Longmont Parent Education

Summary

Parents play the most critical role in shaping the lives of their children. The quality of their care, guidance and nurturing is essential to promoting positive health and developmental outcomes for young children. Yet many parents lack the information, supports, training, and opportunities to do all that they can to foster early childhood success. The City of Longmont, CO host regular training to promote parent education. One of those trainings included a two-day training for parents and providers. The goal of the training was to build the power and voice of low-income and working families at all levels of civic life. The COFI model (Community Organizing and Family Issues) is an intensive and systematic leadership development and organizing process during which parents develop skills, confidence, and the organized power to win improvements in schools, communities, and public policies. During the training, parents modeled successful techniques to communicate to parents and COFI trainers taught about strategies that engage partners and how city agencies and non-profits can develop trainings that are responsive to the needs of parents. Participants are following up and meeting to further discuss how best to design parent education programs and build parent engagement work into local programs and projects.

The Strategy

City Role The city applied to receive funding from NLC and the Longmont Community Foundation and hosted the training. The city has committed to work with an array of partners to learn how to best serve Longmont's families and has hosted follow up meetings to learn how attendees of the training are implementing the lessons and strategies they learned. Funding Funding was provided by the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families and the Longmont Community Foundation. Expenses for the training were $10,000 for 25 participants. Follow up meetings were hosted by the Children, Youth and Families Division of the City of Longmont. Partners Children, Youth and Families Division of the City of Longmont led the charge in organizing the training and inviting COFI to Longmont. Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Saint Vrain Valley School District, Aspen for Child Development, YMCA, and other service providers attended the training and will participant in on-going meetings to learn how best to engage families to be their children's first teacher and best advocate.

Outcomes

The COFI training builds the leadership, power and voice families to improve life opportunities for children and families. It fosters greater collaboration among parents, service providers, and teachers so that parents play an active role in their child's education and future success. Fourteen service providers at different levels attended the training in Longmont and learned how to engage and organize parents and families, especially low-income parents of color more authentically and effectively. The participants committed to continue meeting and incorporate the work into their programs and projects to better engage Longmont's families.

Contact Information

Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
rucker@nlc.org

Olga Bermudez 
olga.bermudez@longmontcolorado.gov 
(303) 774-3760
350 Kimbark Street 
Longmont, CO 80501