Pittsburgh Parent Power
In 2012, CYCLE staff conducted a scan of parent-led, community-based school reform efforts in Pittsburgh, funded by the Education Program of The Heinz Endowments. The findings, reported in Family Engagement and Education: A Research Scan and Recommendations, found that while there was high interest from parents and community organizations, there was little capacity to build and sustain this work locally.
Pittsburgh Parent Power arose from these findings in 2014 to build the capacity of community-based organizations to support parents to lead school reform efforts affecting Pittsburgh Public Schools. Through this initiative, fifty participants across ten organizations received ongoing training and support from CYCLE staff on organizing, coalition building, leadership and campaign development, implementation, and messaging.
In 2015, the Heinz Endowments supported the second phase of this work, in which CYCLE staff supported four promising, community-based, parent-led engagement and organizing campaigns initiated during the first year of Pittsburgh Parent Power. These campaigns were led by seven organizations who received implementation funding from the Heinz Endowments. The capacity building and technical assistance provided by CYCLE staff included facilitation of on-demand trainings and workshops to build organizing skills and topic expertise, campaign planning, research and policy support, coordination of partnerships and coalitions, and leadership support and development. CYCLE staff also planned and facilitated cohort-wide gatherings, developed to meet the needs of Pittsburgh Parent Power participants and strengthen connections between them.