Document Library

Engaging Families, Schools, & Communities

These documents address strategies for engaging families, schools, and communities in out-of-school time programming.

 

Community Partnerships Parents, Parenting, and Families
Connecting to Schools  

 

Community Partnerships

2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. (January 2016) This fifth annual edition of the report answers questions about norms of nonprofit communication, points of conflict in nonprofit communication, the portrait of a typical nonprofit communications director and more. Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com

Accounting for Opportunity: A Fiscal Scan of Funding for New Orleans Opportunity Youth (August 2015) This report shows how we can link opportunity youth with academic and employment opportunities that will make the entire city prosper. Forum for Youth Investment.

 

Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform. (2010).Beyond Random Acts provides a research-based framing of family engagement; examines the policy levers that can drive change in promoting systemic family, school, and community engagement; and focuses on data systems as a powerful tool to engage families for twenty-first century student learning.

Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community Based Programs. (2009). This Pew report highlights the benefits and challenges Pre-K programs experience when they collaborate with community based organizations. It also provides strategies for developing successful partnerships and addressing challenges that might arise.

Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact. (2009). This report by FSG Social Impact Advisors evaluates the efforts of 20 different communities to develop shared approaches to performance, outcomes and/or impact measurement across multiple agencies. It also highlights practices and recommendations that community leaders identified as crucial for these efforts to succeed.

Building a System of High-Quality Partnerships. (2012). This paper describes a local effort to implement a quality improvement system in Palm Beach County, Fla. and the positive impact such initiatives can have on the enrichment activities community organizations provide to youth.

Building Community, Building Hope: 2016 Prevention Resource Guide. (2016) This annual Resource Guide is one of the Children's Bureau's most anticipated publications, offering trusted information, strategies, and resources to help communities support and strengthen families and promote the well-being of children and youth. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau.

Building Supporting Relationships in Afterschool. (2014). This issue of SEDL Insights explores how afterschool practitioners can build strong relationships that benefit all stakeholders.

Building Systems-Level Partnerships. (2009). This brief from Child Trends reviews effective strategies for building systems-level partnerships that link out-of-school time programs, schools, and the community.

Capacity-Building for Youth Workers Through Community-Based Partnerships. (2006). This report discusses the importance of professional development for youth workers, as well as creating community partnerships to promote better youth development during programming.  It also presents the health education benefits for youth by partnering youth workers with community programs.

Charting a Course for Change: Advancing Education, Income, and Health Through Collective Impact. (2012). This report offers a roadmap of core community strategies to boost education, income and health, along with evidence-based implementation approaches that experts believe will dramatically change the greatest number of lives and features a forward on the collective impact approach.

Collaboration in Afterschool = Engagement in Learning. (2012). This blog post overviews and discusses the Afterschool Alliance's briefing on Capitol Hill with the National Writing Project and the Senate Afterschool Caucus to explore how afterschool/community partnerships support student success. The post includes information on panelists, a recap of their message, and student perspectives.

Collective Impact Case Study: The Road Map Project. (2014). The Road Map Project seeks to double the number of students on track to graduate with a postsecondary degree or career credential in the South Seattle and South King County, Wash., region by 2020, as well as to close achievement gaps.

Collective Impact Principles of Practice. (April 2016) A full list of principles and powerful practices to help collective impact initiatives progress and reach sustained systems change. Collective Impact Forum.

Collective Impact: Stronger Results with Community-Based Organizations. (2014). This paper describes the ways that youth-serving community organizations can participate in and support communities' collective efforts to prepare young people for success in school and life.

Community Environmental Education Guidelines. (2014). Community Environmental Education aims to enhance a community's wellness through environmental action. It fosters collaborative learning and action, taking into account the social, cultural, economic, and environmental conditions of a community. This document provides some structural guidelines.

Community Health Assessment. (2014). Published by the Department of Public Health, this Community Health Assessment (CHA) is a systematic assessment of population health that highlights key public health challenges and improvements in the jurisdiction.

Community Schools: Hearing from the Community. (July 2016) In early 2016, the Mayor's Office of Education launched a public outreach effort - summarized in this report-to learn more about how the City of Philadelphia should develop the administration's new Community Schools initiative in order to better support children, families and school communities. Mayor's Office of Education.

 

Community Schools in Practice: Research on Implementation and Impact. (January 2016) In this brief, RFA examines existing research on comprehensive community schools and explores the evidence base on several elements such as expanded day learning opportunities and health supports. Research for Action.

