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John Cochran Shares His Civil Rights Education Growing Up in Montgomery; Horizon, Conscience, Moutaintop Awards Presented

By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

[ Complete text of Cochran’s speech ]
[ Video of Banquet ]

Former UA and Georgia Communication Dean E. Culpepper Clark, emcee of the Legacy Banquet, drives home a point.
Former UA and Georgia Communication Dean E. Culpepper Clark, emcee of the Legacy Banquet, drives home a point.

Three-time Emmy Award-winner John Cochran, a premier network correspondent for almost 50 years, knows first-hand the impact the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had on the state of Alabama and, most notably, his hometown of Montgomery.

“I was lucky enough to have been born in Montgomery before the civil rights struggle really broke out,” Cochran, who’ll be 75 on March 15, told 300 people in historic Foster Auditorium attending the 25th Annual Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet.

Cochran captivated the audience with his firsthand, culturally sensitive story about his family’s African-American maid named Arrie, who worked for them during the mid-1950s, simultaneously weaving in information about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“I’ve been around presidents and prime ministers and captains of industry, but I have never known anyone with more dignity than Arrie,” said Cochran, recalling Arrie as a mid-50s, well-spoken, well-dressed, intelligent woman.

Cochran reminded the audience that although the U.S. Supreme Court had already outlawed segregation on interstate travel, Alabama state and municipal buses were still segregated.

“(Rosa Parks) and others in the Civil Rights Movement had wanted a test case in the courts to challenge the state law requiring segregated seating,” Cochran said. “Black leaders wanted not only a test case; they also wanted to test the resolve of white merchants by putting economic pressure on the white establishment.”

Retired network correspondend and UA graduate John Cochran describes his growing up in Montgomery and years at the University during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Retired network correspondend and UA graduate John Cochran describes his growing up in Montgomery and years at the University during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

On Dec. 1, 1955, the day Parks refused to give up her seat to a white rider, the bus boycott began. However, many do not understand how it affected blacks and whites in Montgomery.

When blacks stopped using buses, they could not get to white-owned merchants to buy things and many domestic workers could not get to or from work.

Until the boycott, Arrie used city buses for transportation to and from work. Arrie told the Cochrans she planned to do whatever Dr. King told her to do and that meant participating in the boycott. Though she had found a ride to work, she had no way home. It was up to the Cochrans to find a solution, which turned out to be, as Cochran said, “Me. I had just gotten my driver’s license. So, every day after I got out of school it became my job to driver Arrie home.”

For the first few weeks Cochran sat behind the wheel while Arrie sat in back. He said it was the reverse of the Academy Award winning-movie “Driving Miss Daisy.” This time the black person was in the back and the white person in the front.
“That’s the way it was supposed to be in the South. Blacks and whites were never supposed to sit together. It was a rule — not a law — … an unspoken rule, but a rule nevertheless,” Cochran said. “That went on for a few weeks until one day Arrie and I were walking out to the car and Arrie stopped, turned to me and said, ‘Johnny, I’m going to sit up front with you…’.”

As they sat beside each other each day they drove through his neighborhood, a white neighborhood, and then through her neighborhood, a black neighborhood. Immediately, both whites and blacks alike stopped to stare at them as they passed.

Recipients of the Legacy Banquet Awards, from left: Cleophus Thomas Jr., Call to Conscience Award; Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award; and Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award
Recipients of the Legacy Banquet Awards, from left: Cleophus Thomas Jr., Call to Conscience Award; Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award; and Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award

“This went on for a couple of months,” Cochran said. “Then one day Arrie and I noticed no one was paying attention anymore. People had grown accustomed to seeing us. The rule was no longer a rule.”

On June 13, 1956 the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruled segregation was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees protections for equal treatment.

However, the state and city appealed this ruling, and on Dec. 17, 1956 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision in Browder v. Gayle; and three days later the court demanded Alabama desegregate its buses.

“It was a total victory for Dr. King, but it did not come easily,” Cochran said. “Many blacks — literally — wore out their shoes walking either to work or to school, houses were bombed, Dr. King and others were put in jail, some blacks lost their jobs because white employers were vengeful, and some, like Arie, thought they might lose their jobs, but went ahead anyway.”

