Some Members attending PEN Luncheon 2009 (From left to right: Paula Nelson, Estee Genosar, Kathy Valentine, Marsha Moritz, Kathy McMenamin, and Sandy Hay)
The Rachel Simmons presentation called Raising Girls
One of the aspects of PEN is to provide the community
Creating a caring, connected, safe community in partnership with all adults and youth.
MISSION AND GOALS
PEN’s Mission is to increase youth resiliency and parent skills by:
a) engaging and supporting all parents, the community, and youth
b) providing research-based information and best practices on preventing high risk behavior
c) identifying parent, community, and youth strengths, and building on them
d) fostering thriving, resilient youth
PEN is a parent-led grassroots community movement that has received local and national attention for its interactive, positive approach to parent engagement. PEN has presented its successful model to national, state, and local groups, such as the Department of Education, Search Institute, Parent Corps, and Assets for Colorado Youth.
As featured on the Today Show and a cover story in Newsweek in 2004, the Parent Engagement Network (PEN) began as a “Call to Action” by the Superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) at the request of parents. It started as a Substance Abuse Task Force to encourage parent involvement in creating solutions to high-risk behaviors among our youth. The task force evolved into the Parent Engagement Network in 2003 after parent volunteers realized they wanted to engage the whole community in solutions.
PEN develops parent skills and youth resiliency by providing opportunities for connection, relationship building, and provision of research based, best practice information on preventing high risk behavior and building community. It uses the 40 Developmental Assets created by the Search Institute, and other strength-based approaches. PEN is committed to inclusiveness and cultural competency as well as reaching out to the entire community.
Parent volunteers provide leadership and implementation in coordination with community partners and collaborators. PEN offers education, resources, coaching, facilitation, and engagement opportunities that build parent skills, relationships, and sustainability. Hundreds of parents and community members have attended PEN events, and rate their experience and skill-building very highly. 80% of BVSD schools participate with PEN through Team Leaders and School Volunteers, who take ideas into action through parent discussions, distribution of information, parent mentoring, displays, book clubs, and other activities.