Parents Education Network

Rating: 4.81 stars   31 reviews

Issues: Disabilities, Human Services

Location: 281A Sixteenth Avenue San Francisco CA 94118 USA

Mission: PARENTS EDUCATION NETWORK IS A COALITION OF PARENTS COLLABORATING WITH EDUCATORS, STUDENTS AND THE COMMUNITY TO EMPOWER AND BRING ACADEMIC AND LIFE SUCCESS TO STUDENTS WITH LEARNING AND ATTENTION DIFFERENCES.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a volunterr with PEN for the last three years, primarily assisting with the Lecture Series and writing a blog on each of the lectures for the PEN website and mine: dyslexiadiscovery.com.

The care given to the selection of speakers results in a broad specturm of topics that are germane to dyslexia, ADHD and other learning challenges. Parents, teachers and others have a unique opportunity to listen and learn from specialists. I have found it fascinating how lecturers on the topic most often have a unique approach to the topic. Parents who commit to attend many of lectures have an opportunity to asses what might work for their child.

I am dyslexic and hyperlexic and learn each time so much more about my challenges. This is a unique group of serious minded leaders providing excellent resources to a very challenging field.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

from 2008 - 2011

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them get professional fund raising onboard

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

none, they are great to volunteer for

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learn all the time from their lectures

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

satsified

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

SAFE has taught me to became an advocate. Both for the LA/ADHAD community and for myself. I have learned to propperly voice my needs and wants for my education making my education a better expierence which without SAFE would have been less enjoiable.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have made changes for the better in my education.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Speakers

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been part of an organization called SAFE Voices for about three years. I'm looking forward to being part of Project Eye to Eye this year and helping younger kids through some difficult stages of the LD.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

SAFE Voices, which have helped me gain a better understanding of my LD and has given me a new group of people that are just like me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not change anything at the moment, since I haven't been to it yet.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

My son was diagnosed with speech and language processing challenges in pre-school, and later with language-based learning disabilities. When he was young, I took advantage of PEN's wonderful speaker series' to broaden my knowledge and understanding of my son's needs and how I could support him both academically and emotionally. Now, at 16, my son is an active member in SAFE Voices and is learning how to advocate for himself. The knowledge I gained from PEN's activities, and more importantly, his involvement in SAFE Voices and the annual EdRev conference, have been instrumental in helping him learn how to be successful in school and beyond.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As I mentioned above, I've gained a great amount of knowledge and support from this group. But, more importantly, my teenage son has become an active member of their teen group and has learned how to advocate for himself.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More funding would enable them to expand their reach - it would be great if they could do more outreach to underserved populations in the public school system

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined SAFE, the student wing of PEN three years ago. This was an opportunity to butt in on the third person dialogue surrounding people with learning disabilities. I've been given the opportunity to educate and empower students, families, and professionals about the strengths and challenges of LD/ADHD people through:
-Panels
-Videos
-Events
-Radio/TV interviews

PEN is extraordinary collaborator and I've had the opportunity to network and collaborate with other like minded people and organizations. I see the impact of our work when I'm recognized thanked by strangers everywhere imaginable: public meetings, city streets, parties, and traffic stops. PEN is on the forefront of the giving empowering our silenced people to stand up, speak out, form communities, and advocate for the tools we need for success.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

taking the penultimate step of personal empowerment by empowering others

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make a serious effort to improve public relations. PEN can do little to reach those who don't know about it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Before PEN, the discovery that your child "can't keep up" or "needs special help" left parents frighten, anxious about the future for their child. Information and guidance was rare. What was abundant was panic about how to understand the problems, find and implement solutions, and get schools and teachers to understand and help. I know, because in 1993 I was that parent. I worked with the founder of PEN in the early days. And today I still volunteer at events and share the strategies, successes and failures my daughter has experienced.
I feel that PEN's most important function is providing a platform to receive, assemble, present and distribute information to parents, teachers, tutors, learning specialists, occupational & physical therapists, and medical & scientific researchers. I know this sounds like an extraordinarily long list of participants, but in fact PEN is an extraordinary organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through lecture & presentations, especially at the annual EdRev, I've learned how anxiety and over-stimulation can interfere with learning, for children and adults, which has helped 2 family members.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a legislative/political committee to promote change through the California legislature that would initiate and advocate on relevant legislation and prepare & support witnesses that testify in committee hearings.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I have been with PEN as a volunteer since the beginning.

The constant focus at PEN is always questioning what is best for the kids to succeed and how can students, educators and parents gain the knowledge and insight to help attain that success.

PEN is not a "we will get everyone into college" type of group. Success is not a fixed goal, it is whatever it is for that particular child. PEN is helping kids get through, over or around barriers that block them from their full potential, whatever that may be.

PEN is there to help the kids do what needs to be done but NOT do it for them because, at the end of the day, they need to be able to advocate for themselves and make use of tools and coping strategies.

There is no ego from the adults that work/volunteer for PEN. To quote a line I often use, "Lest we forget, our primary duty is to support the kids".

My youngest is 20 so you might think that my commitment to PEN has waned. Quite the contrary, I am just as committed now as I was at the beginning (7 or so years ago) to making sure the children, parents and educators that are coming up the ranks behind us gain the same insights.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

With many organizations, you can point to a school, crisis center or something and say, "We did that". PEN is more like a tugboat pushing against a large cruise ship or a river creating a canyon. The changes we introduce are slow and you don't always see anything measurable. But over time, you see a change in the kids, parents and educators that you come into contact with. PEN is more like that one teacher that somehow made a difference to you and is unknown to anyone else.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more things like GuideStar to help get the word out and increase our funding base so we can expand our sphere in influence. Create a better social web presence. Have more presentations/talks that explain the science of the brain so that it has less of a mysterious/esoteric/stigma quality to it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Have planning meetings in the evening.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I continue to gain new insights virtually every time I do something with one of the events.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very good.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been working as an advocate for students with learning disabilities for several years and this organization (PEN) has the best and most holistic approach. Their outreach to the student community offers them opportunities and a community that truly empower them and has made a significant impact on their self esteem and outlook for success in school as well as in life. Their work to educate and connect parents and teachers is the missing link that most other organizations ignore and that is why I have chosen to volunteer my time with this group. They will be the cornerstone and model for all other groups to follow in the years ahead as our movement grows.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through watching the students participate in panel discussions held at schools, PTA meetings and universities, i have see first hand not only the empowering effect on the students but also the impact on teachers and parents who are struggling with their own students.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their SAFE Voices group to include multiple chapters throughout the country to give all students who learn differently a voice and supportive community.

 
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Review from Guidestar