." Read more about the study.
Former state Representative Christel Truglia of Stamford was honored at the graduation ceremonies with the 2009 Robert Haller Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service. Representative Truglia could not be on hand to accept the award, so she recorded this message for the event. Read about her work on behalf of children in the PLTI graduation program (PDF)