National PIRC Coordination Center
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PIRC directory  
Funding for the PIRC program as a whole has been discontinued by the US Department of Education. Therefore, most PIRC programs are no longer in operation although several are continuing with funding from other sources. You may contact PIRCs directly to determine their status.
Watertown, NY
New York PIRC
Buffalo, NY
1000 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

Web site:
Ms. Shelly Richards

Phone: 716-332-4140

Evaluator: Steve Harvey

State PIRC Board:

Michele Abdul Sabur, Facilitator & Parent Advocate, Parent Partnership Network
Maria DeWald, President, NYS PTA
Max Donatelli, Executive Director, Parent Network of WNY
Dee Dwyer, Associate, NYS Education Department- Even Start
Shelia Evans-Tranumn, Associate Commissioner, NYS Education Department
Charlotte Frank, Sr. Vice President, The McGraw Hill Companies
Mary Haust, Educational Consultant, New York State Parents as Teachers
Liz Hood, Director, NYS Ed.- Office of Educational Television
Alma Hueston, Associate for School Improvement, NYS Education Department
Pamela Johnson, Vice President Education & Outreach, WNED TV
Alison Kelly, Executive Director of Funded Programs, Yonkers Public Schools
Timothy Kremer, Executive Director, NYS School Boards Association
Jane Lynch, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Office of Children & Family Services
Patrick Michel, Superintendent, Monticello Central School District
Mary Miller, Education Services Director, New York Newspaper Publishers Association
Jennifer O'Connor, Policy Associate, Schuyler Center for Analysis & Advocacy
Angela Pagano, Director, Title 1 / ESL Services, Yonkers Public Schools
Kim Sweet, Executive Director, Advocates for Children of New York
Marilyn Trainor, Asst. Superintendent for Instruction, Watertown City School District
Aaron Wicks, Director of Planning and Evaluation, Action for a Better Community
James Williams, Superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools
Robert Witherspoon, Sr. Research Associate, RMC Research Corp.

Special Advisory Committees:

Community advisory committee’s locations:

The New York State EPIC Parent Information and Resource Centers (PIRC) builds partnerships between schools and families. By working with parents and education professionals, we provide information and resources so families can participate in their children’s academic success. PIRCs serve a culturally and economically diverse population, focusing on low-income, minority and limited-English proficient families.

The goal is to increase student achievement in low-performing schools through outreach and trainings to inform, engage, and educate parents/caregivers, preparing them to take an active role in their children’s school and to provide exceptional educational support at home.

Parental Engagement Model

Our parent engagement model focuses on our EPIC’s Pathways to Parenting program which offers parents a continuum of programming that develops parenting skills, parent advocacy in education, and parent leadership in communities. Our EPIC's Pathways to Leadership training series offers parents, school administrators and community members training experience that develops individuals into leaders, both at home and in their community, as it focuses on developing effective partnerships between teachers and parents for the child’s benefit.

Early Childhood Model

Partnering with other early childhood agencies EPIC PIRC offers scholarships to parent educators to train in the Parents-As-Teachers Program (birth to age 3). Additionally, EPIC offers Infants & Toddlers workshops where parents of infants and toddlers come together to discuss parenting concerns and to exchange ideas and parenting techniques. EPIC also offers Ready, Set, Read, a family literacy series to reinforce readiness and develop literacy skills in children ages birth to eight years old.

How the Work Plan Meets the Needs of Parents
Parents throughout NY State want their children to succeed in school. Most, however, particularly in the Big Five school districts, New York City, Buffalo, Yonkers, Syracuse, and Rochester along with many rural areas, have few resources to draw upon, limited knowledge regarding their rights and responsibilities as parents, and limited or no experience working collaboratively with educators to improve student achievement. Too often, when schools fail to educate their children, parents in these communities lack understanding of the options available to them and how to access those options. Lack of parent involvement remains a significant barrier to improving student achievement in low-performing schools

EPIC PIRCs are all strategically located in very high-need, low-resource communities with large numbers of disadvantaged children and low-performing schools staffed with coordinators who understand the community. EPIC PIRC programs offer parents a comfort level and encouragement to become more actively engaged with their child’s success in school.

Alignment of Work to Statewide PIRC Efforts

The New York State EPIC PIRC is closely aligned to the newly approved New York State Board of Regents Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance through Parent and Family Partnerships. Two key priorities include the statewide PIRC efforts: creating communication vehicles that are parent friendly, informative, two-way and meaningful. This is reinforced through EPIC’s workshops and media outreach. Another priority of the Board of Regents policy includes training for parents, teachers, administrators, and school staff on creating welcoming environments in schools, establishing strong, healthy lines of communication, respecting educational and cultural differences, collaborating for student success and creating positive learning situations for all children. EPIC PIRC’s Creating Home School Partnership training prepares parents and schools to partner together to reach these goals.

Unique Characteristics

  • Partnerships with State Education department, grant partners, state PTA, school district leadership, legislators, early childhood educators, and social service agencies enable comprehensive reach and services to families statewide.
  • Regional PIRC centers across the state
  • A major Media outreach initiative to reach and serve parents throughout New York State that will cross promote the PIRC services and resources, including television and newspapers.
  • EPIC PIRC has contracted with the University at Buffalo- School of Social Work to conduct a four year longitudinal quasi experimental design study that will examine the impact of EPIC programs supporting school readiness for children of the parents served.

Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.
United States Department of Education Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, contract number ED-04-CO-0039/0001. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education.