PIRC stands for Parent Information and Resource Center. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, funds over 60 PIRCs nationwide. The purpose of the PIRC program is to give parents, schools, and organizations working with families the training, information, and technical assistance they need to understand how to help children succeed in school. The National PIRC Coordination Center provides information about the services and resources available through PIRCs and how to contact individual PIRCs located in each state and US territory.
The Massachusetts PIRC was founded as Parents’ PLACE at the Federation for Children with Special Needs in 1999. Our goal is to help parents and families understand how to support their children’s academic achievement, and to help families and schools build strong partnerships aimed at improving education. Our overall purpose is to advance student achievement and to close the achievement gap.
Massachusetts PIRC has a statewide reach, including urban and rural areas. Our services are targeted to districts with the highest percentage of schools in need of improvement. We serve primarily culturally, linguistically, educationally, and economically diverse families, their schools and communities.
Massachusetts PIRC works to:
- Support the developmental progress and enhance the school-readiness of children birth through age 5.
- Enhance the ability of families to participate as partners in their children’s education through workshops, publications, a Website, telephone assistance, and many other activities in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
- Increase parents’ understanding of NCLB and how they can benefit from the many options and opportunities provided by the law.
- Assist local school departments and school districts to develop and carry out policies that will increase parental involvement and lead to strong parent-school partnerships.
This is a critical time in education reform, and Massachusetts PIRC is honored be part of this important effort. We are pleased to have received in October 2005 a 5-year grant to continue our work in partnership with key early childhood, educational, and advocacy organizations serving Massachusetts.