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We are evaluating the United Way Worldwide’s Family Engagement for High School Success initiative, which aims to support the families of disadvantaged high school youth by increasing involvement in their children’s education. This initiative, funded by AT&T, is part of United Way Worldwide’s national strategy to significantly reduce the nation’s high school dropout rate by 2018. In November 2009, AT&T granted 15 awards to local and state United Way sites to plan projects that will increase family–school–community partnerships.
During the first phase of the evaluation, we worked closely with United Way Worldwide to chart the grantee planning process, which is divided into three parts: defining focal populations, identifying outcomes, and developing strategies to achieve these outcomes. We began by creating a milestone document to measure progress, and developing a structured form to collect data from grantees as they complete each phase of the planning process. We used this data to help grantees construct clear and specific goals, strategies, and activities that are aligned with their desired outcomes. We provided this assistance through technical tools and conference calls.
This evaluation project culminated with a set of action plans from the grantees, as well as reports on the feasibility of implementing the action plans, the value of AT&T’s planning grant, and the benefits and challenges of its development. We will develop a toolkit to help other communities plan their own family engagement strategies to promote high school graduation.
A second phase of the evaluation will include documenting progress as the United Way sites implement their action plans.
RESOURCES DEVELOPED FOR THIS GRANT
FROM THE HFRP ARCHIVE
We’ve compiled some of our resources related to family engagement and high school for your reference: