Community and Stakeholder
Collaboration is Key
Strategies to help include community and stakeholders in the educational process
Events that bring students and families together include family potlucks or picnics; family affinity events (e.g., for families from a certain cultural or ethnic group, for LGBT families, for families of color, for adoptive families); showcases of student work; student or community performances; film nights; game nights; and cultural or multicultural events.
Parent/Guardian Education Programs
Educational programming supports community building and engages family members. Possible programs include films, speakers or discussions for parents and guardians on topics such as bullying prevention, identity development, racial experiences, gender expression, sexuality, learning differences and family diversity. Events may stand alone or be part of an ongoing series.
Family Service/Engagement Projects
Service projects can include family action days at the local food bank, working together on neighborhood political and social issues, attending community events such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations or LGBT Pride events, and fundraising projects for community causes.
Pooling Resources and Sharing Support
In addition to organizing or publicizing formal events, teachers can encourage families to connect informally to share information and resources and to support one another in times of need (e.g., the birth of a new baby or a death in the family). The school can foster this type of support by naming it as an explicit priority and creating a user-friendly contact list or online directory.
Partners in Education
When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school
Research on parent involvement shows that over the past decade, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:
- Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
- Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits
- Attend school regularly
- Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school