The Missouri PIRC at LIFT serves parents, schools, and community organizations throughout the state by providing a wide range of information, training, technical assistance, and resources to help parents promote children’s achievement in school. LIFT (Missouri’s Literacy Resource Center), with multiple collaborative partners, disseminates parent-related information to parents in all areas of the state. On another level, the Missouri PIRC partners provide intensive services targeted to parents in urban and rural communities in Missouri with children attending low-performing schools.
Building upon existing, high-quality parent education and early education services and programs, the Missouri PIRC works closely with the state department of education and state education agencies (SEAs) to provide parents timely, accurate information so that they better understand Missouri’s accountability system and the options and choices in No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The PIRC training and technical assistance components assist parents and schools in strengthening their parent involvement policies, plans, and activities. The Missouri PIRC created systemic processes and services to ensure development and implementation of a state board and regional advisory councils. This ensures advocacy and support groups are available across the state to address the educational needs of parents and specific schools and school districts.
The regional advisory councils utilize the direction and guidance from the state board/SEAs and transfer information, resources, and support to parent advocacy groups, clusters of schools, districts, and regional organizations that are vested in families. This process enables the Missouri PIRC to provide direct impact to local schools and districts as a way to ensure families receive school-based and school-linked services. Most importantly, the systemic process educates families and schools about supplemental education services (SES) and who the local education agencies (LEA) providers are, and how to access the services.
The Missouri PIRC employs a number of strategies and activities to share information and resources, including parent and school staff training, workshops, toll-free warm lines, print materials, and web sites. The Missouri PIRC also coordinates various Federal, state and local parental involvement initiatives to help bridge families, communities, and schools. The goals of the project are:
- to improve parents’ ability to support their child’s academic achievement;
- to expand and strengthen partnerships among parents, schools, and community organizations;
- to coordinate a statewide comprehensive approach to improve student learning through parental involvement.