In PLAN in the News

Pecolia Manigo, PLAN Executive Director facilitating during Family Engagement Convening.

PLAN launches a new program: Transformative Capacity Building Program

Over the years, PLAN has developed key lessons in engaging families at schools sites and in school districts.  Through work coalition, we help pass and now to implement the statewide Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), School Site Councils (SSCs) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Annually, PLAN has supported local organizations and districts with implementing family engagement standards, creating curriculum to further implement and deepen work through designed leadership development programs. In reflecting on our strengths we now offer this dual capacity building as a core program to our (new and soon to be released) Theory of Change.

PLAN’s Transformative Capacity Building (TCB) Program supports organizations, schools, districts and counties to increase their implementation of transformative family engagement, create effective plans for implementation of LCFF and ESSA through dual capacity building coaching, training and systemic change consulting.

Since LCFF’s adoption, PLAN has aimed to identify the core elements of a district based equitable funding system. In addition, we have worked to identify how to implement core elements of transformative family engagement, targeting cultural shifts around family perceptions in school structures and shared decision-making. Through the TCB program, we work with organizations throughout the Bay Area to improve their capacity to monitor school and district implementation of LCFF and ESSA to ensure that adequate strategies are implemented with parents fully engaged in a deep democratic process. 

Currently, the TCB Program is engaged in on-going work the Hanna Project and the Sausalito Marin City School District and with Building Blocks for Kids in Richmond. More information will be coming soon on our website.  Please check out upcoming Institutes, webinars and other resources.


Second Line Procession & Dance, Reach Academy.

Parents Organize Their First African and African American Celebration

On March 1, 2017, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN) and the Parent Action Team (PAT) at REACH Academy in East Oakland organized the school’s first parent-led African and African American Celebration.

Parents worked diligently for three months organizing all aspects planning and logistics.  They developed and outreach plan and the program for the event.  The PAT ensured the event program offered learning opportunities for teachers and guests to deepen their knowledge of African and African American culture.  Parents focused the celebration to include different influences of culture like art, poetry, music, and literature.  Another goal was also to highlight the diversity in of the food and cuisines.  PLAN provided traditional soul food, and volunteers cooked delicious dishes.  During the lunch participants shared recipes and highlighted similarities and differences in food regionally and across continents.


Students participating in African and African American Celebration at Reach Academy, Oakland, CA.

Parents also felt this event was a way to share their appreciation of the hard work done by teachers at Reach.  Teachers had a chance to dance traditional music, they danced the second line dance from New Orleans danced at funerals processions.  During our event guests danced in a line around the building and then created a circle and one by one, and each person in the circle comes to the middle and dances while everyone else cheers.  All long swinging a white handkerchief in their hand. It was an incredible experience to see parents and teachers truly bonding in the experience.

Teachers supported this celebration; two teachers sang a song and Principal Moore recited two poems she wrote. Students were also represented by King Coffee who recited “Young, Gifted and Black.”

This truly was a community building transformative event in every sense.  PLAN would like to thank REACH and the PAT, volunteers, staff, parents and teacher for making the event such a success.


Back row Principal Moore, 2nd grade teacher, Silvia Alejo mother, Elizabeth Comeau Literacy Specialist, and in the front best buddy Julian Cuenca and winner Ivan Alejo.

UPDATE – Holiday Reading Winner Reading is Fundamental & Fund Campaign (RFF)

Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN), the Parent Action Team (PAT), school administrators, and school partners designed and conducted a campaign to increase literacy at Madison Park Business & Arts Academy.  The Reading is Fundamental & Fun Holiday Reading Challenge took place this past winter break.

Ivan Alejo, a second grade student at Madison Park Elementary school participated in the Reading is Fundamental & Fun workshops.  Ivan, won the Reading is Fundamental & Fun Holiday Reading Challenge by reading more than any other student who submitted entry forms.

Treated to a private lunch in Principal Sabrina Moore’s office were Ivan, his mother Silvia Alejo and his closest buddie Julian Cuenca.  They enjoyed a delicious lunch and talked about the books he read and his hobbies.

At the end of the school year students, parents and guardians, teachers and administrators look forward to seeing stronger readers at Madison Park Business & Arts Academy.

PLAN combined and used its Kellogg Foundation funded Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents (LEAP) Program and First Five Alameda County’s Parents Ready for School (PR4S) community project to support children’s families’ and the school’s goals of developing strong readers.



Bay Area Family Engagement Convening Participants February 25, 2017, Oakland, CA.

First Bay Area Family Engagement Convening

On February 25th, the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN) organized our first Bay Area Family Engagement Convening. This event to brought together organizers, parents, and students leaders from allied organizations.  We reflected as a group on our movement for Education Equity.  PLAN facilitated activities to help deepen understanding and begin to align standards for “Family Engagement” to highlight what was most important for our communities regionally.  

The organizations who were able to participate were Californians for Justice (CFJ) in Oakland, Sacred Heart from San Jose, Coleman Advocates for Youth from San Francisco, and Building Blocks for Kids (BBK) from Richmond, joined PLAN parent leaders.  PLAN presented different standards that currently exist for Family Engagement.  The participants began to define the priorities for parents and students.  


Petronila Fernandez and other Convening participants.

Petronila Fernandez, parent leader at BBK, who is a mother of two sons in the Richmond Unified School District, was so excited to participate.  She describes her experience, “I wanted to learn even more though it had been almost eight hour day.”  She felt the information that PLAN presented was excellent. She described the impact of getting to learn other parent leaders issues from across the region.  “I met different parent leaders that are experiencing both similar and different things, but with the same spirit of wanting to improve and have impact in our children’s education.”  Parent leaders like Petrolina participated in an education equity timeline exercise facilitated by PLAN.  Many reflected how far our movement has come, but that there are challenges that still remain – inequities and racism.  

Participants of the convening were impacted and came away with a deeper understanding from hearing about the lived and shared experiences that parents regionally face.   Petrolina sums up her experience,  “As parents we feel discouraged when we think about creating changes to long-standing practices in our school district, but knowing we are not alone, sharing our similar experiences, and by creating and loving ourselves enough to go out and talk to people,” these experiences deeply impacted participants.  

PLAN plans to continue working with allied organizations across the region to organize convenings like these.  For more information please contact PLAN at 510-444-7526.

plan-logo-new-300x91-1852323PLAN in the News



Support our 5K PLAN Runners

Join us April 2nd as we outreach to Oakland parents about PLAN’s work.  Please sponsor our runners with a donation to PLAN or volunteer the day of on behalf of PLAN.  Please contact us at 510-444-7526 x309 for more information.


familyfest-300x225-87321483rd Annual Family Fest and Learning Day

PLAN invites families with children ages 0-14 to join us at our annual Family Fest at Madison Park Business & Art Academy in East Oakland on April 22nd 11am until 2pm. Our Family Fest provides a fun outdoor environment for families to access know your rights and other resources, learn through workshops that focus on social emotional development of children, literacy and much more.  Fun interactive activities, music, food, and prize.  Free for families to enjoy!


eastbaygivesmay4th-300x139-7091866Make a Donation to PLAN on May 4th!

Looking for ways to make a difference in your community?  Support PLAN this May 4th and you can be part of the biggest East Bay Gives ever!  Learn more at





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