It has long been recognized that parent involvement positively impacts children’s performance in school. While some parents, often in school leadership roles, have learned how to get what they need for their children, access to that information is not distributed equally and evenly across cultural groups. For parents with limited information about school norms and ways to gain access, there is also limited involvement, and thus, many children do not benefit from access to appropriate validated instructional practices.

With these barriers in mind PASS was conceived by the president of the NAACP, Dr. Talmadge Williams. He had a vision to train parents with a group of volunteers that have been certified to be allies of those lost parents that are out there in the community not knowing the basic steps, or have the time to become involved in their child’s education. He shared this vision with Dr. Jeff Gorrell, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University and they decided to work together on this concern.

In the Fall of 2003, Dr. Williams and Dr. Gorrell convened a group of concerned educators, university experts, administrators, past superintendents, community leaders, private industry people from the business community and concerned parents to further this vision. Over the next year, this group met to hear speakers, review the literature and discuss what would be needed to help families promote success for their children. In March of 2004, the group convened a group of 20 diverse community leaders, educational experts, and successful parents to cull information about what families need and want to know and to help build a model that would work. Extensive research found that while there are models that teach parents effective parenting techniques, there was a great need for a way for parents to learn from other successful parents, key information and support that has only been available to small circles of knowledgeable parents and educators who have been able to take advantage of this information to increase opportunities for success for their children.

As the PASS leadership continued to meet, it became obvious that a separate 501(c)(3)

private nonprofit organization would be the most effective way to develop and implement a model for training experienced and successful parent allies to help parents understand and utilize information and wisdom that would give their children the edge they need to become successful students and good citizens. This organization could then develop and pilot a model that works for diverse families in the Northern Virginia area, with the intended goal of establishing a validated model that has the potential for making a difference for families and children on a national scope.

PASS, Inc. has recently established itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

 The MISSION of PASS, Inc. is to develop curriculum, recruit allies, parents and teach them how to teach parents the art of advocating for student success.


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