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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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HFRP takes a look at upcoming family involvement and complementary learning evaluations.

San Mateo County Community Schools Initiative
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is overseeing the San Mateo County (California) Community Schools Initiative, which channels resources and provides technical assistance to emerging community schools that serve high-needs populations. With funding from The Stuart Foundation, LFA Group is conducting an evaluation of three communities in San Mateo County to understand how the community schools model supports comprehensive grassroots reform. The evaluators are observing and assessing the progress of program implementation and desired outcomes, including (but not limited to) family involvement, defined as supporting a child's learning, assisting with a child's development, and providing parent leadership and advocacy within the school community. The evaluation, to be completed in 2010 with interim results in 2008, will be used to develop a regional community schools policy.

Steven LaFrance

Gaylon Parsons

Parent Services Project's Parent Leadership Institutes
Parent Services Project (PSP) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating family support into early childhood programs and schools through training, technical assistance, and education. With support from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, PSP is poised to expand its annual Parent Leadership Institutes to several new locations over the next 2 years and strengthen the outcome evaluation already in place. PSP will keep and refine its pre–post test participant survey design, while adding institute focus groups and follow-up interviews with alumni and partner agencies. Evaluation training for a core group of parent alumni, as well as guidance from our outside evaluator, Sociometrics, will ensure the rigor and success of this participatory approach.

Jenny Ocón, M.S.W.

Raising a Reader

Raising a Reader (RAR) works with early childhood programs in 33 states to increase parent–child book reading and use of public library services. RAR encourages parents, including those who cannot read or speak English, to "book cuddle" with their children and "read" the pictures. In a recent study, in which home visitors rotated bags filled with high-quality books into families' homes, parents in the RAR group reported a greater increase in time spent book sharing with their children than parents in a control group. In addition, children in the RAR group showed greater gains in overall development, particularly social, physical, and number skills, and RAR toddlers showed greater increases in time spent asking questions during book sharing. These results will inform an ongoing 5-year study of the program as well as future research initiatives.

Carol Welsh Gray

Parents as Teachers National Evaluation

With a history of research, evaluation, and program quality standards, Parents as Teachers (PAT) is committed to continuous program improvement and to demonstrating the impacts of the Born to Learn home visiting model. Last year, Mark Appelbaum and Monica Sweet of UC San Diego conducted a review of PAT's research to date and made recommendations for future priority research activities. Based on their recommendations and input from the PAT Scientific Advisory Committee and the Research and Evaluation Committee of the PAT National Center, the organization is seeking funding for a rigorous, two-phase study. Phase 1 will focus on the quality of implementation, and phase 2 will focus on accountability and impacts of PAT.

Karen A. Guskin, Ph.D.

Community Organizing and School Reform Project

With the Community Organizing and School Reform Project, researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education are undertaking one of the largest ever studies of education organizing. Led by Mark Warren and Karen Mapp, the team is studying six community organizing groups throughout the U.S. At their core, education organizing efforts focus on the active engagement of education stakeholders, especially families, in creating school and community change, on processes of leadership development, and on building power to address inequalities and failure in public schools. The project aims to answer questions related to the processes and mechanisms through which education organizing accomplishes its aims and the role of contextual factors in shaping these outcomes.

Mark Warren, Ph.D.

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