Tiffany Clark is a recent graduate of Parents Who Lead. We asked her a few questions about her experience in the program. Here's what she said.
Tiffany Clark is a recent graduate of Parents Who Lead, an initiative launched by JPEF in partnership with Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Library and the Kids Hope Alliance. We asked her a few questions about her experience in the program. Here's what she said. (Want to join the next class of Parents Who Lead? Apply here.)
Before this program, did you consider yourself a "parent leader"? Why or why not?
I considered myself a parent leader, but after I begin and finished Parents Who Lead I had a true and better understanding of what a "parent leader" is in OUR community.
How did this program change your view of what you can do as a parent leader?
This program took me from advocating for my children to learning how to advocate for all children in Jacksonville. This program inspired me to learn more about our community and our city government and how I can use my voice to act and speak on behalf of our children and families. Parents Who Lead is the map, the compass and your personal guide to improving child and outcomes in your community.
What is your project, and why do you believe it's important to children in Duval County?
My project is called P.A.T.: Parents At the Table. It's a community Parent Advisory Committee that encourages parents, city and community leaders to engage one another through mutual respect, open and honest dialogue and to adopt an attitude that we can learn from one another and both groups have something of value to invest in and offer the other. You do not get parent involvement without parent engagement. Parent and caretaker involvement is crucial and parental engagement is necessary. Children will do better socially and academically when we intentionally work together to bridge any gaps between parents and teachers and parents and city and community leaders no matter a child's race, zip code, income or background.
Can you give an example of parent involvement and parent engagement? How do you see these working together?
An example of parent involvement would be a parent or caregiver that attends a Sheriff Watch meeting in their area of town and invites the police to come and visit them in their neighborhood to take a walk, visit the park where their children play or even participate in a ride along with police. The parent takes the initiative by becoming involved in their community, and the police have an open door to engage the parents and caregivers, which leads to an opportunity for trust to be built. Additionally, the parent and police relationship is strengthened because of the parents' involvement in the Sheriff Watch program and the positive return of engagement from the police.