 

Creating Opportunities for Mutual Affiliation: Gang Prevention and Relational-Cultural Theory in Project YES. (2015) This case study takes an inductive approach to examine how growth-fostering relational-cultural strategies were used in a gang prevention afterschool program in a high-risk neighborhood. Afterschool Matters.

Cultivating Influential Champions. (2014). This brief memo describes how the presence of influential champions or catalysts, who command the respect necessary to bring together cross-sector leaders and beneficiaries, is a critical precondition for using a collective impact approach.

Don't Stop Collaborating. (2011). Movements to create collaborations often don't consider that the issue at hand can be addressed by existing groups. The examples in this article from the Forum for Youth Investment show how policies can encourage the use of existing collaborations.

Engaging New Voters: The Impact of Nonprofit Voter Outreach on Client and Community Turnout. (2015) The report examines the impact nonprofits have when they engage the communities they serve and finds that voter turnout among clients and consumers contacted by a nonprofit about registering or pledging to vote is higher than voter turnout among other registered voters.  Nonprofit VOTE. 

 

Equity: The Soul of Collective Impact. (2015) This paper examines the collective impact model by drawing on lessons learned from efforts such as the Healthy Start program (Oakland, CA), the national Promise Neighborhoods program, and the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. PolicyLink.

Expanded Time, Enriching Experiences. (2010). This new report from the Center for American Progress profiles community partnerships that four traditional public schools and one charter school have developed to carry out their expanded learning time initiatives. The report discusses lessons learned from these schools and their partners and offers recommendations for how policymakers, school districts, and community organizations can create strong partnerships to redesign time to support students’ academic learning.

Expanding Learning Through School-Community Partnerships in New York State: Findings and Recommendations of the Statewide Learning Community. (February 2016) Recommendations for effective planning and implementation of school-community partnerships. NYSAN.

FACE Handbook on Family and Community Engagement.
 (2011). This Handbook offers a broad definition of family and community engagement, seen through the lens of scholars and practitioners with a wide-ranging set of perspectives on why and how families, communities, and schools collaborate with one another. Taken together, the chapters in this Handbook sketch out the components of a theory of change for the family and community engagement field.

A Framework for More and Better Learning through Community Schools Partnerships. (September 2015) This report demonstrates how community schools promote better learning by working with community partners that are results-oriented. Coalition for Community Schools.

Get Youth on Board! A Toolkit for Stakeholder Collaboration and Youth Promotion. (2009). This toolkit is based on an integrated and participatory approach aimed at bringing together governmental and non-governmental stakeholders working with young people on a local level for the joint implementation of youth services and activities.

The Growing Importance of Afterschool in Rural Communities. (March 2016) This America After 3PM report focuses on the hours after school for children and families living in rural communities, and what more can be done to make certain that all children, regardless of geographic location, are given the array of supports they need to achieve their full potential. Afterschool Alliance.

Healthy Communities Matter. (2010). This executive summary shows how the neighborhoods where African-American and Latino boys and young men grow up directly influence their health outcomes, and points to the need for comprehensive, systems-based policy solutions implemented at the community level.

How to Grow a Framework: Lessons From California. (June 2016) This policy profile describes how the Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts (the Framework) is used to facilitate school and district efforts implementing systemic family engagement across various federal and state programs and funding streams. Harvard Family Research Project.

Innovations in Regional Partnerships for Strategic Growth: From Collaborations to Mergers. (2013). National and regional leaders and colleagues discuss the critical role strategic alignments and partnerships play in advancing the social sector and its impact. The articles range from successful community grassroots collaborations to full-blown mergers.

Investing in High-Quality Early Childhood Education. (2015) This state report shows a large unmet need for high-quality early education in Pennsylvania. PA Office of Child Development and Earning Learning.

Is Citywide Afterschool Coordination Going Nationwide? September 2013. Historically, afterschool programs have functioned independently with little coordination among provider organizations, and public and private funders operating in isolation. This Wallace Foundation's report profiles 27 cities that were known to be taking steps to improve coordination among their afterschool providers.

An Invitation to the Big Picture: Implementing a Local Collaboration for Youth (LCY) in Your Community. (2011). The National Collaboration for Youth and the Forum for Youth Investment recently released a guide to forming and sustaining Local Collaborations for Youth (LCY). An LCY is a means for local child- and youth-serving agencies to pool their collective expertise, resources, and voice in 'whole-community' efforts to improve outcomes for children and youth.