President Judy Bonner, part of the large crowd that attended the Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet in Foster Auditorium.
President Judy Bonner, part of the large crowd that attended the Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet in Foster Auditorium.

Later, Cochran described his sister’s failed efforts to integrate First Baptist Church in Montgomery with the Rev. David Abernathy, after hearing King speak. “No history was made that day, but I was proud of her for trying,” Cochran said of his sister, Mary Ann.

He then moved to the failed efforts to integrate UA by Autherine Lucy in 1956 and the failed efforts of then Gov. George Wallace, who attempted to keep Vivian Malone and James Hood from registering for classes at Foster, the very building the event was being held in.

“I crossed paths with Wallace several times over the years,” Cochran said, recalling the transformation of Wallace from a segregationist to a more caring person who worked to make amends for his transgressions.

Several attendees commented how apropos Cochran’s speech was. And Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president of community affairs, said, “As I look around this room I see people who have been here almost every year we’ve done this,” said Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president of Community Affairs. “We were honored to have had as the keynote speaker, Mr. John Cochran. His speech was riveting and remarkable.”

Dr. Ed Mullins, former dean of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences and now a director within Community Affairs, introduced Cochran after another former dean of that same college, Dr. E. Culpepper (Cully) Clark, set the historical stage for Cochran’s remarks. Clark is the author of the definitive book on the integration of the University, The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama.

This was the 25th anniversary of the Legacy Banquet. It began in 1990, hosted then as now by Stillman College, Shelton State Community College, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and The University of Alabama.

Pruitt shared the following message he sent to Cochran in an email after the banquet:

“Thank you for agreeing to serve as the speaker for the Legacy Banquet commemorating the 25thAnniversary of the formation of the Realizing the Dream Committee, and for providing us with the text of your speech. As I mentioned to you and Barbara (Cochran’s wife) on last Friday, you were our first and only choice as speaker. We continue to receive emails and comments about the remarkable and historic speech you gave during the banquet. Again, thanks.”

Earlier, Wendel Hudson, former UA women’s basketball coach, the first African American to receive an athletic scholarship, told of his experience as a pioneer of integration.

After Cochran’s speech, videos were shown and the 2014 Legacy Banquet honorees were recognized as follows:

• Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award, for her leadership in the fight to open traditionally white social fraternity organizations to all races.
• Cleophus Thomas, Call to Conscience Award, for his community and public leadership in race relations.
• Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award, for the roles he played as a UA executive, including president, to open opportunities on campus to all races.

Legend Challenges Young People to Carry on Work of MLK, Follows by Playing Piano and Singing Audience Favorites

By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

John Legend kept a crowd of more than a thousand spellbound by his words and his music during the 25th anniversary of the Realizing the Dream concert.
John Legend kept a crowd of more than a thousand spellbound by his words and his music during the 25th anniversary of the Realizing the Dream concert.

On Sunday, January 19, the eve of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s national holiday, more than 1,000 people, many of them University of Alabama students, filled the Frank M. Moody Music Building to hear a lecture and the music of Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/humanitarian John Legend.

“I’m especially honored and humbled to be here to celebrate one of my personal heroes,” Legend said, acknowledging his amazement that so many people would come out to see him in “football country,” when there was an NFL playoff game on television.

“We take this time every year to recognize his incredible work, the spirit of his work and the impact of his work and think about how we can live our lives in a way that honors his legacy,” Legend said. “We know that you young people are next in line to carry on his work. Now I know that might sound like a daunting task, but I think you’re up to it.” Legend speaks at colleges and universities around the world and is always impressed about the readiness of students to take on the world’s challenges.

“We’re here today to talk about something bigger than ourselves individually. We’re going to think about how we build a better community and build a better world,” Legend said. “We also have a piano here, so maybe I’ll sing a little bit after I’m done.”

Before he was done talking he had admonished students to realize that being in college is a gift not to be taken lightly.

“It is expensive and it is difficult. Many of you overcame significant obstacles just to be here today,” Legend said, recalling his own college career and how few of those in his freshman class ended up in his graduating class. “The reason why you’re here is so you can become a better thinker. You gain the ability to think critically, to question the status quo, to challenge yourself and to challenge the ideas that you hear from other people.”

