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.
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.
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.
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!
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.