About Us

PEN envisions a community where all youth and families are thriving

Parents are the Key

PEN believes parents desire to raise healthy youth and deserve guidance in successfully navigate this complex role.

Who Is PEN?

The Parent Engagement Network is a 501c3 organization that works in collaboration with the school district and other community organizations to support parents in raising happy, healthy youth.  PEN started as part of a call to action when the first Youth Risk Behavior survey results showed high rates of drug/alcohol use and depression in 2001. Concerned administrators, youth professionals and parents developed the “Substand Abuse Task Force” in response to their concerns. Believing that substance use and depression were symptom of underlying issues, the parents created the Parent Engagement Network to support parents in developing healthy attitudes and behaviors early on.  PEN’s roots are in having a stronger focus on prevention and stregth-based parenting. Today, PEN’s programs continue to reach thousands of parents throughout our community.


PEN’s mission is to support parents in raising healthy, happy youth.


Our work is guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to these values


Parents as the Key: PEN believes parents desire to raise healthy youth and deserve guidance in successfully navigating this complex role.

Engagement: PEN embraces the broadest definition of engagement, which develop as society grows in it’s understanding of parent engagment.

Education: Pen values knowledge that is research-based, accessible to all parents, applicable to everyday life, and builds capacity across multiple contexts.

Empowerment: PEN commits to empowering families by providing relevant and meaningful tools and information that result in positive parenting strengths and skills.

Connection: PEN believes in creating connections between parents, organizations & resources, and aligning community effort for true parent engagement.

Inclusiveness: PEN respects all people, values diversity, and is committed to providing programs and initiatives that are inclusive and culturally competent.

Strengths-Based: PEN believes that a strengths-based focus helps remove fear, blame, or judgment increasing the likelihood that change may occur… The paradigm shift!

Organizational Goals

  • Increase parent engagement in the home, school and community contexts in which Pre-K through 12th grade families interact.
  •  Support parents in acquiring the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to enhance foundational parenting competencies, build relationships, engage in personal development, and be resourceful in their parenting.
  •  Collaborate with organizations and professionals to deliver strength-based programming that supports positive youth development and decreases risk-taking behavior in youth.
  •  Respond to the changing individual, school, and community level parent needs.

Parenting is not about surviving;

it is about enjoying the ride and creating thriving families and communities across generations.

What is the Lasting Impact?

Families are:
  • stronger, more resilient, and prepared when faced with tough times.
  • vocal about the different needs and concerns in their parent community.
  • equipped with solution-focused parenting rather than fear-based reactions.
  • resourced and prepared to be their child’s best advocate.
Schools have:
  • a greater capacity to empower parents to envision a better future for their children.
  • support in their goals to create a welcoming environment, strengthen communication between parents and schools, promote a positive school climate, and build social-emotional capacity in children.
  • a team of professionals that provide research-based best practices, expert speakers, and parenting tools for their community.
  • strengthened efforts to improve parent engagement in marginalized populations.
Businesses and community organizations are:
  • now more aware of the needs and the changing climate in their community.
  • connected to families and other service organizations that support their work.
  • benefiting from thought leaders who contribute powerful ideas to the community.
  • becoming a part of a common conversation on youth issues, parent concerns, and paths to positive youth development.

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