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Dear FINE Member,
Here are this month's FINE member updates. As always, please feel free to forward this information to your friends and other education colleagues.
New From FINE
As we reflect on the fifth anniversary of the passage of No Child Left Behind, FINE remains committed to providing you with research-based materials that have implications for your work in both policy and practice. Family involvement matters for children of all ages, and we continue to offer you resources about family involvement from early childhood through adolescence. This month, we bring you a new research brief that has direct implications for policy and practice during the elementary school years. Stay tuned this spring for the final installment of the series, which focuses on family involvement at the middle and high school levels.
We are pleased to announce the second research brief in our series Family Involvement Makes a Difference. This series provides evidence of family involvement's importance for children of all age levels, as well as direct recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. Our new brief, Family Involvement in Elementary School Children's Education, reviews research on why and how family involvement matters for elementary school children's learning and socio-emotional development. It highlights how you can use this research to promote effective policies and practices.
You can read the first brief in the series, which reviews family involvement research and its implications in early childhood education, at the link above.
New From HFRP
Growing evidence tells us that parent involvement in after school programs can make a difference in children's lives, as well as benefit families, schools, and after school programs themselves. This article by Ellen Mayer and Holly M. Kreider draws from research conducted by HFRP in partnership with Build the Out-of-School Time Network and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. It describes four strategies for engaging elementary school families in after school programs and provides examples of promising practices from family-focused programs serving ethnically diverse families. The article also offers implications for parents and parent leaders as they select and design after school programs. You can read the article, which was published in the National PTA's magazine Our Children, at the link above.
Based on the same research conducted by HFRP, Build the Out-of-School Time Network, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, this guide to engaging families in after school programs provides a fuller description of the strategies and programs described in the article above.
Harvard Family Research Project's Holly Kreider and her family have relocated back home to Northern California. We will miss her but appreciate all of the work and the contributions she has made to HFRP over the years.
This report offers an inventory of Rhode Island state agency efforts to involve parents in the design, implementation, evaluation, and oversight of policy and programs that affect children and families.
The Parent Institute conducted a survey of almost 6,800 education leaders—including superintendents, principals from elementary and secondary schools, guidance counselors, parent coordinators, and federal program directors. Respondents reported on their concerns about parent involvement, funding levels for parent involvement, and the types of information that parents need to get involved in their children's education.
Parents Anonymous has named February National Parent Leadership month. They have designed a tool kit to give organizations the resources they need to promote and gain visibility for National Parent Leadership Month in their community.
This tool was developed by The Countywide Working Group for Latino Student Success in Portland and Multnomah County, Oregon. Teachers or administrators can use the tool individually or working together as a group. The tool serves as an evaluative measure, a guide to improving family involvement, and a resource to promote reflection and discussion among staff.
Part of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory’s Afterschool Training Toolkit, this Web resource describes step-by-step how to develop family literacy events in after school programs and provides helpful tools and tips for families based on students' reading and writing needs.
Recent Articles & Reports
The Council of Chief State School Officers recently profiled four schools and a school district about their efforts to involve families in early childhood education. This report focuses on the ways these sites involved diverse families both inside and outside of the school building and bridged cultural and linguistic differences.
This policy brief from the National Assembly investigates family volunteering as a strategy for strengthening low-income families with children. By participating together in community services, parents and children develop close relationships, learn together, and improve their neighborhoods.
Parent Advocacy & Empowerment Resources
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform chronicles an initiative to close achievement gaps at Berkeley High School and counter widespread misperceptions about families of color. The article demonstrates that parents will work hard to improve education for their children. You can read an excerpt from the article at the link above.
This World Bank Policy Research Working Paper evaluates the impact of small grants designed to empower parents by way of school-based management teams in rural Mexico.
Voices for America’s Children has developed this primer to support child advocates. Each chapter includes a basic overview of an advocacy skill and provides examples of how that skill can be used to improve the lives of children in the United States.
Join educators, parents, students, activists, and community members from around the country for a 3-day conference at the end of April in Brooklyn, New York, to explore the connections between math education and social justice. Bob Moses, founder of the Algebra Project, is the keynote speaker.
The 16th annual National Center for Family Literacy conference will be held in Orlando, Florida. Join Heather Weiss, founder and director of the Harvard Family Research Project, on Monday, March 5, at a Special Session Discussion Luncheon, where she will talk about using children’s stories to engage families in reading and in their children's schools. For details, visit the conference site at the link above.
If you experience a problem reading this newsletter or have questions and comments concerning our work, we would love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FINE Team at Harvard Family Research Project