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Parent Leadership Training Institute

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is a 20-week course in democracy and leadership for parents established by the National Parent Leadership Institute.  This leadership program is intended to help increase the civic skills of diverse parents and caregivers to become leading advocates for their children and bring about community change. 

The PLTI curriculum includes sessions that help parents learn about group dynamics and leadership, the change process and how they can be change agents, how to define a problem and work towards a solution, how a community works, the importance of networks and coalitions, public policy, how cities work, and understanding the law and budgets.  

Evaluation of PLTI has been done by the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at NYU Steinhart.  They  show outcomes are routinely high for parents of color, parents with low income and parents across regions of the country, geographic locale and language.                                             

"PLTI helped me to improve speaking in public, to trust myself and to open my eyes that I can make a difference in my community. I can make a difference at least in one person's life."



PLTI is open to parents free of charge; there are no fees other than your time and commitment.  Learn to be a part of the change that you want to see in your community.  Learn to advocate for your family and children.  We are looking for parents, advocates, grandparents, and caregivers to participate and give back to their community.  Check out our PLTI Flyer to learn more.

What is involved?

  • Meetings take place one night each week for 20 weeks, beginning in October and ending in March. Check out our current Class Schedule.

  • Translation services will be provided to those who need it.

  • Tablets will also be provided for those who do not already have them.

How do you sign up?

You can apply to participate in Solano Parent Leadership Training Institute by:

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PLTI Alumni from Merced, San Joaquin and Solano County visited the State Capitol to advocate for policies to positively impact families and were recognized by the State Assembly.



Graduates of PLTI are actively advocating for their children and their communities.  According to a survey report released in 2020:

  • 86% of parents were working on at least one issue.  The most common issue was Education and Schools, follow by Racial Equity.  23% said they were working with other alumni.

  • 71% of alumni reported recruiting parents into PLTI.

  • Out of 13 possible common civic actions alumni could have engaged in over the past year (e.g. contacting an elected official, volunteering, serving on a committee), the average alum participated in nine of these actions.

  • There were few significant differences in civic actions by race, education, immigration, and gender among PLTI alumni.  In the cases where significant differences were present, white parents were not the most civically active, illustrating that the "civic empowerment gap" that is found in the general US population was largely not found among PLTI alumni.


The Children’s Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) is a parallel course to the Parent Leadership Training Institute, delivered to the children of PLTI participants.


CLTI uses literacy as a base and creates a full spectrum of activities that parallel the PLTI course and encompass the multiple intelligences. The template featured a book or books to ground the evening’s session. In addition to group discussion at class, children and youth in CLTI received a new book each week, connected to the learnings of that class, to add to their home libraries and to share with their families.


To develop a session, the CLTI teaching team used the PLTI theme, covering the same concepts of PLTI in an age appropriate approach. Each evening’s activities needed to be reviewed to ensure that they:

1.  Appeal to children ages 3 to 12
2.  Have literacy as a base
3. Have a full-spectrum of activities that encompass the multiple intelligences

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