Who We Are

Organized Parents Make A Difference

OPMAD, Inc. is a non-profit, parent-run organization that provides before and after school programs in four Hartford public elementary schools.

OPMAD is a grassroots organization started by parents of Hartford Public School children to broaden the experiences and interests of students and give them positive peer and adult role-models.

In 1992 a group of eight parents, who were running after-school programs in their children’s schools, met to discuss the issues they were facing. Some parents couldn’t find resources, some were concerned about the safety of the children in drop-in centers, and all were frustrated by the lack of programs for elementary age children.

Parents were becoming increasingly fearful as the streets and neighborhoods became recruitment zones for gangs. Some schools stayed open after 3:00 pm. but most locked their doors. These parents worked for one year to develop a parent-driven model and to secure funding to start OPMAD.

Parents soon found that OPMAD offered them as many benefits as it did their children. Through after-school programs and training opportunities for parents, OPMAD builds community capacity and social capital.

With a common purpose and an organizational structure to support and perpetuate it, OPMAD strengthens ties between the schools, the family and the community.

As civic participation declines in urban areas, OPMAD provides a means to use local human and organizational resources, link people to each other, create higher expectation for academic and community achievement and strengthen families. The outcome is increased academic success for adults and children and informed civic engagement.

Organized Parents Make A Difference, Inc. (OPMAD) is the only parent-run, before and after school organization in Hartford.