It’s almost 2020, and one of my must-achieves for next year is to bring human-centered design strategies to family-serving organizations so they have the tools they need to keep families at the center of their programs and services.
I am really excited to announce that next year, the Early Learning Lab will be kicking off the Philadelphia Parent Innovation Institute.
The institute will bring early childhood organizations and the families they serve together to learn human-centered design so they can co-design and improve family engagement and early literacy programs for Philadelphia’s youngest learners.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet a diverse set of stakeholders from the early childhood and health sector who are doing incredible work on the ground in Philadelphia — and this space is ripe for a human-centered approach to family engagement.
With support from the William Penn Foundation, I will build on the Lab’s inaugural Parent Innovation Institute in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood and bring in my design experience to the new initiative in Philadelphia.
This partnership with the foundation comes from our mutual belief that solutions created with parents instead of for parents are much more likely to meet their needs. We are looking forward to bringing four organizations and the families they serve into a community of learning and practice.
I am also honored to be convening a diverse group of partners for our advisory committee, including members from the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Scattergood Foundation, Parent Power, the School District of Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation, and building a deep relationship with First Up, our local continuity partner who will help sustain the innovation and family engagement ecosystem in Philadelphia.
In January 2020, family-serving organizations in Philadelphia will have the opportunity to apply for fellowships with the Parent Innovation Institute. We will also be joining our friends at the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to lead a webinar about human-centered design and our work at the institute on Jan. 28 from 12-1:30 pm PST / 3-4:30 pm EST.
I look forward to sharing more exciting updates in the new year.