Knitting Together School and After-School: The University Settlement - East Side Partnership. (2009). This paper documents a partnership on the Lower East Side of New York between East Side Community High School and the University Settlement Beacon. It describes how a school and community-based organization works closely together to greatly enrich the experience of young people both during and after the school day. Part of the “Practices to Keep In After-School and Youth Programs” series from the Youth Development Institute.

Making Collaboration Work: 4 Lessons. (2012). This blog post from Living Cities reflects on 4 key lessons learned one year into the implementation of the Integration Initiative, which seeks systems-level change for low-income populations.

Meaningful Linkages Between Summer Programs, Schools & Community Partners. (2009). This report from the National Center for Summer Learning with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides guidance and examples for developing and managing effective summer learning partnerships.

New York State Juvenile Justice Progress toward System Excellence. (2014). New York State's juvenile justice system has seen significant improvements in community safety, coordination, data-driven decision-making, and outcomes for youth ages seven to fifteen in just a few short years as the result of collective visioning and action. This report presents results that demonstrate progress toward improved outcomes for both youth and communities.

Organizational and Program Changes in youthCONNECT: What Happened and Why. (May 2016) This document summarizes Child Trends' evaluation of youthCONNECT, a collaboration of government, philanthropy, nonprofits, and evaluators aiming to improve opportunities for low-income youth (14-24) in the National Capital Region. Child Trends.

Out-of-School Time: Leveraging Higher Education for Quality. (2010). This paper from The After-School Corporation & Foundations, Inc. explores why and how partnerships between institutions of higher education and the out-of-school time field can strengthen the quality of children's educational opportunities beyond the school day.

The Partnering Toolbook. (2011). This fourth edition from The Partnering Initiative is a great resource for those involved in cross-sector partnership work and offers a concise overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering.

From Periphery to Center: A New Vision for Family, School, and Community Partnerships. (2009). This chapter, written for the Handbook of School-Family Partnerships, advances six components of a strategy that aims to build an effective and sustainable infrastructure for family and community involvement in education.

Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success. (2013). There is strong evidence that, when schools partner with families and community-based organizations, these partnerships for learning improve children's development and school success. They provide a seamless web of supports designed to ensure positive learning experiences for children and youth.  In this paper, the authors draw on the experiences of national organizations and a set of community schools that have built these learning partnerships, and examine seven essential elements for building these partnerships. These elements include: shared vision of learning; shared leadership and governance; complementary partnerships; effective communications; regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress; family engagement; and collaborative staffing models.

The Power of Partnership: Road Map to Success. (2014). This is a 6 page summary of the first full formative evaluation of the Road Map Project. It looks at whether some of the key pieces of any collective impact project are occuring, to what extent, and where there might be gaps.

Programs for Children and Youth in a Community Context. (2009). This Child Trends brief provides insights from a recent Child Trends Roundtable with leaders of community initiatives that incorporate evidence-based and evidence-informed programs.

Ready by 21 and Collective Impact. (2011). This report from the Forum for Youth Investment explores how the principles of collective impact align with the experience of Ready by 21's community-based work.

Reflections on Living Cities' Integration Initiative. (2014). In this new report, Ben Hecth, President and CEO of Living Cities, shares his reflections from Living Cities' first three years of The Integration Initiaitve.

Revitalizing Arts Education through Community-Wide Coordination. (2009). In a number of urban areas in recent years, efforts are under way to counter a generation-long decline in public school arts education by forming coordinated networks of schools, cultural organizations, local governments, and funders, to work together to revive arts education.

Safe Communities, Successful Youth. (2011). This report from the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group outlines the vision and provides the framework for a coordinated action plan that will drive toward better outcomes for youth and communities through a collective impact initiative in New York State, where the juvenile justice system is a highly complex network and improving outcomes requires a coordinated, strategic effort by multiple actors working toward a shared vision and common goals.

Salvation Army Kroc Center: An Innovative Approach to Urban Social Programming. (2011). The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Philadelphia is a state-of-the-art community center uniquely situated at the juncture of several struggling and affluent Philadelphia neighborhoods. Through its facilities and programs, the Kroc Center is working to narrow the disparity in access to enrichment opportunities that exists between low-income and affluent communities.

Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy. (2011). Built on the experience of the growing number of local community schools initiatives across the country, this guide will help school districts and their public and private community partners organize and mobilize the resources of the entire community to support student success.

