The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently announced the Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Award (PIMA) program for 2015. The annual award recognizes parents and guardians whose contributions have led to improvements in Maryland public schools.
The award was created by MSDE to highlight the positive impact parents have on public schools and to encourage parental involvement. MSDE is now accepting applications for award nominees. Nominees should be parents or guardians who have demonstrated a significant and positive impact on public education within their communities.
In order to be eligible for the award, nominees must be the parent/legal guardian of a child in a Maryland public school, and a consistent advocate of public education. Nominees must have also demonstrated involvement in one of the five following areas within the last 24 months:
Communicating – fostering communication that impacts the school community;
Volunteering – recruiting or organizing volunteers, or supporting school activities, both internal and external;
Learning – organizing or coordinating learning activities that reinforce homework or classroom skills;
Collaborating with Community – coordinating resources and services for the school community, which could include fundraisers that would enhance a school’s services environment, or coordinating resources or services from the school community that may serve an external community; and
Decision making – participating on decision-making committees, or in programs that advocate system or policy changes, or serving as a representative for the school or education community.
Nominations must include three letters of recommendation, a two-page narrative essay describing the nominee’s contribution to public education and completed nomination forms. Judges will select 24 semifinalists – one from each Maryland county, and one from Baltimore City. A second group of judges will select five finalists for the statewide award. All finalists will be interviewed by a third panel of judges, who will recommend one state winner. The state winner will be announced at a May 15 ceremony. All semifinalists and finalists will also be recognized during the ceremony.
As part of the program, semifinalists, finalists and the state winner have opportunities to promote parent involvement that include speaking at educational events and conferences; appearing at Maryland State Board of Education and/or local Board of Education meetings; participating on educational task forces or committees; and participating in a best practices publication and/or website that serves to inspire parents as well as give them practical advice.
Nominations are due on Friday, Jan. 30. Application information is posted on the MSDE website at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/pima/docs/2015PIMANominationForm.pdf. Nominations should be mailed to: Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Communications, Partnerships and Grants, 7th Floor, Attention: PIMA, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered and submissions will not be accepted online or by email.
To learn more about the PIMA program and previous award winners, visit www.MarylandPublicSchools.org/pima.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.