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August 28, 2011
The Family Involvement Makes a Difference series examines family involvement in early childhood, elementary school, and middle and high school settings.
In his article on The Huffington Post, Earl Martin Phalen, Interim CEO of Reach Out and Read and founder of Summer Advantage USA, calls for parental and family engagement in children’s education to increase academic achievement. Citing research from Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), Phalen points out, “The research cuts across socioeconomic lines . . . [HFRP’s research shows] low income African American children whose families maintain high rates of parent participation in elementary school are more likely to complete high school."
Urging that engagement is not confined to school visits, Phalen recommends that parents form partnerships with their child’s teacher early in the school year, talk with their child about the school day and inspect homework, and read with their child regularly. And, he points out, family engagement in a child’s education need not be confined to parents: “If there's a child in your family (cousin, niece, younger sibling) and you notice the parents may be busy, take the initiative to send them books or encourage them during school related conversations.”
Read “Success Starts With Family Engagement” on The Huffington Post.