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Parent empowerment program expands

Parent & Family Engagement | 04/04/2016

Kate Shepherd Marketing & Communications Director

Kate Shepherd is the Marketing & Communications Director for Stand for Children Indiana.

Stand for Children Leadership Center Indiana’s parent-engagement program is expanding to serve more families in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and will be hosted for the first time in several community centers. 

Stand University for Parents (Stand UP) is a research-based family engagement program that focuses on action steps parents can take immediately to get more involved in their children’s academics and ensure their kids are on track to college or career readiness.  Parents attend 90 minute classes once a week and work toward a graduation ceremony. Introductory meetings begin this week and classes start the following week. 

The Stand UP program will be available at six sites this semester, expanding from last year’s offering of four locations. The host sites include:

  • The Martin Luther King Community Center;
  • Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, Inc. (Cafe);
  • John H. Boner Community Center;
  • IPS’ James Russell Lowell School 51;
  • George Buck School 94; and
  • Washington Irving School 14.  

Parents at IPS schools James Whitcomb Riley School 43, Thomas D. Gregg School 15 and John Marshall Community High School will be served by the Stand UP programs being hosted in the nearby community centers.   This marks the first time the Stand UP class will be offered to parents at an IPS high school and middle school.

“The Boner Neighborhood Centers inspire neighbors and partners to improve the quality of life on the Near Eastside,” said Dean Johns, Director of Financial Foundations at the John Boner Neighborhood Centers. “As a partner in this work, Boner works with many parents wishing the best for their children. 

“We see many whom struggle advocating for their children and their academic needs.  Our partnership with Stand UP will increase our parents’ capacity to effectively advocate and manage their child’s academic and educational experience,” added Johns.

Courtney Williams, who graduated from Stand UP in December, explained the value of the classes geared toward helping IPS parents improve their child’s academics.

“My child was not reading at her grade level and that hit home for me,” Williams said.  “The Stand UP class gave me tools and tips and resources to help her at home. By reading the same book every night for 20 or 30 minutes for two weeks at a time, we were able to improve her reading [scores] by 10 percent in one month!”

Stand UP was launched in Indianapolis in 2014. More than 240 parents, grandparents and guardians have graduated from the program across 13 IPS schools. 

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