P.O.W.E.R. equips CMS parents with no-cost digital tools and resources to help with their children’s education journey
With the continued effort to help keep Mecklenburg county residents safe and healthy during COVID, Digital Charlotte’s P.O.W.E.R. program has shifted from providing in-person instruction to a self-paced virtual course for parents with children in Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. The program, which stands for Parents Operating With Educational Resources, began in 2016 and is the city’s solution to bridging the digital literacy gap among parents and strengthening their digital skills.
P.O.W.E.R is a series of four short virtual courses that parents can take at their own pace. Typically, the entire program is completed within two to four weeks. Some of the topics covered in each module include navigating CMS technology, global learning tools and software, cyberbullying, and digital law and safety. To participate, parents must complete a pre-assessment form to gain access. After completion, they will have access to the program and can complete it at any time. Currently, this is only open to those with children enrolled in CMS.
“Helping parents, grandparents, and anyone caring for a child in CMS stay engaged with their child’s education has a profound impact on their life outcomes,” says Bruce Clark, executive director at Digital Charlotte. “At the same time, we know there are barriers that inhabit that engagement. The POWER program seeks to help parents overcome some of those barriers so they can help their child thrive not only in the moment but well into the future.”
One of the program’s primary goals is to empower parents to support and protect their children when they are online. P.O.W.E.R is designed to make that process easier for parents by equipping them with the tools and information they need to do so.
“The waitlist of parents eager to participate in P.O.W.E.R programming speaks for itself,” says Nick Paquette, principal at Nations Ford Elementary. “Our parents have shared how excited and relieved to learn authentic and applicable digital literacy skills to better support their child’s learning journey. Educators know that engagement with learning in the home is a key indicator of improved student outcomes and happy, healthier lives for the next great generation. I have witnessed each cohort of graduates leave with a confidence they did not enter with and a sustained involvement in the educative process afterward.”
For additional information or to sign up for the program, visit digitalcharlotte.org/power. For media inquiries or to schedule an interview with P.O.W.E.R program organizers, please contact Jameka Whitten at 704.965.3297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Digital Charlotte
Digital Charlotte is an initiative of the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. It recognizes that digital equity is necessary to a thriving society, democracy, and economy. Through awareness, partnerships, and action, it aims to empower organizations to deliver digital inclusion resources to the communities they serve.