John Legend performs a crowd favorite during the Realizing the Dream Concert.
John Legend performs a crowd favorite during the Realizing the Dream Concert.

Although King was an activist and a revolutionary, Legend acknowledged that King had to be aided by bold politicians like President Lyndon B. Johnson to make these changes law.

Legend called education inequality today’s civil rights issue.

As the salutatorian of his high school class in Springfield, Ohio, Legend said he realizes that had he not received his education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he released his first album, his life would have turned out differently.

“One of the greatest things about an education is that it gives you control over your own destiny,” Legend said, stressing how hard it is for poor children to get a quality high school education and that for many of them a college education is out of reach. “It remains a gift to some, when it should be a right to all. These statistics are a call to action.”

He challenged today’s college students to get involved as activists and politicians and as community leaders. He told them to look at their resources and extra curricular activities and see if they could use their extra money and time to make a difference in the would around them.


This self-examination led Legend to support organizations like Teach for America and to start The Show Me Campaign. Founded in 2007, Show Me, works to break the cycle of poverty by supporting the help to provide every child with a quality education, spreading awareness about the issues and inspiring citizens to take action.

“As we celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy I’m here to motivate you to make a difference,” Legend said. “We have to talk about the problem so we can talk about the solution.”

Legend mentioned not only education, but also mass incarceration of our young men and the plight of the working class.

“When you are fighting for something important it will not always be popular in the beginning,” Legend said reflecting on King’s life and the hurdles he had to overcome. “There is so much opportunity for you to make changes.”

Legend entertained the crowd with his music, beginning with a cover of “Wake Up Everybody,” a song that focuses on social activism and education. “When you teach children, teach them the very best you can,” he sang. “When you teach the children, teach ’em the very best you can. The world won’t get no better if we just let it be, na, na, na. The world won’t get no better, we gotta change it, yeah. Just you and me.”

In addition, he preformed crowd favorites, such as “Tonight” and “Save Room.” The crowd applauded enthusiastically and often and several attendees said the University made a good decision to bring Legend to campus for the Realizing the Dream celebration.

CCBP’s 2013 5-K Wellness Team


CCBP once again entered a formidable team in the University’s 5k health fitness competition. While the results of the November 17 Crimson Couch to 5K event have not yet been released, no one would be surprised if CCBP was again the winner, as it has won the past three. Team captain Yun Fu again recruited this year’s team of walker/runners. The event is part of the University’s Well-Bama program.

New Teacher Leadership Academy Launched for Alabama; Pilot Programs Begins with Tuscaloosa County Schools

By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

October 9, 2013

These three are helping to bring the Teachers Leadership Academy (TLA) to Alabama. From left, Dr. Heather Pleasants, facilitator of the Parent Leadership Academy, forerunner to the TLA; Dr. Polly Moore, the TLA facilitator; and Dr. Joyce Stallworth, associate provost.
These three are helping to bring the Teachers Leadership Academy (TLA) to Alabama. From left, Dr. Heather Pleasants, facilitator of the Parent Leadership Academy, forerunner to the TLA; Dr. Polly Moore, the TLA facilitator; and Dr. Joyce Stallworth, associate provost.

TUSCALOOSA — Having launched the award-winning Parent Leadership Academy (PLA) in 2007, The University of Alabama Division of Community Affairs has decided to build upon that success by creating a new program similar in nature but which incorporates another component of the school community – teachers.

Dr. Joyce Stallworth, associate provost and professor of education at UA, said the new Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA), offspring of the Parent Leadership Academy, came about after conversations with local principals and teachers, past PLA participants, Vice President for Community Affairs Dr. Samory Pruitt, and Center for Community-Based Partnership Community Education Director Dr. Heather Pleasants.

The new organization held its first meeting Friday, October 8, at the Bryant Conference Center. Eight area elementary schools were represented. Pruitt called the meeting “a great start. I could not have been more pleased. The teachers in attendance showed how very appreciative they were of how professionally everything was done.”

