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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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Dear FINE Members,

Family involvement supports children’s learning and growth across the developmental continuum—from birth through young adulthood. Parents’ interactions and activities help shape children’s readiness for school, and consistent engagement during children’s elementary years is also related to positive academic and behavioral outcomes. Family engagement remains important in adolescence and predicts healthy youth behaviors and higher rates of college enrollment. In this issue, we discuss how families and educators can tailor their family engagement strategies to ensure that the activities they use are developmentally appropriate and effective.

In Voices from the Field, we highlight the Strive initiative, a complementary learning program in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is working to develop a cradle-to-career educational trajectory for children that engages families, schools, and communities in understanding how to promote cross-context learning opportunities that encourage children’s growth. We also feature a teaching case that addresses the transition from high school to college and the ways that schools can support students and families in making decisions about post-secondary options.

In addition, we introduce an annotated bibliography of family engagement resources, which serves as an addendum to Harvard Family Research Project’s 2006/2007 series, Family Involvement Makes a Difference. The bibiography updates these research briefs with more recent studies on effective family engagement approaches, with particular attention paid to family involvement during adolescence and the transition to high school and college.

We invite your feedback on the topics we explore in this FINE Newsletter, and encourage you to pass on this issue to interested friends and colleagues.

Harvard Family Research Project Commentary

Family Engagement from Cradle to Career

Heidi Rosenbery, HFRP photo Family engagement supports children’s learning and growth across the developmental continuum—from birth through young adulthood. Harvard Family Research Project’s Heidi Rosenberg and Elena Lopez discuss how effective family engagement strategies evolve over time to reflect children’s changing developmental needs.

Resources & Research From Harvard Family Research Project

Resource Guide for Family Engagement Across the Developmental Pathway

Resource Guide publication cover
This bibliographic resource builds on the work presented in the Family Involvement Makes a Difference series to provide you with a selected listing of recent publications across the full developmental spectrum. Included are research reports, examples of best practices, and toolkits that show how communities and schools can reach out to families to meaningfully engage them in their children’s educational journey, from readying them for kindergarten through preparing for post-secondary college or training.

Tips & Tools From Harvard Family Research Project

Featured Teaching Case: Making a Decision About College: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Making a Decision About College Teaching Case screen-grab
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 newsletter, we feature Making a Decision About College: Should I Stay or Should I Go?, which considers the ways in which schools can support students who have significant family obligations to make an appropriate choice about where to attend college.  

Voices From the Field

Building a Cradle to Career Pathway in Cincinnati, Ohio

Jeff Edmondson, Executive Director of Strive
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based Strive initiative has taken a complementary learning approach to scaffolding children’s educational growth to ensure a comprehensive, cradle-to-career system of support that includes family and community engagement. Harvard Family Research Project spoke with Jeff Edmondson, executive director of Strive, as well as two of Strive’s partners in the community, Liz Blume of the Community Building Institute and Rolanda Smith of Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati, to find out more about Strive’s philosophy, successes, and challenges.

Family Involvement News

April 2010 News

Father and daughter reading together We at Harvard Family Research Project are committed to keeping you up to date on what's new in family involvement.  View our list of links to current reports, articles, resources, and events in the family involvement field. 

Contact Us

If you experience a problem reading this newsletter or have questions and comments concerning our work, we would love to hear from you. Please send an email to


The FINE Team at Harvard Family Research Project

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