In a continued effort to boost family engagement and lift parent voices, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing new partnerships with Carnegie Corporation of New York and Overdeck Family Foundation to launch the Family Engagement Learning Series. The Learning Series, which will launch Feb. 28, 2023, is intended to help education leaders and practitioners implement family engagement strategies that support student success. The series will provide attendees with evidence-based strategies and research, bright spots in the field, and information on resources.
“We cannot raise the bar for our students’ academic recovery and achievement without consistent and meaningful engagement with the parents and families who know them best,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Research tells us that engaging families helps overcome obstacles to learning and that students are more apt to succeed in school when those closest to them are deeply involved. This new learning series is about equipping educators, school and district leaders, and community partners with the most promising models for deepening relationships with parents and students, and highlighting how districts can use the American Rescue Plan’s historic $130 billion investment in education in support of these efforts.”
As part of the ongoing support for family engagement, the Department has invested nearly $100 million since 2018 to support family engagement efforts through Statewide Family Engagement Centers. These centers provide technical assistance and training to state educational agencies and local educational agencies in the implementation and enhancement of systemic and effective family engagement policies, programs, and activities.
Engaging families effectively and equitably is not easy, especially when educators and parents are already stretched thin. But it’s a critical component to improving student learning.
Carnegie Corporation and Overdeck Family Foundation both have a history of making investments to support practitioners and community-based organizations partnering to implement family engagement strategies that support student success and achievement. Partnerships between schools and families have long been recognized as beneficial for children, helping increase children’s attendance and academic achievement.
“When families are empowered as true partners in their children’s education, students thrive, schools are stronger, and the whole community benefits—but too often, family engagement is seen as disconnected from teaching and learning,” said Ambika Kapur, program director of public understanding at Carnegie Corporation of New York. “When done well, family engagement can meaningfully boost achievement, support socio-emotional development, and foster inclusive school cultures. As we recover from the pandemic, it is essential that we put family engagement at the heart of school practices. We are delighted to partner with Overdeck Family Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education to make family engagement the priority it deserves to be.”
“Engaging families effectively and equitably is not easy, especially when educators and parents are already stretched thin. But it’s a critical component to improving student learning,” said Stephanie Sharp, portfolio manager at Overdeck Family Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with Carnegie Corporation of New York and the U.S. Department of Education to highlight organizations and leaders who are finding innovative and impactful ways to use family engagement to drive student success.”
The first virtual session will focus on how family engagement can support math and literacy. Subsequent sessions will take place over the next six months on the fourth Tuesday of the month. These sessions will bring together district, state, and community level family engagement leaders to increase awareness around research and strategies focused on:
- Attendance and student engagement;
- Student and school safety;
- Student mental health and well-being;
- Kindergarten readiness; and
- College readiness.
Header image courtesy of Sue Zeng via Unsplash