What We Do
Pittsfield Listens supports emerging youth and adult leaders through education, training, and participatory leadership development so that students succeed in the Pittsfield schools and beyond. We operate with youth and adult-led committees:
- Family & Community Engagement (FACE): Parent and Family-led organizing committee building a strong and thriving family-school partnership.
- Pittsfield Youth Voice in it Together (PYViiT): Youth-led organizing committee, encouraging the power of historically marginalized youth voice on issues and policies that directly affect their education and their lives.
- The Committee of Pittsfield Listens: Youth and Adult-led committee working to boost Pittsfield’s Civic Health.
- Pittsfield Farm to School: Working to establish farm-to-school connections.
- Governance: Our processes of sharing in decision-making and power.
- Family & Community Engagement (FACE) is the Parent and Family-led organizing committee of Pittsfield Listens, which encourages the power of historically marginalized parent and family voice on issues and policies in the Pittsfield Schools. Parent Leaders support student success through building a strong and thriving family-school partnership. FACE works to ensure parent and family voice is authentically incorporated into the decision-making of the Pittsfield Schools.
- Pittsfield Youth Voice in it Together (PYViiT) is the youth-led organizing committee of Pittsfield Listens, which encourages the power of youth voice on issues and policies that directly affect their education and their lives, with a specific focus on engaging those who have historically been underrepresented. PYViiT develops the leadership of emerging youth leaders in order to build youth power. Youth leaders work to hold the Pittsfield, NH community and its schools accountable to the needs of historically marginalized students and their families, ensuring that students are authentically included in key educational decision-making. PYViiT also works to deepen relationships across local, state and regional partnerships with youth organizing groups, so that young people are engaged in transforming culture and policy in New England, grounded in the values of community, equity, justice, and love.
- The Committee of Pittsfield Listens brings together Pittsfield community members with different views to share ideas, get informed, and help shape the future of Pittsfield. The PL committee will never take a position on a particular issue. We are here to create the process that allows all residents to talk about the issues and share ideas—not to say what needs to happen or how to vote. We want to get people together to talk about what is happening in our town, without feeling any pressure or agenda. How we work:
- Bring people together from all walks of life.
- Provide time for in-depth, informed conversations.
- Respect differences as well as seek common ground.
- Partner with local groups to create conversations among residents that are fair and lead to well-informed community.
- Strengthen engagement in public life and decision making.
- Pittsfield Farm to School: We are working to establish farm-to-school connections within Pittsfield. Starting with a pilot community garden, we have grown to introduce local foods to the K-12 schools, establish school gardens, and advocate for agriculture and nutrition education, and more! We work in collaboration with many local partners to see through these efforts, including the Pittsfield, NH Schools and Pittsfield Youth Workshop.
- Pittsfield Listens Governance: Pittsfield Listens seeks to have internal processes that reflect the organization’s deep commitment to dialogue and equity, and a value of nothing about us, without us. The adoption and implementation of Dynamic Governance- also known as Sociocracy- has resulted in our organization to have more authentic practice of the egalitarian principles to best support shared leadership, decision-making and shared power, and has helped to build a structure for long term sustainability. This structure provides a structured connection between the Leaders in our program work and our governing bodies, and a connection to our state and regional partners. As part, we have a Board of Directors and Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from the committees and staff. Learn more about the Pittsfield Listens Board and Steering Committee members here