Saturday, October 4, 2014

Highlight of the Year: Parent Leadership Initiative

The Zonta year goes from June through May. Here's a highlight the 2013-2014 Zonta year for Peconic Bay. This report was submitted to Zonta International District 3 for the district's fall conference on September 27, 2014.

Creating a caring community for children. That’s the goal of the Parent Leadership Initiative, which operates a 16-week program in Southampton, part of Peconic Bay Zonta’s territory. The program teaches parents the tools, skills, and knowledge to become leaders in their communities.

Peconic Bay first approached the Parent Leadership Initiative seven years ago with an offer to teach a class on computer skills. We had done some research and knew that the program did not include any computer instruction. The director readily agreed. That first year we taught the class, many parents did not know how to type and most had not even touched a computer.

Fast forward to this past April. After doing our routine check with the director about the computer skills of her parents -- remember that this is now seven years later -- Peconic
Bay members Barbara Pierce and Mary Ann Miller developed a session on how to search for information online.

Each parent came to class with a community-service goal. Here’s a sampling of what happened:

- One woman wanted to get a 24-hour medical facility where she lives. Her son broke his arm and had to endure a long and painful ride to the nearest hospital. Searching online, she found such a facility about 50 miles away and will contact them to learn how they operate.

- Another woman wanted to get small businesses together to provide child care for their employees. She looked up two companies that do this and will talk to the appropriate agency that oversees them.

- A gentleman wanted to start a basketball league. He searched on the words “how to start a basketball league” and came up with a step-by-step guide.

- Another woman had safety issues on her street and identified a town official to contact.

All the projects were wonderful. And we were happy to help these parents make their communities better places to live.

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