The family Resource Center is an initiative of the Parent Leadership Institute. The Parent Leadership Institute in the Ossining Union Free School District was created to develop opportunities to foster leadership and community organizing among minority populations in the schools. The Ossining School District has always sought the involvement of parents and families in order to benefit our students. Through the Parent Leadership Institute, parents participate in a range of activities to prepare them for school involvement and leadership in ways that benefit their own children and the community at large. More than a “parent involvement” program, we seek to train individuals to identify, stimulate, and organize for the change they see as necessary. parent leadership Institute is currently sponsored by The Westchester Community Foundation.

The Family Resource Center provides services that include one-on-one assistance navigating the educational system, clothing, books and referrals to other agencies that can help with food, and others services. In addition, the Family Resource Center works in partnership with community members and agencies allowing families to participate in different classes and workshops. These include yoga class, nutrition, ESOL, financial and basics of banking, domestic violence, Ossining Basics, parenting classes, workshops navigating especial education, and workshops related to social justice and the well-being of our families.


The Parent Leadership Institute grew out of the work established by Proyecto ALCANCE, an association of Spanish-speaking parents in the Ossining Schools. The primary goal of Proyecto ALCANCE was to increase parental involvement among Latino parents through holistic services and support available through the schools. The Parent Leadership Institute goes further to actively seek ways to change the system and become more inclusive by sharing in the power structures of the schools, through parent experiences and training. The Parent Leadership Institute does not focus solely on a Latino population but reaches out to the traditionally underrepresented groups in a diverse community. As an outcome of the Parent Leadership Institute, we expect to see more parents of color actively engaged and participating in the wider discussions of our school district and also empowered to represent their needs in the public discourse.

Training parents to lead in a diverse community calls for articulating together the philosophies, research and educational strategies that benefit all children. It also calls for a unanimous understanding of the issues of race, ethnicity, class, socioeconomic status and immigration status that impact schools. How can minority, underrepresented parents enter school systems with the confidence and collective power to see their needs adequately represented? How do we truly empower people instead of offering to fix their problems? In response to these questions, we have defined the primary goals of the Parent Leadership Institute as:

§ To enact the democratic ideal of inclusion and meaningful participation for parents in public schools.

§ To promote community development in our African-American, Latino and other immigrant communities, as well as other underrepresented groups.

§ To create a curriculum of training experiences focusing on relevant, timely topics impacting parental involvement.

§ To create opportunities for parents to hold conversations with district administrators and the Board of Education.

§ To share models of leadership and community development with neighboring communities.

To learn more about the Parent Leadership Institute, please contact Ms. Marcela Levin, Parent Coordinator, at mlevin@ossiningufsd.org or (914) 762-5850 ext. 6365