I respect Danbury Children First as a living example of how to bring authentic parent voice into public discussion and action on behalf of young children and education. It is a hotbed of parent leadership development, and those parent leaders have influenced deeper investment in Danbury's children, including refurbishing recreational facilities, playgrounds and parks among many, many other achievements. DCFI also works persistently, patiently and effectively to integrate parents better into education.
I am proud to be a citizen of a state where groups like DCFI can flourish.
My connection with Danbury Children First began in 2008, when I was a participant in the Parent Leadership Training Institute program that DCF coordinates locally. This program is a civics initiative designed to inspire and empower parents to become effective advocates for children, which is exactly what it did for me. I learned that I'm not "just a parent", but in fact a critical partner in systems that effect children, and an important voice in decision making for children's issues, both locally and in government.
Because of Danbury Children First and the programs they run, parents like me are better engaged, better informed, and are more responsive to the needs of children and families so as to make real change happen. I've now transitioned into the role of PLTI coordinator at Danbury Children First, and am happy to be able to give back to a program and organization that has given me so much already.
Review from Guidestar
I began as a volunteer with this wonderful organization, and then became an employee. Danbury Children First works with parents of young children to help them understand the critical role they play in their children's education, and to empower those parents to participate in the civic and educational institutions in our City. Hundreds of parents have graduated from their parent leadership programs over the years, and those parents have gone on to change the lives of other families in the community. Because of the work of Danbury Children First, Danbury now has: more safe places for all children to play; more recreational programs for children with special needs; more parents who are active in local and state government and who understand how to engage in civic life; more parents who understand the value of early literacy and supporting education in the home; and more parents who are connected with the resources they need to raise their children. Danbury is a better place for families to raise children because of Danbury Children First!
Danbury Children First is the only parent-led organization in the area. Danbury Children First values, honors and respects parents as partners. The lives of children - at home, at school, and in the community - are improved, because Danbury Children First offers to parents training and opportunity to become involved and empowered as leaders and community partners.
It is presently the only organization in Danbury that offers a variety of Parent Leadership initiatives and programs: The Parent Leadership Training Institute and The People Empowering People program. Graduates from these programs hold leadership positions in neighborhoods, towns and cities, and at state levels. Parents have advocated on behalf of children's programs, informed community and legislative leaders, and have positively impacted public policy.
Graduates of The Parent Leadership Training Institute often describe it as "life changing".
Review from Guidestar