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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,

Welcome to the final FINE Newsletter of 2014! Over the course of this past year, we’ve given renewed attention to the concept of anywhere, anytime learning and the idea that learning experiences outside of K─12 schooling—whether online or offline, or in early childhood centers, afterschool programs, libraries, or museums—matter for children to be successful in school and in life. We do this in an effort to broaden the conversation about when and where learning takes place in order to draw attention to solutions that can help close opportunity and achievement gaps. 

In this issue, we focus on the role of organizations in anywhere, anytime learning. Specifically, we:

  • Explore the power of organizations to shape learning opportunities for children and families.
  • Profile how Massachusetts is using its Race to the Top funds to build a state-wide early childhood family engagement infrastructure that hinges on linking organizations across different sectors focused on learning.
  • Learn about school climate, an important organizational feature of K─12 schools, and also read about a new survey tool that measures parents’ views of school climate.
  • Find out how Head Start’s vision of family engagement in young children’s lives is evolving.
  • List our favorite professional-development resources that organizations can use to promote family engagement.

We also introduce a new section of our website that we’re calling “SNAPSHOTS” in Anywhere, Anytime Learning. Knowing how busy you are, we’ve begun to put together quick profiles that highlight innovative programs and practices that promote anywhere, anytime learning opportunities for children and youth. Our first SNAPSHOT takes a look at how museums can help support the transition to school.  

We thank you for reading, as always, and invite you to pass this issue on to interested friends and colleagues. We also hope you’ll send us your feedback about the topics that interested you most!

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and healthy New Year!

Harvard Family Research Project FINE Team


How Organizations Provide Learning Opportunities for Children and Families

How Organizations Provide Learning Opportunities for Children and Families
Read about how organizations—including early childhood programs, schools, afterschool programs, museums, and libraries—play a key role in helping families access resources, build social networks, and create learning mindsets.

HFRP Research & Resources

A Strong Start For Family Engagement in Massachusetts publication cover  A Strong Start for Family Engagement in Massachusetts
Through its Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge funds, Massachusetts has created strategic partnerships with museums and libraries, public television, family and community programs, community nonprofits, and public transportation to build a robust and growing statewide family engagement system.

Professional Development image

Five Professional Development Resources That Promote Family Engagement
When organizations invest in developing the competencies of its professionals to engage families everyone benefits. To help accomplish this we share five of our favorite resources on professional development in family engagement along with tips on why they work. 

Voices From the Field

Picutre of teacher with Parent and child.

Understanding Parental Views of School Climate: Frequently Asked Questions About a New Survey Tool
K–12 schools are the foundation for children’s learning, and students in schools with positive climates tend to do well academically. Read about and download a new survey tool that families and school reformers can use to measure parents’ perceptions of school climate.

Leading the Field

Head Start National Center logo

50 Years of Family Engagement in Head Start
With Head Start’s 50th anniversary right around the corner, Kiersten Beigel from the Office of Head Start shares the vision for family engagement and ways that different federal agencies can join together to realize it. 


Two girls at Boston Children's Musuem's Countdown to Kindergarten event Celebrate the Transition to School
Museums are perfect spaces for children, families, and community members to get together around the transition to kindergarten. Boston Children’s Museum and Boston Public Schools have partnered to create an annual celebration for incoming kindergartners and their families.


Family Involvement News

Harvard Family Research Project's Family Engagement News

Family Involvement News: December 2014
What practices can improve family engagement in diverse school communities? How can all children obtain quality learning opportunities anywhere, anytime? How can families, schools, and community organizations share responsibility for children’s learning outside of the classroom? Read to learn more!

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