What do parent’s need? They need community programs for parents in Harlem. The Harlem Link Charter School (HLCS) created the Parent Education Network (PEN). The PEN assists parents of children attending our after-school program. Due to the elimination and reduction in social service safety net programming. We also serve parents needing more social service support. Many of our families face homeless, unemployment and underemployment. They lack basic needs such as food and shelter. Many of our families need more support to help them become self-sufficient. This situation has a direct impact on the home and environment of our families. It is very difficult for a child living in crisis, to concentrate on succeeding in school. Parents more than ever, must be able to advocate for themselves.
The level of parental involvement continues to plaque Public, Private and Charter Schools. We must do better to engage and encourage parents to become active. Active in the educational life of their child and the community they live in. An unknown author once said, “the purpose of life, is to have a life of purpose”.
The goal of the PEN Network is empower Parents with a “purpose”. They can become Advocates and find their voice. Become active members of society, using their voice to make change, when necessary. Encourage Parent Peer to Peer events to learn from each other. Teach each other, the skill sets needed to become an advocate.
The PEN program assist parents with improving the quality of their involvement. Hands-on workshops empower them to become advocates, Parent Leaders.
We view parents as leaders. They serve as an advocate on behalf of their children, family and community. Parents can demand quality education for childen if the understand their citizen rights. Work as Change Agents to improve the quality of Life in the Neighborhood. Parents who take part in decision-making processes understand change in the community.
The PEN program is going to offer parent workshops. on navigating the New York City School system, getting involved on a local community Board, Networking, understanding the elective process, parental rights