Jones Family Resource Center, Suite 113
614 E. Emma
Springdale, AR 72764
Web site: http://www.parenting-ed.org
Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Dr. Nicholas Long
Evaluator: Mark Edwards, Ph.D.
Evaluator affiliation: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
State PIRC Board:
Dee Cox, AR Department of Education, Parental Involvement
Bernice Martin Russell, AR Department of Education, Title I
Reginald Wilson, AR Department of Education, Early Childhood
Andre Guerrero, AR Department of Education, Title III
Elaine Davis, AR PAT
Wanda Stovall, AR PTI
Don Johnson, AR PTA
Barbara Gilkey, AR HIPPY
Martha Reeder, AR Early Childhood
Ann Patterson, AR Headstart
David Deere, Partners for Inclusive Communities
Wally Goodard, UA Cooperative Extension
Sherri Jo McLemore, APEN
Heather Dethrow, AR School Boards Assoc.
Megan Coyle, AR Better Chance
Special Advisory Committees:
The Special Advisory Committee is composed of parents, professionals, and students primarily representing local levels in Northwest and Central Arkansas.
The primary purposes of the Center for Effective Parenting /Arkansas PIRC are to enhance the developmental progress of children and to improve children’s academic achievement through enhancing parental involvement. The program incorporates innovative approaches as well as traditional approaches to further the purposes of the authorizing statute while meeting specific needs in Arkansas.
The project focuses many of its efforts statewide but has centers of concentrated activity in Northwest Arkansas and in Central Arkansas. This allows for services to be provided to a broad representation of parents including those from rural and urban areas, low-income populations, and minority groups. Both direct and indirect services are offered in a manner to maximize impact.
Parental Engagement Model
This school-linked PIRC involves the collaboration of several organizations and utilizes a multitarget-multimethod design to engage parents.
Early Childhood Model
Our approach to providing early childhood parent education services to families utilizes a multi-level approach of services to impact a larger number of families in need of, and desiring, services. The most intense level of service involves the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program which is provided to low-income primarily Hispanic families in Northwest Arkansas. Other levels of services include group parent education services (e.g., parent education curriculums, workshops/classes).
The thirteen major activities of the project are: (1) develop and disseminate parental involvement train-the-trainer modules and toolkits; (2) develop and disseminate NCLB train-the-trainer modules on school report cards, school choice, and supplemental educational services; (3) provide comprehensive trainings in facilitating school, family, and community connections; (4) provide Parents as Teachers (PAT) services to the growing Hispanic population; (5) provide other early childhood parent education services; (6) provide workshops/classes for parents of children in elementary and secondary schools; (7) co-sponsor and organize an annual parent education conference for educators and parent educators; (8) develop inserts on parental involvement topics for the statewide publication Parenting in Arkansas; (9) develop and disseminate other written materials to parents; (10) utilize a wellness program that travels throughout the state to disseminate information on parental involvement and NCLB; (11) publish a newsletter for parent involvement specialists and parent educators in Arkansas; (12) enhance and maintain a website for the PIRC; (13) provide technical assistance and support services to parents and educators.
How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents
The project’s activities were designed to meet the needs of parents in Arkansas based on data obtained from various sources including published reports, surveys, and focus groups. Unfortunately, Arkansas is a poor state and parental needs are very high. For example, Arkansas is ranked 45th and 50th in terms of young adults who have completed high school and college respectively. Furthermore, over 75% of the schools in Arkansas are Title I schools. Therefore, in order to meet the greatest needs, the project’s parental involvement activities have a primary focus on parents in Title I schools.
Alignment of Work to Statewide PIRC Efforts
The specific activities of the Arkansas PIRC, as outlined above, align with the primary purposes of the program. That is, to enhance the developmental progress of children and to improve children’s academic achievement through enhancing parental involvement.
The Arkansas State PIRC incorporates a multitarget-multimethod design and involves the collaboration of leading organizations in Arkansas in order to reach parents statewide.