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Free training program helps parents and residents change their communities

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A free training program from Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network is now accepting online applications from residents who want the tools and knowledge to make positive changes in their communities.

The Hawaiʻi Parent Leadership Training Institute helps participants become strong, confident community leaders by developing their leadership, communication, and advocacy skills. The 20-week program is the only one of its kind in the state. Through the Parent Leadership Training Institute, participants identify issues that impact children and practice their new skills by completing hands-on projects in their own communities.

“Parents, caregivers, and residents statewide know the challenges facing their neighborhoods, schools, and communities,” said Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network. “Each year, we’re so inspired by the participants that come out of PLTI and generate impactful solutions for their communities.”


Since 2015, the Parent Leadership Training Institute has trained more than 100 alumni on Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi. This year, there will be a statewide virtual program available for Kauaʻi residents. The program will start in September 2023 and run through March 2024. All community members that are passionate about the welfare of children are encouraged to learn more and apply at hawaii-can.org/plti.

“It’s so important that parents, caregivers, and families can effectively use their voices and influence the laws, policies, and systems that affect their children and communities,” said Mele Andrade, HCAN’s Director of Family Engagement and Training. “By increasing civic engagement, we can improve outcomes for Hawaiʻi’s children and communities.”

The Parent Leadership Training Institute is organized by the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network, which is dedicated to ensuring that all keiki are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. The program is supported by local and national funders, including the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, City and County of Honolulu, Alliance for Early Success, Aloha United Way, Family Values @ Work, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, HT Hayashi Foundation, McInerny Foundation, and Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation. The evidence-based curriculum is provided by the National Parent Leadership Institute.


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