One of the speakers was Dr. Gay Barnes of Madison, Alabama, the state’s 2012 teacher of the year and one of four finalists for the national teacher of the year. Dr. Polly Moore, retired assistant superintendent for Tuscaloosa County Schools and facilitator of the program, presented an overview, summarizing the program’s purpose in these words: “Parents need the teachers and the teachers need the parents.”

The program’s origin, Stallworth said, came when “we asked ourselves what we could do to help parents become more engaged,” adding that becoming involved is not the responsibility of parents only; schools also must create opportunities for involvement.

Searching for existing parent-school partnership strategies, the group concluded that the most effective model is the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), founded at Johns Hopkins University in 1996.

As a member of the network, the TLA will use the NNPS framework, a research-based approach for organizing and sustaining excellent programs of family and community involvement with the goal of increasing student success. NNPS has accumulated three decades of research on parental engagement, family engagement and community partnerships, and that will be the model the TLA will follow, Stallworth said.

Implementation of the program locally will mean more teachers joining more parents to be trained to be school leaders and equipped with the skills necessary to improve public education.
Although UA’s program will not provide college credit, the 27 teachers involved will improve skills to increase parent and family involvement; improve communication between teachers and parents; increase support for schools through community networks, partnerships, and grants; and ultimately increase opportunities for students to succeed.

Moore, the program facilitator, has previously worked with the PLA and brings more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and educational leader to her new role.

“I’m excited to be able to come back as a retired educator to get this off the ground,” Moore said. “The parents are such a valuable resource, and we need teachers to know how to involve those parents. This is just a natural follow to the PLA to get teachers and parents talking to improve the students’ overall success. Teachers who really know how to get parents involved are much more successful.”

Now in its sixth year, the PLA began with the Tuscaloosa city and county school systems. In the PLA, parents attend class to gain knowledge about how to become involved in their schools. Parent leaders then recruit other parents who want to learn more, along the way learning that their increased knowledge about their schools can be critical to school success by creating strong parent teams within schools. PLA is now expanding to other school districts. UA faculty and administrators are working with new partners, including Bessemer City Schools and Lamar County Schools.

The next steps for TLA are for Stallworth, Moore and Pleasants to attend the NNPS Leadership Development Conferences for Improving Programs of School, Family, and Community Partnerships, October 24–25, 2013, in Baltimore, and in December, NNPS will conduct a teacher leadership workshop in Tuscaloosa.

“This year is a pilot,” said Stallworth, explaining that the program will start with nine schools. “We will collect data as we go along.”

Stallworth, who has an outreach charge as associate provost, said she would like to see the program expand into Shelby, Hale and Greene counties, but wants make sure the pilot schools are successful before adding new areas. “We are looking at expanding, but we want to go very carefully and understand our capacity,” she said.

The initial 27 teachers will come from the following Tuscaloosa-area elementary schools: Skyland, Englewood, Matthews, Myrtlewood, Tuscaloosa Magnet, Holt, Flatwoods, Southview and Martin Luther King elementary schools.

In addition to working on creating school-based leaders, the TLA will work to provide support for the already required school-improvement plans by assisting teachers and parents with school-wide projects and programs they can initiate.

“I always told my teachers when I was a principal that parents send us the very best that they have and they want the very best for that child. Some of them just know how to go about it a little better than others,” Moore said, adding that these programs help to educate all teachers and parents on the best way to get the best results for their students.

The teachers will meet four times a year, with the first meeting on October 10, 2013.

“We don’t want this to be a burden to the teachers. We want this to be a safe space for teachers to come and talk about these issues,” Stallworth said. “Therefore, October seemed the perfect time to have the first meeting.”

Both Stallworth and Moore said their hope is that the teachers will leave with information they can immediately use to improve parent/school partnerships.

Looking Back and to the Future of the Parent Leadership Academy in West Alabama

By Dr. Heather Pleasants
Director, CCBP Office of Community Education

(The following profile looks at the Parent Leadership Academy (PLA), one of this campus’ leading engaged scholarship projects.)


It has been my privilege to direct the PLA almost since its founding in 2007, but I will be the first to say that the program’s continual success would not have been possible without the teamwork developed through a strong partnership between the parents, Tuscaloosa City and County public schools, and the University.

