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Family Involvement News: August 2016

Want to learn more about the role of libraries in transforming family engagement and children’s learning? Looking for family engagement research, resources, ideas, and conferences? Then check out the latest edition of our Family Involvement News..

Harvard Family Research Project (August 23, 2016) Research Report

Family Engagement in Public Libraries Is Valued, but There Is Work to Be Done

Ever wonder what libraries around the country are doing to engage families? Learn the answer to this question and others through HFRP and PLA’s national survey of family engagement in public libraries—– the results of which are presented here.

Harvard Family Research Project (August 16, 2016) Research Report

Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement

Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association call for libraries to join together with schools and community organizations to establish a system of family engagement that extends throughout a child’s life, supports children and families, and prepares children for success.

M. Elena Lopez, Margaret Caspe, Lorette McWilliams (August 9, 2016) Research Report

Libraries Engaging Families: Reflections From the Public Library Association’s President

Public Library Association (PLA) president Felton Thomas Jr. writes about the importance of public libraries in engaging families, and how PLA and Harvard Family Research Project have begun a journey together to support libraries in this work.

Felton Thomas, Jr. (August 9, 2016) Research Report

Three Lessons in Developing a Systemic Approach to Family Engagement

Learn how the second-largest school district in California worked collaboratively to develop a systemic family engagement framework while putting family voice front and center.


Allison Rowland (July 26, 2016) Research Report

How to Grow a Framework: Lessons From California

The California Department of Education’s Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts is a synthesis of research, best practices, and the state and federal program requirements that include family engagement, intended to guide school districts.

Lorette McWilliams (June 22, 2016) Research Report

Transmedia Activities: Engaging Families to Improve Children's Early Mathematics Achievement

Make way for mathematics digital media! New research reveals that regular use of digital games and hands-on mathematics activities at home, along with parent training around digital media for learning, can improve mathematics outcomes for young children.

Betsy McCarthy (June 7, 2016) Research Report

Expert Commentary to “Daddy Says This New Math Is Crazy”: Three Tips for Teachers

Based on her work with the Nana y Yo y las Matemáticas project, Marlene Kliman writes about three strategies teachers can use to engage families in their children’s math education, especially when today’s math curriculum diverges from traditional practices.

Marlene Kliman (May 31, 2016) Research Report

Q & A with Laura Overdeck of Bedtime Math: Helping Families and Children Cuddle Up to Math

In this Q & A with Laura Overdeck, learn how Bedtime Math is giving families and children comfort in talking about numbers in their daily lives, and helping families and afterschool programs get children excited about math in the world around them.

Margaret Caspe (May 24, 2016) Research Report

Reading Interactive Math Storybooks

Researchers from Teachers College, Columbia University, explore how a relatively new type of book– interactive math storybooks – can help parents appreciate and foster their child’s mathematical thinking.

Herbert Ginsburg, Colleen Uscianowski, Victoria Almeda, Cassie Freeman (May 24, 2016) Research Report

Math Is Everywhere, When We Know What to Look For

Learning mathematics starts in infancy and happens anywhere, anytime. In this commentary, Taniesha Woods explores what young children need to know about math, what environments rich in mathematics learning look like, and how families can support children’s math development.

Taniesha A. Woods (May 24, 2016) Research Report

Innovative Stories of Family Engagement From Around the World

Find inspiration for your family engagement efforts from around the world.

Harvard Family Research Project (April 2016) Research Report

Text, Play, and Tech: Partnerships Promoting Early Learning Opportunities

As we celebrate the Week of the Young Child, learn how families can support creative play with young children in a variety of ways and settings.

Harvard Family Research Project (April 2016) Research Report

Design Thinking: Catalyzing Family Engagement to Support Student Learning

Design Thinking cultivates fertile ground for promoting deep understanding and action-oriented partnerships between families and educators to support student learning. Discover five steps that enable families and educators to create meaningful strategies for family engagement.

Allison Rowland (April 2016) Research Report

Mobile Technology and Family Engagement: Texting Intervention Increases Head Start Parents’ Engagement in Parent‒Child Activities

Text messaging parent‒child activity tips to families with young children is an effective way to support family engagement, especially among fathers. In this Research Digest, learn about a successful Head Start text-messaging program designed to complement ongoing family engagement services.

Lisa B. Hurwitz, Alexis R. Lauricella, Ann Hanson, Anthony Raden, and Ellen Wartella (March 2016) Research Report

The Effects of Peer Influence on Parents’ Reading Behavior at Home With Their Children

Parents care about what other parents are doing. Read how an intervention as simple as sharing with parents how often other families read with their children can motivate and increase family engagement.

Orla Colgate and Paul Ginns (March 2016) Research Report

Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Meet Paulo Domínguez, Sixth Grader

Paulo Domínguez is an intelligent sixth-grade boy who has recently become disengaged from schoolwork and is hanging out with peers whom his teachers and parents fear are a bad influence. Begin here to read Paulo’s story.


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Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Meet Alberto and Sarita Domínguez, Parents of Paulo

Sarita and Alberto are Paulo’s parents. In their story, they reflect on their own educational opportunities and their desire for Paulo to pursue college in his future.

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Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Nancy Brown, Paulo’s Math Teacher

Teachers are often among the most influential adults in a child’s decision to stay engaged in or disengaged from school. Hear from Nancy Brown, Paulo’s math teacher, about her perspective on and concerns about Paulo’s direction in school.

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Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Meet Miguel Robles, a Family Friend

Meet Miguel, a friend of the Domínguez family, who mentors Paulo and tutors him in math. Miguel was also a part of the Más Allá program for college-bound students when he was in middle school and high school. Now he attends college.

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Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Supporting Data

In this next section, we explore data for Bay Vista Middle School and the Más Allá program. Looking at these data will help provide a glimpse into the larger setting in which Paulo’s story is situated.

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Making a Decision About College Interactive Case: Meet Marisela, High School Senior

Marisela is at the center of the Making a Decision About College Interactive Case. A senior in high school who dreams of becoming a doctor, Marisela is conflicted about whether to go away to college or stay close to home for her education.

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Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Piecing It All Together

In the final section of the Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case, we piece it all together. We think about the principles guiding smooth transitions to middle school that lead to high school and college success, assumptions people in the case make, and how difficult issues might be resolved.

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Making a Decision About College Interactive Case: Meet Claudia, Marisela’s Mother

Claudia Castillo is Marisela’s mother. Claudia has big hopes for her daughter, but as a single mother she is concerned about not having Marisela around to help with the younger siblings.

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Making a Decision About College Interactive Case: Meet Linda Ruiz, Biology Teacher

Marisela’s biology teacher, Linda Ruiz, can really relate to Marisela. From her own story of deciding whether to go away to college or stay home, Linda has advice she’d like to offer Marisela.

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project