What is Parents and Youth for Change (PYC)?

PYC is the Lead Community Partner with the Burlington and Winooski school districts, to support an educational experience that is student-centered and proficiency-based. Parents and Youth for Change also partners with Vermont Interfaith Action for community organizing training and support.

PYC is made up of community members of all different ages and backgrounds from Burlington and Winooski. PYC relies on the untapped wisdom of these communities and aims to amplify voices that have historically not had a meaningful influence on political and economic decisions.

Meet the PYC community organizers here!

Group picture of attendees of the Lead Community Partner Retreat in Burlington, Vermont.

Group picture of attendees of the Lead Community Partner Retreat in Burlington, Vermont.

Parents and Youth for Change has been organizing in Burlington and Winooski to support a student-centered approach to learning since 2011. Student-centered learning is a way to systematically approach public education so all students will achieve at high levels without gaps among subgroups. This aligns with the state of Vermont’s Flexible Pathways Initiative or Act 77, which approaches student-centered learning by creating Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs).

Parents and Youth for Change receives financial support, technical assistance, and inspiration from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Annenberg Institute for Education Reform, by creating safe, professional learning communities among school reform practitioners across New England.

PYC organizers and members also participate in conferences and workshops around the U.S. and the globe to learn about the best practices to apply to community organizing and public school reform. PYC is one of many community organizations across the country working to redesign a public education system where learning is unique to each student’s needs.

Learn more about PYC’s accomplishments here!

The PYC Approach

With the goal of creating education opportunities that account for specific students needs, PYC also aims to discover power through relationship building and learning together.

PYC Member laying out a timeline.

This process begins with members getting to know each other and identifying issues that both parents and students are affected by, and ends with securing commitments from decision makers to implement solutions. In the middle there’s lots of learning, sensemaking, sharing experiences, reflecting on our process, food, and laughter!

Interested in how PYC organizes to make change? Learn about our organizing approach!

Get Involved

Whether you are a student, a parent, or a concerned member of Burlington or Winooski, Parents and Youth for Change welcomes you with open arms! The easiest way to get involved is by checking out our monthly meetings.

Watch the video on PYC’s Spring 2016 public action meeting!

Find pictures from PYC events here!

Important Facts
School meals

In the 2013-2014 school year, 40.7% of students received meals categorized as free or reduced-price. Click on the graph for additional [more]

Poverty undermines [more]

Early Prenatal Care

Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of pregnant women in Vermont receiving early prenatal care ranged between 80 and 85 percent. This was short [more]


While the total population of Vermont has grown to an estimated 626,630, our child population has fallen since the 2000 Census count [more]

70% of Vermont’s housing stock was built prior to the 1978 ban on lead paint.  Lead paint and dust from lead [more]

Teen Births

Teen mothers often have fewer resources than older parents to provide for a healthy baby and for themselves.  Babies born [more]

7.5% of Vermont’s children received Reach Up (TANF) benefits in 2011; a 27% increase from 2007. [more]

98% of Vermont’s children have health insurance. [more]

Babies with low birthweight – under 5.5 pounds – are at risk for respiratory conditions, cognitive and developmental delays, and other long-term health [more]