Here are just a few of the reactions to the program by parents and educators:

“PLA went way beyond what I was expecting. I learned so much from other parents, and from the speakers.”

“The PLA story is one of empowerment and engagement … (where) parents develop the knowledge necessary to make them effective partners in the work of our schools.”

“I have observed parents blossom as a result of their participation in the Parent Leadership Academy.”

The purpose of PLA is simple to state but complex in its execution: Its purpose is to prepare parent leaders in areas of knowledge relevant to their children’s education so that they can actively share that knowledge with other parents to create strong parent communities within their schools. PLA participation builds parental involvement and academic success within individual schools and ultimately within the district as a whole.

For several years before the PLA began, local school officials, teachers and community-involved UA faculty and administrators engaged in ongoing dialog about critical needs of public schools. The community was challenged to create and implement a strategy to educate and support parent leaders who would “grow their own” engaged parent communities. Local schools partnered with UA faculty, staff and students to develop the PLA as a yearlong leadership program for parents nominated by area principals.

PLA parents participate in the academy to gain knowledge about how to help other parents be positively involved in their schools with the goal of supporting students’ academic achievement. As indicated through surveys and other research, PLA parents recognize that gaining increased knowledge about their schools and sharing that information with other parents can be critical to school success. Through parent leadership projects and parent action teams, these motivated, well-informed parents are truly making a difference in the lives of the students in our community.

Now entering its seventh year, the PLA has worked with more than 200 parents who, in turn, have involved hundreds of other parents in becoming parent leaders. Students from throughout the two city and county school districts now have the support of parents, educators and the community working together to provide the foundation for improved academic and social success.


Recently, this success received national recognition, when Tuscaloosa’s school boards and PLA leaders accepted a Magna Award, one of only 15 nationally to receive the award in 2013. This award, based on best practices in local school districts, is sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s American School Board Journal. Though both city and county school boards were acknowledged in the application, the award was made to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education.

From its inception until its present form, the PLA has exemplified an integrated partnership within every aspect of the model. Key community and university partners include city and county superintendents, district staff charged with promoting parental involvement and academic achievement, principals from all city and county elementary schools, guidance counselors and other school staff, community organizations that serve children and families, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, and faculty, staff and students from UA’s College of Education, College of Human Environmental Sciences, and Division of Community Affairs.

The development of the PLA has been guided by an emphasis on valuing all partners and the work they do through the PLA.

Through the PLA, parents are asked to initiate proactive conversations with principals, to attend and speak at school board meetings, and to talk with others in the PLA and in their schools about issues relevant to their school communities. Feedback from parents is gathered during and after each session, and PLA graduates have been special speakers at graduation ceremonies over the past three years of the PLA. Principals are also empowered through the PLA process, through engaged conversations about the process and outcomes of the PLA, through active involvement in sessions, and through work with their school’s PLA participants.

Sustaining Funds and Building Hours of Service

The success of PLA over the past six years has come from an investment of over 7,000 accumulated hours of work by parents, teachers and students. Launched with a $10,000 seed fund donation from UA, the city and county school districts have received outside funding and also contributed from their operating funds $38,400 annually to sustain and grow the program.

Additional grant applications have been submitted to expand the program. One PLA participant recently received a competitive UA seed grant to support her parent project to improve science and math education at Faucett Vestavia Elementary School. Another PLA project involved the formation of a grant-seeking subcommittee of the PTA that remains very active and is supported by PLA graduates and involved parents at the school.

Impacts are measured by parent activities and involvement in schools. One PLA graduate was invited to serve on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, gaining a critical seat at the table, as well as further opportunity to put her PLA-inspired leadership skills to work. During 2011–2012, Southview Elementary implemented a program facilitated and organized by parents and teachers to provide small group workshops for parents regarding curriculum.

