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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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Web Conference: What's New for Parent U?

How can we start conversations about family engagement with parents and teachers? How can we support families in exploring digital apps for learning? How can we use case studies in our family engagement work?

Expert practitioners and enthusiastic participants explored these and related questions during our web conference What’s New for Parent U? on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Parent universities are school-sponsored workshops and seminars that develop families’ capacity to support their children’s development and learning. Our web conference presenters were:

  • D'Lisa Crain, administrator of family–school partnerships in Washoe County School District
  • Maria Fernandez, parent university coordinator in Washoe County School District
  • Trise Moore, director of family and community partnerships in Federal Way Public Schools.

They were joined by Harvard Family Research Project staff members Margaret Caspe, who presented a training tool, and moderator Lorette McWilliams.

Tips from the web conference include:

  • Work from family strengths—all families have strengths and the ability to support their children’s learning
  • Listen to families and caring adults’ wants and needs to offer relevant, accessible programs and activities
  • Encourage families to work with teachers and their children to create a unique involvement plan for the school year
  • Partner with local organizations (e.g., libraries, museums, and community centers) to provide families with access to additional resources, services, and opportunities
  • Empower family and community members to become experts and leaders in family engagement—these leaders can start by engaging families even before their children enter kindergarten
  • Use staff experiences with families to create mini-cases that enable them to construct their own knowledge and solutions around family engagement issues
  • Leverage father networks to recruit and encourage father engagement.

Featured Resoures
Partnership 101 Booklet—Federal Way Public Schools
Create Your Own Case Toolkit—Harvard Family Research Project
List of educational apps—Harvard Family Research Project

You can access the recording at any time. Join the #HFRPinteract conversation and find @HFRP on Twitter.  To stay informed of future HFRP Interact events, sign up for our mailing list.

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