The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently announced the Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Award (PIMA) program for 2014. 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 and recommend one state winner. The state winner will be announced at a special ceremony scheduled for May 16. During the ceremony, all semifinalists and finalist will also be recognized.
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.
Nomination forms are available on MSDE’s website at http://www.msde.state.md.us/w/PIMANominationForm2014.pdf. Nomination packets must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 31, and should be sent 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 e-mail.
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 35 caring community 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.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.