Additional graduates have served in a leadership capacity for local educational initiatives such as the Westside Scholars Academy, which is an “academically challenging enrichment program” designed to support students’ “intellectual and social capacities … while contributing to the assets of the West Side community of Tuscaloosa,” according to the organization’s website,

We have been invited to talk about the PLA at the Alabama PTA Convention, the conference of Doing What Matters for Tuscaloosa’s Children Conference, the Optimist Club, Tuscaloosa Rotary, and District IV Federal Program Officers’ meetings. We are now expanding to other school districts. UA faculty and administrators are working with new partners, including Bessemer City Schools, and Lamar County Schools.

Research-Based Model

From the outset, the PLA model has been “research-based” in terms of its practices and strategies, with an emphasis on “context-based teaching and learning experiences.” In formulating the PLA model, we have identified successful, research-informed parent involvement programs that could serve as an initial framework. The emphasis on research is carried out in each PLA session. For example, each presenter/workshop facilitator is evaluated by parents to gain information about the effectiveness of the presentation and the utility of the information discussed.

Additionally, parents complete pre and post surveys that measure levels and changes in leadership self-efficacy, levels of communication with principals and other parents, perceptions of knowledge, and perceived current and future levels of engagement. Also, direct assessments of parents’ knowledge growth are collected at various points in the PLA year. Preliminary analysis of this data shows dramatic increases in parents’ knowledge about key issues, for example Alabama College- and Career-Readiness Standards (CCRS) and school finance.

In working with parents within and across each session, emphasis is placed on providing experiences that are interactive, involve active dialogue, and give specific attention to assisting parents with strategies for sharing information with other parents.

Through the PLA, faculty and graduate students in the College of Education and the College of Human Environmental Sciences have had direct experience in teaching, research and outreach in the area of parent involvement. UA faculty and graduate students have regularly made presentations to PLA participants, as have staff from both school districts. Graduate students have also made presentations about the PLA to a variety of audiences, and have participated in the creation of peer-reviewed research presentations.

Through the development of the PLA, The University of Alabama has deepened and strengthened its relationships with both school districts. These collaborative relationships have led to additional partnerships and engaged scholarship opportunities, through work with principals and with PLA graduates. Overwhelmingly, PLA graduates find sessions informative, helpful and renewing in their ability to positively impact their school communities.

Application Stressed

Prior to each session, we meet with every presenter/facilitator to ensure that how to apply the information, not just its presentation, is a central component. There was also interest in implementation of knowledge acquired. Parents were required to create a project at their schools that would significantly impact parental involvement and academic achievement. Interview data suggest that many of the projects designed continue to be implemented within schools.

Among the best practices sustained through six years of PLA are the following: full utilization of the knowledge possessed by individuals from the community and university as a support for parents’ learning; regular communication (including social media) with all stakeholders to build and sustain parent involvement over time; and active application of knowledge gained through the PLA through Parent Leadership Projects (with an emphasis on sustaining projects over time and inserting engaged scholarship principles within the projects themselves).

Summary and Future

The PLA has increased parent participation in the schools that are part of the network. We are continuously exploring ways to expand our network of schools and parents because the PLA is a working model for building leadership capacity among parents. To that end, the University has initiated plans to develop the Parent and Teacher Leadership Institute (PTLI) to focus specifically on developing leadership capacity among parents and teachers to increase the collaboration between school and home. Teachers and parents are crucial to overall student achievement. Therefore, the primary tenets of the PTLI will be professional development of teachers and parents to increase their leadership capacity, with the overall purpose of supporting students and increasing their academic achievement. The purpose will be to expand PLA, create a Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA), and develop a research and and effective practice clearinghouse.

The expanded PLA will reach more elementary parents in the West Alabama area, and add pre-K parents to the program. The TLA, set to begin as a pilot in fall 2013, will mirror the PLA and will include a network of elementary teacher leaders dedicated to expanding schools’ capacities for engaging parents and families. The research and effective practice clearinghouse will be a web-based collection of digital resources available to anyone interested in our research-based materials for parent and teacher leadership and engagement. For example, our curricular materials, videos of parent projects, and advocacy strategies would be readily available.

Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, has great confidence in the ability of PLA to improve education throughout Alabama. “The research clearly shows that if you support parents, then our homes, schools and communities will benefit in ways that will transform education in our state. The partnerships we have created are bringing about positive changes, and we look forward to another good year in 2014.”