Parent Supports@100%: Innovation 10
Developing the City Dept of Parent Supports
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project: Parent Supports.10.1
Project 1: The “county/city partnership that funds the department of parent supports” project
Elevator pitch: When Eric was just born, his mom should have been able to scan city hall’s website to find all sorts of parent support programs. She should have been able to see a clearly defined menu item called “Department of Parent Supports” right next to the Departments of Police, Fire and Parks. It should not be buried deep in the bowels of the website, because it’s a stand-alone department (or should be) and deserves to be treated as such.
Why is this so important? After all, various local parent support programs are often funded in part by county entities, city entities, foundations, nonprofit organizations or multi-county coalitions. In smaller areas, college centers or nonprofits are the hub for all parent supports. Here’s why it’s important: even if this proposed Department doesn’t put parent supports in place, it should at the very least regularly evaluate the parent support needs of its constituents, determine if they are adequate and regularly research innovations. This job will look very different depending on the town. It may just take a part-time city manager a few hours per year in the smallest of hamlets. But it’s important work, and it needs to be done by someone who reports to an individual who regularly stands for election.
Potential partners: mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, advocates for parents, parent education advocates, early childhood education advocates, public education professionals and socially-engaged businesses.
Project: Parent Support.10.2
Project 2: The “convene your fellow parent support advocates and enhance your skills in public speaking, committee briefing and how to get to a lawmaker” project
This project is a crash course that you develop with local experts about how to contact local and state leaders, give an elevator pitch on your projects, and the protocol for committee hearings that can lead to funding.
Project: Parent Support.10.3
Project 3: The “know your stuff before you meet the mayor” project
Innovation ten, in some ways, in putting it all together. Since your action team has become familiar with all nine innovation areas and their projects, you are prepared to meet with elected officials and stakeholders to discuss how the city can strengthen its support of parent support programs.
Project: Parent Support.10.4
Project 4: The “create a bold vision and strategic plan” project
It’s time to create a detailed plan for this new (or improved) local Department of Parent Supports. As in previous projects, you will have learned its strengths and weaknesses, potential funding sources and who the players are. You’ll be in a strong position to document what’s working well, and needs to be kept as it is or expanded, and what needs to change.