In My Shoes: The National Parent Education Center

"I knew that we needed to reach more people to have a greater impact in the lives of children receiving a quality education. I knew we needed a website. However, the cost of someone building and monitoring the website was unaffordable. ... I was told that FrontPage was easy to use and learn, especially if you were skilled at using Microsoft Word."


Donated Software Helps to Create Quality Education for Kids in Georgia

After Phyllis Austin had moved to Georgia and registered her son in her local elementary school, she became appalled by the way Georgia's public education system was run. Even though she knew her son had trouble spelling, he had inexplicably made the honor roll. After digging deeper, she found that some of Georgia's public schools had low standards and expectations of their students, inflated grades frequently, had an inadequate curriculum, and were willing to mislead both parents and students about each child's abilities. Unfortunately, many parents were unaware.

Austin realized that she had to create a way to supplement public education with additional learning tools and assignments. She created In My Shoes to teach parents how to recognize quality education and how to create that same quality education for their children. By starting conversations with parents about their children's education, In My Shoes allows parents to become aware of their children's needs. 

In 2001, In My Shoes had a network of 100 people. Austin knew that the only way to have a greater impact on the children of Georgia was to reach more parents. In My Shoes needed a website but had no budget and minimal donations. The organization turned to Microsoft FrontPage because of its ease of use. After starting with fewer than 1,000 visits per month in 2004, its website grew to attract several million visits by 2009. 

In My Shoes even added educational multimedia content to its website. Using Microsoft Movie Maker to edit the movies and Microsoft Media Player to display them, the organization is able to disseminate information to parents in more ways. Because In My Shoes cannot afford to lease a physical office space, this website serves as the main place for parents to get information about the organization. By using Microsoft Publisher in conjunction with Microsoft Office 2007, In My Shoes creates brochures, flyers, and educational materials for parents.