A group of local nonprofits is offering a training program to get people involved in civic engagement in their communities. 

A free 20-session bilingual training program called the Leadership Institute of NCW will start this fall. 

Community Foundation of NCW Community Engagement Director Claire Oatey says it's meant to get people involved in community leadership, which can come in many forms. 

"It can be joining their PTA or running for office," said Oatey. "Or it could be less official than that, just advocating for positive change in their community and getting involved, joining a nonprofit board, volunteering and that sort of thing." 

The Community Foundation of NCW is partnering with Our Valley Our Future and Thriving Together NCW on the program.  

They're using a curriculum that was developed by the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), a Connecticut-based family civics organization. 

Oatey says one priority of the program will be to get parents involved in leadership roles. 

“We really want leadership in the community to improve child outcomes and make our community stronger for the next generation,” Oatey said. “So, we’re looking for people who have that common goal of wanting to improve the community for our kids.” 

A release from the Community Foundation says PLTI has partnered for the past 30 years with parents and community members with a goal of improving child outcomes, advancing democracy and increasing racial equity through the civic engagement of families and the community.  

More than 10,000 people across the U.S. have graduated from the PLTI program. 

Leadership Institute of NCW classes will be held at the Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) campus starting in September. They’ll meet once a week through mid-January.  

Applications to participate in the program will open in April through the Community Foundation’s website. 

The first class of 20-25 participants will meet at WVC, followed by classes in Grant and Okanogan counties.  

Childcare and meals will be provided to attendees, along with a cash stipend upon successful program completion. 

The classes will be taught by eight community members who attended PLTI training sessions at Everett Community College in July 2023 and are now certified facilitators of the PLTI curriculum. 

The Leadership Institute of NCW effort is being guided by a Civic Design Team of 14 groups with wide-ranging interests - including Wenatchee Valley Dispute Resolution Center, Wenatchee Pride, Catholic Charities, Hispanic Business Council, and North Central ESD. 

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