WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Saturday, March 26, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) is excited to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the launch of its Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP) and the program’s first workshop in San Diego. Since 2010, PREP has been working to improve K-12 student performance, reduce the achievement gap, and provide access to equal educational opportunities for low-income and minority children in targeted communities by increasing parental engagement in education and ensuring that parents become successful advocates for their children.
Thanks to the initial support of the Qualcomm Foundation, PREP has hosted free parent and youth advocacy workshops and educational consultation clinics for parents and their children. PREP site-based workshops have successfully trained parents in Minneapolis, San Diego, New York City, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA, on their legal rights in their child’s education.
The online national platform, www.PREPparents.org, launched in September 2015, includes numerous resources including webinars, YouTube videos, and guides for parents regarding the rights of their children, critical advocacy skills, mobilization tips around their children’s education and action steps.
Over the past five years, PREP has served over 4,000 parents, providing over 50 workshops in multiple languages, hosting 6 webinars in English and Spanish, posting 25 video tutorials, and training 170 pro bono volunteers. With targeted resources for underrepresented families, special education students, and English Language Learners, PREP prides itself on working to build a country where educational equity is a reality for all children.
“Education, a civil right, is the root to better economic opportunities,” said Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke, “Equitable educational opportunities should be available to all students, and parents need and deserve quality empowerment and support. Through PREP, we look forward to closing the education gaps that we face.”
PREP is grateful for the partnership of numerous organizations including the San Diego Unified School District, Minneapolis Public Schools, Arlington Public Schools, the YMCA, and the University of San Diego Law School’s Advocates for Children and support from McGraw-Hill, Colgate-Palmolive, the Minneapolis Foundation, Anderson Kill, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Volunteers from DLA Piper, Morgan Lewis, Dorsey & Whitney, Lindquist & Vennum, Stinson Leonard Street, Fredrikson & Byron, Winthrop & Weinstine, BNY Mellon, Colgate, Crowell & Moring, WilmerHale, Winston Strawn, Manatt, Skadden Arps, and Simpson Thacher have staffed over 26 educational consultation clinics and researched and written over 100 state parent advocacy guides. With generous support from the PepsiCo Foundation, the Toyota USA Foundation, and the Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation, PREP is able to continue expanding and empowering parents across the country.
“On our anniversary, PREP looks back on five years of successfully empowering parents to become stronger advocates for their children,” said Lawyers’ Committee PREP Manager and Senior Counsel Natasha Quiroga. “PREP is excited to continue our important work and we hope to make an even larger impact on the lives of parents and children in the years to come.”