Bridge Offers Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) Come and learn how you can make a difference in the lives of West Hartford children by expanding your leadership and advocacy skills. The Family Resource Center (FRC), a program of the Bridge Family Center, is offering the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) for the fifth year. The program trains, inspires, and empowers parents to become effective advocates for children. An information session will be held at the Family Resource Center at Charter Oak International Academy on Friday, November 13 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Children are welcome and refreshments will be served. Representatives from PLTI will be on hand to answer questions. Call the FRC at 860-929-5575 to reserve a spot. The 20-week program will kick off with a retreat on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at Conard High School. Subsequent classes will be held weekly on Thursday evenings from January 21 through June 2 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. with a family dinner and childcare provided. There is no fee to participate. The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) uses a curriculum developed by the CT Commission on Children and is taught by 3 facilitators selected by the Commission. The curriculum covers leadership skills, clarifying personal strengths and beliefs, problem-solving, diversity, our roles in our town, and local and state government. Classes include presentations by local officials and other community leaders, including the Mayor and Superintendent of schools. Participants will learn how state and local governments work and will gain an understanding of economic trends and their impact on families. Each participant completes an individual community service project in an area of his or her choice--something she/he feels passionate about. There will be both a local and a statewide graduation at the end of the program. The Bridge is recruiting 25 parents and grandparents who live or work in West Hartford. Upon graduating from the program, participants will share their knowledge with other parents and grandparents in future sessions of PLTI, passing along the lessons learned to increase the number of people advocating on behalf of all children. For more information, or to sign up, call Deborah Zipkin at 860-233-4701. PLTI is a statewide initiative. The funding for the 2016 PLTI is a Parent Trust Fund grant of $32,777 through the State Education Resource Center (SERC).