The newest cohort in West Hartford’s Parent Leadership Training Institute was welcomed Saturday morning.
Submitted by Kathryn Deane
On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, the West Hartford Parent Leadership Training Academy (PLTI) held their kickoff retreat event at Charter Oak International Academy.
The retreat began with a welcome breakfast and words of encouragement from many local and state leaders. Mayor Shari Cantor, state Sen. Derek Slap, state Reps. Kate Farrar and Jillian Gilchrest, and Interim Superintendent of Schools Andrew Morrow addressed the incoming class of 2023, offering their support as they progress through the program and beyond, in their work as community leaders.
PLTI is a free training initiative that combines advocacy, leadership and citizenship skills into a curriculum that helps foster the best interests of children. This is the 11th year that West Hartford is hosting a PLTI class, thanks to the generous support of the Bridge Family Center. Many people hear about PLTI and think that is a parenting skills class, but really it is much more than that. PLTI is designed to train and empower parents and caregivers to take action in our community to better the lives of children and families. The class spends 20 consecutive Wednesday evenings together learning leadership skills that will ultimately be used to inspire each participant to develop a community project that will have a meaningful impact in West Hartford.
Once breakfast wrapped up, participants began getting to know one another and discovering how their personal stories have shaped each of them as parents and champions of children. The class was fortunate to have two PLTI alumni stop by to talk about how the program has played an important role in their personal paths to leadership. WHPS Board of Education Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson, and state Rep. Tammy Exum welcomed the participants to the PLTI family and encouraged them to “trust the process” and enjoy the journey that they are about to embark upon.
For the past three years, PLTI was forced to take place exclusively via Zoom, due to COVID. However, this year the class is back in person at Charter Oak International Academy, where participants are also offered free dinner and childcare for school age children at the Family Resource Center while they are in class. This benefit allows the class to be accessible to all parents and caregivers, without having to worry about the pressure of feeding and caring for their children during their class time.
To apply for the waiting list for the class of 2024, please visit the Bridge Family Center website and fill out an application online. You can also contact Kathryn Deane, PLTI Coordinator, at [email protected] for additional information.
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