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The Parental Information and Resource Center (PIRC) program is funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, established to provide training, information, and support to parents and individuals who work with local parents, districts, and schools that receive Title I.A funds. PIRCs provide both regional and statewide services and disseminate information to parents on a statewide basis.
PIRCs help implement successful and effective parental involvement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student academic achievement, and that strengthen partnerships among parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and other school personnel in meeting the education needs of children; and to assist parents to communicate effectively with teachers, principals, counselors, administrators, and other school personnel.
The recipients of PIRC grants are required to: serve both rural and urban areas, use at least half their funds to serve areas with high concentrations of low-income children, and use at least 30 percent of the funds they receive for early childhood parent program.
Centers must include activities that establish, expand, or operate early childhood parent education programs and typically engage in a variety of technical assistance activities designed to improve student academic achievement, including understanding the accountability systems in the state and school districts being served by a project. Specific activities often include helping parents to understand the data that accountability systems make available to parents and the significance of that data for such things as opportunities for supplemental services and public school choice afforded to their children attending buildings in school improvement.
PIRCs generally develop resource materials and provide information about high quality family involvement programs to families, schools, school districts, and others through conferences, workshops, and dissemination of materials. Projects generally include a focus on serving parents of low-income, minority, and limited English proficient (LEP) children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools.
Missouri has two PIRCs – one in St. Louis and one in Springfield. For service and contact information, go to their website at http://www.nationalpirc.org/directory/MO-32.html.