Strong Parental Involvement in Community Education

What is SPICE?
SPICE is an organization of parents with children in Durham Public Schools. We came together around quality education for our children and all children in Durham County, NC.

We work in low-income communities to close the education achievement gap and the digital divide by promoting family literacy and access to computers.

Our History
SPICE was launched as a project of the Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) in August 2001 with support from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. SARN reached out to parents in the Cornwallis public housing community in collaboration with the Durham Literacy Center, City of Durham Parks and Recreation and Durham Housing Authority.

Durham Literacy Center created Parents Powered Up as a program for parents to work with their children to improve family literacy. SPICE parents at Cornwallis graduated from the 6-week class in April 2002. Three of the eight graduating parents began teaching classes in the fall of 2002. More parents have been recruited to teach classes at the WD Hill Center, Weaver Street Center, Covenant Presbyterian Church and TOP-CAT locations in McDougald Terrace and at Village Lanes. NetCorps, a non-profit technology firm, consistently provided refurbished computers to all graduating SPICE families from April 2002 until November 2006. Teaming 4 Technology, a program of Triangle United Way, has provided refurbished computers to SPICE families since February 2007.

SPICE Independence
In June 2004, a $35,000 grant from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation began the process of building SPICE as an independent organization of parents.  On November 10, 2005 SPICE celebrated reaching 100 families with family literacy classes and home computers since April 2002.  On November 16, 2006 SPICE celebrated reaching 102 families in a single year.  On April 19, 2007, SPICE celebrated its 5-year anniversary with a graduation bringing the total families served to 262.

SPICE members adopted by-laws and elected officers in May 2007.  SPICE is reaching out for additional partnerships to close the achievement gap and the digital divide.  SPICE and community parters will build bridges to enrich the lives of African-American and Latino families through improved literacy and access to technology.  Parents working together for their children to succeed in school and have access to opportunities for economic advancement.

Get involved!
SPICE is open to all parents with children in the Durham Public School system.  Regular membership is $30 and membership for literacy class graduates is $10.  If you would like to join SPICE or make a tax-deductible donation, send checks to P.O. Box 11704, Durham, NC 27703.

You can also get in touch with us by email (pat2lu@yahoo.com) or phone (919-667-3477).