OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
The mission of the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership is to build effective family, school, and community partnerships that lead to greater achievement for students especially those with disabilities.Introduction
The partnership, which started as a small group of parents and administrators, now collaborates with 69 local school systems and over 165,000 families raising children with learning and/or physical challenges.
Created and partially-funded by the Georgia Department of Education’s Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports, the 79 Parent Mentors are moms and dads hired by local school systems to work with special education directors, parents, school teams, teachers, and the community. Their goal is to build a bridge of communication between home and school. Together, they collaborate with parents to increase involvement, both in addressing concerns as well as in reaching targeted goals to improve all children’s achievement levels. The Partnership, which meets two times a year statewide and four times a year regionally, is locally driven, which allows each unique program to meet the needs of its respective area.
Parent Mentors are well trained in problem-solving and team-building, and are constantly called upon to lead at the state, regional, and local level,” Kim Hartsell Director Division of Special Education Supports. “The enthusiasm and ideas generated by these parents coupled with the true teamwork that exists at the local level makes me wonder what we did before [the Parent Mentor Partnership] to really understand families’ needs.”Mentors build connections for families in the community, concentrate on transition needs of high-school students and young children, lead task forces, organize training sessions, collaborate with teachers, and offer more parent involvement activities in schools. Most importantly, the mentors listen to both parents and educators, and use their unique knowledge of both worlds to overcome obstacles in communication.
Terri Goodridge - Parent Mentor
Married with one school-aged child residing in Macon, GA
I joined the Parent Mentor Partnership in the Spring of 2008. My son is an amazing, loving, and funny child who just happens to have ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. With various supports, accommodations, and modifications, he is doing very successful in school and life.
Jennifer Minter - Parent Mentor
Married with two children residing in Macon, GA
I joined the Parent Mentor Partnership at the beginning of the 2014 school year. My daughter was diagnosed with a very rare condition, one of only 13 in the world. She is missing most of her cerebellum; which means her balance, speech, and coordination are greatly affected. She does walk, say a few words, and communicates mostly with signing and her communication device. Her other diagnosis is Sensory Integration Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. With her great sense of humor and love for others, she continues to make progress in life and school.