What is Parents and Youth for Change (PYC)?

PYC is a community-based organizing network of parents/guardians, students, and community stakeholders in the Winooski and greater Burlington area, who support the transition to an educational experience that is student-centered and proficiency-based in the public school setting. Parents and Youth for Change also partners with Vermont Interfaith Action for community organizing training and
support.

Meet the PYC community organizers here!

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 the Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education (CYCLE) of Roger Williams University (formerly known as the Annenberg Institute for Education Reform at Brown University). Together, the NMEF and CYCLE have provided the time and space to create 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.

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, sense making, 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, recent high school graduate, a parent/guardian, or a concerned member of the Burlington and/or Winooski community, Parents and Youth for Change welcomes you with open arms! The easiest way to get involved is by finding time to meet with us to learn more about what your interest and concerns are.

To set up an appointment, please contact:

Infinite Culcleasure at infinite@parentsforchangevt.org

Christine Kemp Longmore at christinepycbtv@gmail.com

Arica Bronz at aricabpyc@gmail.com

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

Find pictures from PYC events here!


PYC Accomplishments

  • Family Friendly Report Card in Burlington

    • A self-assessment, developed by a former Burlington Home-School Liaison and generated by students and parents or as a report to share generated by or with teachers, advisors and guidance counselors. It is also meant to be an educational and planning tool to help students and families to better understand how classes are organized and the path to career-college goals.
  • Key partners in the discipline system reform with the Burlington School District

    • Parents and Youth for Change facilitated a listening campaign and research meetings with influential members of the Burlington School District to learn how to best integrate restorative practices into the disciplinary program.
    • Read the PYC Discipline Research Report here.
    • PYC staff completed the Summer Institute in Restorative Practices hosted by the Community Justice Center in St. Johnsbury, Vermont as well as continuing ongoing workshops with Advancing Restorative Justice in Schools practitioners.
  • Winooski Transportation Pilot Program

    • PYC helped to secure funding for a transportation pilot that will shuttle students to school during the coldest winter months to make getting to school safer, more timely, and less stressful for families in Winooski.
    • Ongoing meetings with Winooski families to determine the best pick-up locations, how to use travel time productively, and what types of data to analyze to determine what impacts the pilot may have on student outcomes in the district.
       
  • New advisory program for Burlington High School students

    • PYC surveyed 100 students and had 1:1 interviews with roughly 90 teachers from Burlington High School to learn about the hopes and concerns of how an effective advisory program at BHS could be designed.
    • PYC worked with BHS to propose an advisory program that focused on understanding how students develop and reach their college and career-readiness goals.
    • PYC continues to assist the school with monitoring and assessing its progress. Read more about it here.
       
  • Education Matters Report

    • PYC’s work has also informed the education policy research report published by Voices for Vermont’s Children at the state level.
       

  • Student-Led Forums

    • Student-Led Community Forums in Burlington, Winooski and South Burlington, addressing post-2016 presidential election community needs. Working with three of the most diverse high schools in the State of Vermont, these forums engaged a significant number of student leaders, community partners, and participants from many different parts of the community.



PYC Partners

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Meet the PYC Staff

Parents and Youth for Change is able to strengthen the voices of Burlington and Winooski community members with the help of these dedicated staff members.

 

Arica Bronz

Arica has enjoyed living in Winooski with her husband and two children for the past 14 years.  She recently joined the PYC team this summer and looks forward to building more relationships in the community and working together to turn our goals into reality.  She has taught Pilates for the past 20 years and enjoys camping, hiking, skiing, cooking, and reading.

aricabpyc@gmail.com

 

Christine Kemp Longmore

A lifelong resident of Burlington, VT, and product of the Burlington schools, Christine joined the Community Justice Center in Burlington Vermont when the Offender Reentry Program was being established in 2005. Her professional and community service includes accomplishments in restorative reentry, racial justice, and law enforcement accountability.

christinepycbtv@gmail.com

 

Infinite Culcleasure

Now in his fifth year with PYC, Infinite also enjoys his role as a collaborator on multiple community projects in the City of Burlington where he has resided for decades. In addition to the many hats that Infinite has worn throughout his life as a Vermonter – including writer, old-school deejay, facilitator and collagist, Infinite became a new father in February of 2018.

infinite@parentsforchangevt.org