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Joining Forces: Families and Out-of-School Programs as Partners in Supporting Children’s Learning and Development

Harvard Family Research Project’s Senior Research Analysts Heidi Rosenberg, Erin Harris, and Shani Wilkes explore how the relationship between families and afterschool is shifting from a focus on increasing afterschool program participation toward a focus on parents’ supporting children’s learning and development in afterschool settings.

Heidi Rosenberg , Erin Harris, Shani Wilkes (June 28, 2012) Research Report

Raising Expectations for Out-of-School Time

Samantha Grant, a program evaluator at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, and a parent, offers guidance to families looking to make good decisions about their children’s out-of-school time activities.

Samantha Grant (June 28, 2012) Research Report

MAKESHOP: Family Engagement in Exploration, Creativity, and Innovation

Jane Werner and Lisa Brahms, from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, discuss the Museum’s innovative MAKESHOP studio space, which invites children and families to co-create projects and transforms the traditional museum visit experience.

Jane Werner , Lisa Brahms (June 28, 2012) Research Report

Book Excerpt: Promising Practices for Family Engagement in Out-of-School Time

This new book on family involvement in out-of-school time (OST), edited by former HFRP staff members Holly Kreider and Helen Westmoreland, includes information on promising practices, benefits, and concerns related to family involvement in OST, and features a chapter written by former HFRP staff members Suzanne Bouffard, Kelley O’Carroll, Helen Westmoreland, and Priscilla Little.

Suzanne Bouffard , Helen Westmoreland, Kelley O'Carroll, and Priscilla Little (December 5, 2011) Research Report

Partnerships for Learning: Promising Practices in Integrating School and Out-of-School Time Program Supports

This new report from HFRP is aimed to help out-of-school time (OST) program leaders, decision-makers, and funders to understand and implement effective OSTschool partnerships for learning.

Harvard Family Research Project (March 2010) Research Report

Reframing Family Involvement in Education: Supporting Families to Support Educational Equity

This research review, part of the Equity Matters research initiative at the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, argues that family involvement in education is a powerful but neglected tool to support children’s learning and development.  Disadvantaged children are both more likely to benefit from increased family involvement and to come from families who face the greatest barriers to such involvement.  To reframe public understanding of the benefits of family involvement in children’s education, this paper lays out a research-based definition and more equitable approach to family involvement and positions it as a key cross-cutting component of broader comprehensive or complementary learning systems.

Heather B. Weiss , Suzanne M. Bouffard, Beatrice L. Bridglall, Edmund W. Gordon (December 2009) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Expanded Learning Opportunities — Pathways to Student Success

This paper highlights research on the promise of expanded learning approaches — including after-school, summer, extended day, and community networks—for education reform.

Priscilla M. Little (October 2009) Research Report

The Federal Role in Out-of-School Learning: After-School, Summer Learning, and Family Involvement as Critical Learning Supports (Voices in Urban Education, Summer 2009)

Our article in Voices for Urban Education makes a research-based case for the federal provision of out-of-school complementary learning supports.

Heather B. Weiss , Priscilla M.D. Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (Summer 2009) Research Report

Complementary Learning Connections With Out-of-School Time Programs in Nebraska

When families, schools, and out-of-school supports work together, children are more likely to succeed. Lisa St. Clair writes about how the Nebraska State Parental Information and Resource Center is using a complementary learning approach to link family support programs with schools, early childhood programs, and out-of-school time programs.

Lisa St. Clair (August 2009) Research Report

A Day in the Life: Family Engagement in Citizen Schools

Emily Schneider-Krzys, the Deputy Program Director of Citizen Schools in Texas, explains how the Citizen Schools program’s focus on creating networks, building intentional relationships, and establishing consistent communication helps to engage families and support student learning.

Emily Schneider-Krzys (August 2009) Research Report

Family Involvement Across Learning Settings

Families play important roles in supporting children’s learning not just in school but also in the many out-of-school contexts in which they learn. Harvard Family Research Project’s Helen Westmoreland talks about how families and nonschool learning settings, such as out-of-school time programs, museums, and libraries, can work together to promote student achievement.

Helen Westmoreland (August 2009) Research Report

Featured Teaching Case: After School for Cindy

Harvard Family Research Project’s Teaching Cases support teacher training and professional development by highlighting challenges that schools, families, and communities may encounter in supporting children’s learning. In this month’s FINE newsletter, we feature After School for Cindy, which explores the roles that family members, school staff, and community organizations play in one child’s out-of-school time and demonstrates the importance of family engagement across learning contexts.

