Connecticut Commission on Children: An Agency of the Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut Commission on Children
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Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1591

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Class of 2008 graduates from PLTI

Attorney general, comptroller & others congratulate new parent leaders

Master of ceremonies and PLTI alumnus Douglas Edwards leads the procession entrance of the Parent Leadership Training Institute Class of 2008 at graduation ceremonies held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on June 25. More photos below. All photos by Pat Estill.

Nearly 150 parents gathered at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on June 25 to receive their diplomas from the Parent Leadership Training Institute, a civic initiative of the Connecticut Commission on Children. (Learn more about PLTI here.)

The graduates-from Waterbury, Bridgeport, Middlesex County, East Hartford, Milford, Norwalk, Greenwich, Danbury, and Meriden-received diplomas after devoting more than 100 hours to developing the skills needed to become leaders in their communities.

Among those on hand to congratulate the graduates were state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, state Comptroller Nancy Wyman, and Commission on Children Chairman Dr. Alex Geertsma. (Photos below.)

The Commission on Children led the foundation of PLTI 14 years ago, after it became apparent that more parents would participate in civic affairs if they had the right skills.

Parents learn from PLTI how community change occurs. Their course requirements include completing community projects of their choosing. Here's a sampling of the 2008 projects:

For a complete list of the projects, download this graduation program. (PDF)

Also at the graduation, Elizabeth Morgan of the Middlesex Coalition for Children received the Robert Haller Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service. The award, created in 2006 to honor Bob Haller and his contributions to PLTI, was presented to Morgan by David Nee, executive director of the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund.

"The Parent Leadership Training Institute has been inspiring and training parents to become more effective advocates for children since 1992," Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman said. "The PLTI Class of 2008 now joins more than 1,600 alumni statewide who are making a difference by taking leadership roles with local parent-teacher organizations, boards of education, town commissions, nonprofit boards, and even the General Assembly."

Prior to the statewide graduation ceremony, the local PLTI classes held their own ceremonies.



Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.


This artwork, placed before the podium used for the graduation ceremony and reproduced in the graduation program, was designed by Whitney Lane, East Hartford PLTI Class of 2008.

Nancy Wyman

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman greets the parents just before their procession.


Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leads the gathering in making the Pledge of Allegiance.

Dr. Alex Geertsma

Dr. Alex Geertsma, chair of the Commission on Children, gives his congratulations.

Kimberly Salama

A parent from every town in the PLTI graduating class came forward to give an address. For Middlesex County, it was Kimberly Salama.

Italo Castillo

Italo Castillo of the Danbury PLTI class is congratulated after accepting his diploma.

Keisha Williams

Keisha Williams of Middletown (right) accepts congratulations from Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman.


Some of the new graduates, with diplomas in hand.

David Nee and Elizabeth Morgan

David Nee, executive director of the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, shares a laugh after the ceremonies with Elizabeth Morgan of the Middlesex Coalition for Children. Earlier, he had presented her with PLTI's Robert Haller Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service.

children dancing

Two of the family members attending the graduation take a few turns around the dance floor.


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