October 24, 2007

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has been selected as the winner of the 2007 Fifth Third Bank Innovative Nonprofit Award and will be recognized at the Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Lexington Convention Center. 

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership trains and supports parents to become effective advocates for the academic success of all students. Since the institute was founded in 1997, more than 1,500 parents from across the country have graduated from the program. The graduates have impacted the community by taking leadership roles as school board members, PTA board members, members of site based decision making councils and participants involved in other educational initiatives. 

CIPL was selected for the 2007 Fifth Third Bank Innovative Nonprofit Award because their program is innovative in two regards: their approach to engage parents in improving student achievement and their method to finance that approach. To fund their efforts, the Prichard Committee launched the Center for Parent Leadership as a for-profit consulting entity that assists other states in implementing the CIPL model, thereby generating operating revenue for CIPL and enabling them to provide programs to parents free of charge. The program has been replicated in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Mississippi.

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership recognized the importance of parents in education and designed a program to improve the academic levels based on school-performance data. The program uses training sessions and coaching to help parents understand the education system, develop skills and design projects. CIPL is a model of civic engagement in public education by training parents as leaders to involve other parents. They continue their innovation by finding new ways to reach all parents. 

The award will be presented at the fifth annual Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum, the only statewide gathering for Kentucky’s nonprofit leaders. The Forum is hosted each year by the University of Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative. The award was created by the 

Nonprofit Initiative in partnership with Fifth Third Bank to recognize a nonprofit organization implementing inventive, nontraditional programs or methods that effectively and efficiently meet community needs. The selected organization was required to demonstrate creativity and vision in finding solutions to address community issues. Any registered 501(c) 3 organization located and operating in Kentucky is eligible for the award.

“The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative’s advisory council reviews the nominations for this award carefully and all were very impressed with the innovative way that the CIPL has engaged parents across Kentucky and in their creation of a for-profit consulting entity to support their nonprofit mission,” said Danielle Clore, director of the UK Nonprofit Leadership Initiative. “Kentucky should be proud that we are home to such an outstanding organization and on behalf of our advisory council, we applaud them on their success.” 

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership will receive a video production of their winning program, a one-year membership in the Initiative’s Nonprofit Network, and a $500 scholarship for Nonprofit Leadership Initiative workshops, seminars, and publications.

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is an outreach program of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It serves and strengthens Kentucky’s nonprofit sector through educational opportunities, consulting services, and resources for organizations and their leaders. Registration for the Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Forum is open until Nov. 1 and information is available at http://www.kynonprofits.org.


Danielle Clore, 859-257-1037