Harvard Family Research Project (August 2009) Research Report

From Periphery to Center: A New Vision for Family, School, and Community Partnerships

Written by Harvard Family Research Project's Heather Weiss and Naomi Stephen, this chapter presents a comprehensive, integrated family, school, and community partnership framework that can help level the playing field for disadvantaged children and ensure that they have access to the parental involvement and community engagement practices of their more advantaged peers in order to enhance their learning.

Heather B. Weiss , Naomi Stephen (May 2009) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Strengthen What Happens Outside School to Improve What Happens Inside

This article by Harvard Family Research Project in the April 2009 issue of  Phi Delta Kappan offers research-based recommendations for federal education legislation.

Heather Weiss , Priscilla Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (April 2009) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

The Federal Role in Out-of-School Learning: After-School, Summer Learning, and Family Involvement as Critical Learning Supports

Four decades of research demonstrate that it is necessary to redefine learning—both where and when it takes place—if the country is to achieve the goal of educating all of its children. This report from Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) makes a research-based case for federal provision of out-of-school complementary learning supports, so that all students gain the skills necessary for success in the 21st century.

Heather B. Weiss , Priscilla M. D. Little, Suzanne M. Bouffard, Sarah N. Deschenes, Helen Janc Malone (February 2009) Research Report

Supporting Student Outcomes Through Expanded Learning Opportunities

This paper looks at the role of after school and summer learning programs in supporting student success. The paper explores how to bridge the divide between out-of-school time programs and schools by offering research-derived principles for effective expanded learning partnerships. It was commissioned by Learning Point Associates and the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) as part of a report on school reform and expanded learning.

Priscilla M. Little (February 11, 2009) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Complementary Learning: Recommended and Related Readings

This annotated bibliography compiles recent publications on complementary learning and related concepts, demonstrating a growing national momentum for connected nonschool supports.

Suzanne Bouffard , Helen Janc Malone, Sarah Deschenes (March 2008, updated December 2008) Bibliography

What is Complementary Learning?

This short publication will give you a quick overview and some concrete examples of complementary learning.  It includes information about what complementary learning looks like, some examples of complementary learning systems in practice today, and a description about what is different about complementary learning from traditional programs and services.  Finally, we'll introduce you to Marcus, a fictional teenager whose story illustrates how complementary learning can positively affect the lives of students from birth through adolescence.

Harvard Family Research Project (July 2008) Research Report

Testimony by Heather Weiss at the Hearing on the "Education Begins at Home Act"

HFRP's Director and Founder Heather Weiss testified at the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor's hearing on the "Education Begins at Home Act," on June 11, 2008.

Heather B. Weiss (June 11, 2008) Research Report

Building the Future of Family Involvement

This double issue of The Evaluation Exchange examines the current state of and future directions for the family involvement field in research, policy, and practice. Featuring innovative initiatives, new evaluation approaches and findings, and interviews with field leaders, the issue is designed to spark conversation about where the field is today and where it needs to go in the future.

Evaluation Exchange Issue

Free. 40 Pages. [EEXIV-1-2].

Complementary Learning in Action: Alignment Nashville

This profile from the Complementary Learning in Action series illustrates how Alignment Nashville brings together diverse community members and organizations to leverage existing resources in support of Nashville's youth and the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Helen Malone , Suzanne Bouffard (November 2007) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Complementary Learning in Action: Jacksonville Children's Commission

This profile from the Complementary Learning in Action series describes how the Jacksonville Children's Commission aims for a coordinated system of care from birth through adolescence.

Suzanne Bouffard , Helen Malone (November 2007) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Complementary Learning in Action: The SUN Service System

This profile from the Complementary Learning in Action series tells the story of Multnomah County's (Oregon) SUN Service System, an antipoverty and prevention effort that connects educational, social, health, and other services under one umbrella.

Claire Goss , Suzanne Bouffard (November 2007) Research Report

Free. Available online only.

Building Villages to Raise Our Children: Six Volume Set

This set of six volumes offers practical advice for establishing and managing a family support program.

Harvard Family Research Project (1993) Research Report

Hard copy out of stock.

Family Involvement in Elementary School Children's Education

This research brief synthesizes the latest research that demonstrates how family involvement contributes to elementary-school-age children's learning and development. The brief summarizes the latest evidence base on effective involvement—specifically, the research studies that link family involvement during the elementary school years to outcomes and programs that have been evaluated to show what works.

Margaret Caspe , M. Elena Lopez, Cassandra Wolos (Winter 2006/2007) Research Report

Free. 12 Pages. [FIMD2].

© 2014 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project