Detroit Parent Network: A Leader in the Community

The Detroit Parent Network Is Michigan’s Premier Parent Engagement Organization That Educates, Equips And Empowers Parents As Champions For Their Children And For Change In Their Schools And Community.
Growing from a start-up nonprofit in 2002, Detroit Parent Network is a membership network of more than 1,200 parents serving low-income families that are predominantly African American and Latino. DPN works to improve parent involvement in education, which is proven to promote child success. DPN is also Michigan’s premier parent membership association with 1,200 members who pay a small annual fee for a wide array of member benefits. DPN encourages our parent members to participate at every level of involvement with the school and at all stages of their child’s development.


A feature of DPN’s core programs is elevating parents to personal transformation which elevates their own pathway to literacy, workforce development and helps them support the aspirations of their children.DPN’s Core Parent Power Trainings are Parent Leadership, Parent Advocacy, Parenting Education (Love & Logic), Facilitator Training, and programs that foster a parent’s involvement in their child’s education. Central to DPN’s model is the recruitment, support and training of parents as peer-peer trainers that go on to become Homebased Early Childhood Literacy Coaches, and Train other Parents in early childhood to high school and college settings.


DPN utilizes a neighborhood-based framework for our work  engaging families and partners on the Eastside, Westside, Central and Southwest neighborhoods. Each area team is responsible for partnering with organizations, schools, and community groups in their service areas. The DPN manager also has a parent program assistant (PPA) to assist with program delivery, promotion, and recruitment in their neighborhoods. In addition, each sector has a Parent Advisory Team (PAT) consisting of up to 20 parent members representing each zip code in the area. The Parent Advisory Teams assist the area team in assessing and addressing needs in their neighborhoods. The PATs also help to identify and engage local partners, from neighborhood-based organizations to small neighborhood businesses. Partners can be involved in everything from an individual event to hosting the DPN core programs, providing seven weeks of parent training. DPN also contracts with early care and learning providers and schools to provide specific parent workshops as identified by the school.


DPN’s work in the community includes new partnerships in Health  to better connect families and intentional work to lift up Special Needs Families as a population of parents who have powerful stories, recommendations and needs that too often are overlooked.


As a result of its advocacy work with families DPN is also pleased to provide leadership in helping parents understand and strategize around the challenges of Michigan’s Third Grade Reading Legislation.Accordingly it has brought together parents, educators and advocates in bilingual workshops to better understand the legislation. While families learn the




penalties and opportunities in the law, there is simultaneous emphasis on the need to embrace and encourage early literacy and reading as essential to lifelong learning and career attainment.


In 2017-18, DPN provided programming through contracts with six schools (both district and charter), as well as providing grant-funded services to eleven schools, sixteen Head Start and child care facilities, four City of Detroit recreation centers, and some twenty nonprofit and faith-based organizations.Services include training, support groups, workshops and parent/child activities.  DPN in addition to its training offers two Pathways programs. Pathways to Literacy a homebased, peer-to-peer literacy program for children ages 1.5 to 4.5 years old that is also offered in Spanish. In the summer of 2018 DPN embarked on building an innovative pilot entitled Pathways to Education and Careers as a multi-generational workforce development pilot that already has partners in higher education, workforce development and a exciting partnership with the Detroit College Access Network DCAN.



Pathways to Education and Careers is a collaborative approach that infuses parent engagement and an equity framework across adult education, colleges, workforce agencies and corporate partners in order to reduce intergenerational poverty. Through its history of supporting and empowering parents, DPN understands that a deeper and more equitable approach with Families is required particularly in Metro Detroit where so many young people and adults are seemingly locked out of the economic development that thrives in Downtown and the suburbs. Together with