Tiffany Flunory-De’Bellott, Andra Pearson, Aleesha Ballard, and Nieva Arana.

(L-R) Tiffany Flunory-De’Bellott, Andra Pearson, Aleesha Ballard, and Nieva Arana.

Parent Leadership Program at Asheville Middle School

Tiffany Flunory-De’Bellott, Andra Pearson, Aleesha Ballard, and Nieva Arana.
(L-R) Tiffany Flunory-De’Bellott, Andra Pearson, Aleesha Ballard, and Nieva Arana.

$200 Monthly Stipend + Childcare + $50 Gift Card + $ For Transportation

The Asheville Parent Leadership Program (AVL PLP) is derived from a nationally recognized parent engagement model implemented by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago. This model builds capacity by creating effective partnerships between parents, teachers, and students to close the achievement gap, build parent leadership, and improve our schools.

In August 2018 Tiffany De’Bellott applied for a grant through United Way and received the funds necessary to implement a pilot program. As the AVL PLP Program Director, De’Bellott is reaching out to middle school families to participate in the program. De’Bellott runs weekly workshops, and makes herself available when parent leaders are experiencing stress or trauma. AVL PLP is a multi-layered training opportunity that matches parents with teachers. Parents work in classrooms as support assistants.

Before entering the classroom, parent leaders participate in a two-week leadership training. Parents are then assigned to a classroom (not that of their own child) where they are mentored by a teacher, and at the same time mentor their teacher on cultural and real-life experience. Parent leaders support planning with teachers while working with students on reading, writing, science, math, and social studies. They sometimes work in small groups with children, creating a strong familiar presence for youth of color.

Parent-Teacher teams will have an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about class norms, school curriculum, and disciplinary practices. Parents are able to address any inequities based on race that occur. Children behave differently in the classroom when Parent Leaders are present.

Proven Track Record

De’Bellott believes in the success of this program and has put much needed energy into the growth and expansion of AVL PLP. De’Bellott was a Parent Leader during her children’s younger years. As a participant, her life changed for the best. She went back to school, learned the value of her presence in the school building, and her children were positively impacted. This Parent Leader program was based in NYC.

The program model De’Bellott follows today comes from Chicago. Since 1995, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) have run a Parent Mentor Program in 30 low-income neighborhood schools across Chicago. Together, LSNA and SWOP run the Parent Engagement Institute to guide new communities like Asheville through the program.

The Benefits

Parents, teachers, and administrators form strong working relationships and collaborate to improve the school climate in order to increase school welcomeness. This also enhances strong family relationships and increases resilience. The end goal is to support parents in every way while helping them to obtain a permanent position within the school district.

Parent Leaders are people of color living in public housing or neighborhoods that have been negatively impacted by racism and white supremacy. Parents are the experts on their children and their voice is heard and honored here at Asheville Middle School.

If you are interested in working in the school as a Parent Leader, please contact Tiffany De’Bellott, (828) 545-6281, tiffany.de’bellott@acsgmail.net.

 

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