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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Parent Encouragement Program, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Children & Youth, Education, Family Services, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Parenting can be a difficult task in our increasingly complex society. Since its founding in 1982, PEP has taught positive parenting classes and workshops to help parents raise children who are competent, caring, and responsible. The program philosophy is based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler and Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs, whose theories of positive parenting promote mutual respect, personal responsibility, cooperation and social inclusiveness and social interest.

Target demographics: parents and others who care for children learn positive ways to help children grow.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 5,000 parents learn new and better ways to raise their children.

Geographic areas served: the Washington DC area

Programs: Over 175 volunteers join together to offer 150+ parenting education courses, workshops and community talks each year. Classes range from 1 to 10 sessions in length, meeting once a week for two hours. Over 1,800 different parents take the classes each year. Classes are taught by highly trained volunteers and are held in schools, churchs, synagogues, and community centers. Parents pay a fee for the classes, and fund raising supports the remaining 45% of costs. Need based scholarships are also available. In addition to the parenting education classes, workshops for teachers, and other child education professionals are offered. One time talks on positive parenting are given at PTAs, community groups and corporations. A bookstore and lending library are maintained by volunteers at the office location. PEP maintains a web site that offers updated information on classes, class status, special programs and items of concern to parents. Past issues of the newsletter (from 1990) are available on-line. A summer day camp for tweens with friendship and social skills challenges is run by child development professionals. A small staff (two full time and seven part time; 4.5 FTEs) provides support in publications, marketing and scheduling presentations.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. Whether you had good role models for parenting or not - to me, parenting education is as normal and necessary as Drivers Education. Who would send their teenager out to drive their car with no instruction other than watching them drive it for years? PEP is a life changing organization as it has so much to offer. The "old" methods of parenting don't always work now and PEP empowers you with new strategies to interact with your child to get to the root of issues, manage your reactions and teach the child positive, encouraging ways to respond. I am still not always the parent I want to be (and PEP teaches it takes courage to accept that no one is perfect), but I have strategies to fall back on and guide me which gives me unbelievable peace of mind and has helped my entire family.


Board Member

Rating: 5

Like every other PEP volunteer, Leader, Board member I know, PEP classes made profound changes for the better in our family. My husband and I learned how to understand our children when they misbehaved and how to respond with respect, encouragement and love to help our children do better. Not only did this help our kids grow more kind, helpful, and responsible--it also made our home a happier and more affectionate one.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I started taking PEP classes when my oldest son was 4, today he's 17. I still take classes. Parenting teens is obviously different from parenting preschoolers, as a matter of fact each stage of development brings changes and challenges. I can say, without reservation, that I can't imaging parenting without PEP. From the 4 year old issues like getting dressed and out the door on time--to struggles with adolescence-- screen time and homework--to the questions I have today ranging from internet safety to snarkiness to college applications, PEP has been with me every step of the way. have two great kids to show for it; nice kids, well mannered, capable of advocating for themselves, and doing well in school.
Thanks PEP!