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Press Release: Maryland Parent Involvement Awards Program Issues Call For Nominations

Statewide Effort To Honor Parents, Guardians Remains Unique In The Nation

For Immediate Release                                                        Contact: William Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (November 17, 2014)

The Maryland State Department of Education today announced a call for nominations for the eighth annual Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Awards (PIMA).  The unique awards program honors parents and others with legal responsibility for a child whose exemplary contributions to public education have led to improvements for children, teachers, schools, programs and/or policies.

“Maryland’s annual Parent Involvement Matters Awards celebrate the unsung heroes in American education – those parents and guardians who give up their time in service of student success,” said Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery.  “These incredible volunteers not only help their own children, but they are often able to lift an entire school community to greater heights.”

Dr. Matthew Crawford, last year’s winner, provides an outstanding example of the work taking place throughout Maryland.  An assistant professor of chemistry at Frostburg State University (FSU), he volunteers at nearby Flintstone Elementary, where he places a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, developing “Discovery Days” at the school.  These programs engage students in STEM and integrate the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards.  Dr. Crawford invites fellow professors to take part in the programs and frequently brings children to the FSU campus.

The Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Awards remain the nation’s only statewide celebration of the critical work that parents provide our schools and classrooms.  The awards program was developed to shine a spotlight on parents who have demonstrated significant involvement in the following areas: Communication, Volunteering, Learning, Decision Making and Community Collaboration. The program’s theme, Choose Your Seat. Get Involved., illustrates the point that Maryland parents are involved in a wide range of activities to support their public schools and to encourage all parents to get involved whatever way they can.  

2015 Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Award nominees must be parents or legal guardians of children attending Maryland public schools, and cannot be employees of MSDE or the Maryland public school system. Twenty four semifinalists will be selected – one parent from each of the 23 Maryland counties and one from Baltimore City.  Of the semifinalists, five finalists and one statewide winner will be named at an award celebration planned for the spring of 2015.

PIMA nomination forms are available to be downloaded at  Nominations must be postmarked by Friday, January 30, 2015.

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