Sparking Solutions Progress Report. (March 2016) An update on Sparking Solutions, an effort created in 2013 to actively promote and foster collaborative philanthropy (in focus areas that include youth literacy and youth development) that improves conditions, creates opportunities and changes lives in Greater Philadelphia. Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Cultivating a Community For Fundraising. (August 2015) In this article Rob Wu, CauseVox, offers practical guidance on understanding and engaging a community of support for nonprofit organizations. NTEN.

Strengthening Partnerships and Building Public Will for Out-of-School Time Programs. (2010). This guide from the YEF Institute describes three key strategies that mayors and other city leaders can use to generate support for access to high-quality out-of-school time activities.

Talking the Walk. (2008). Talking the Walk is a communications manual from The Partnering Initiative for Partnership Practitioners that highlights the realities of communicating in partnerships. Each chapter includes a narrative as well as a number of boxes and tables giving examples or Practitioner Tips.

Ten Ways to Build Partnerships. (2012). In this video, partners of the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) describe ten innovative and effective ways for schools and community organizations to build strong partnerships that support high-quality expanded learning.

Thinking Outside the Box: Creating Catalytic Partnerships to Change the Odds for Children and Youth. (2009).This Ready by 21 presentation addresses partnerships that spark broader action and act as keepers of the vision and monitors of progress.

Toolkit for Expanding Learning. (2013). The Expanding Learning and Afterschool Project, in partnership with the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), released a new Toolkit for Expanding Learning. The toolkit provides guidance to city agencies, school districts, intermediaries, state agencies and Statewide Afterschool Networks as they develop plans for afterschool, summer learning and expanded learning time initiatives in their communities. It also features resources based on CBASS collaborators' experiences in working with expanded learning stakeholders.

The Top 100 Partners Exercise. (2014). This tool from the Tamarack Institute helps you consider the top 100 people and organizations in your community that could help you realize the change you want to see and identify who your best partners will be.

Two Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes. (December 2015) This paper is a reflection of a remarkable two-day conversation among leading voices from the worlds of policy, advocacy, research, service delivery, and philanthropy for low-income families and immigrant communities. CLASP.

 

Using Action Research to Engage Youth in Improving OST Programming. (2015) To build a culture of participation, out-of-school time (OST) providers, educators, planners, and advocacy groups need to partner with youth, engaging them in projects that are meaningful to them, to the adults who support them, and to their communities. Afterschool Matters.

What Are The Different Ways to Collaborate? (2014). In the nonprofit sector there are various forms of collaboration, ranging in formality, actors and purposes. This piece defines these forms and offers guidance for grantmakers on when to use each, along with examples and considerations.

Young People Advocate for, Plan, and Provide Services to Their Communities. (2009). This report describes how the structure and philosophy of the Beacon serves as an excellent support for community improvement efforts by bringing together youth and adults in collaborative projects. Part of the “Practices to Keep In After-School and Youth Programs” series from the Youth Development Institute.

Youth who are “Disconnected” and Those Who Then Reconnect: Assessing the Influence of Family, Programs, Peers and Community(2009). This report examines what leads children to disconnect from school, family, and community life, and what helps them reconnect.  It highlights possible indicators of disconnection, and discusses the importance of job training and caring adults to initiate reconnection.

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Connecting to Schools

The 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. (September 2015) This year's poll is a nationally representative multi-modal survey of over 3,000 Americans with findings around subjects like student engagement and standardized testing in public schools. Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup.

 

AfterZone: Outcomes for Youth Participating in Providence's After-School System. (2011). Providence's after-school effort, known as the AfterZone, produced educational benefits for participating students including improved school attendance and attitudes, according to a report released today, one of the first rigorous evaluations of a citywide after-school initiative.

 

Aiming Higher Together: Strategizing Better Educational Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. (May 2016) This paper argues for fostering conditions in homes, schools, peer groups, and communities that enable instead of stifle BYMOC achievement. Urban Institute.

Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform. (2010).Beyond Random Acts provides a research-based framing of family engagement; examines the policy levers that can drive change in promoting systemic family, school, and community engagement; and focuses on data systems as a powerful tool to engage families for twenty-first century student learning.

Building a Culture of Attendance: Schools and Afterschool Programs Together Can and Should Make a Difference. (2012). The leaders of SHINE Afterschool Program recently resolved to improve the school-day attendance for the students at their 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Pennsylvania. The program reached out to parents, offered incentives to students, and carefully tracked attendance data provided by the schools. The results: a school attendance rate significantly higher than similar programs nationally, improved communications with parents, and a remarkable collaboration with school teachers that could prove a model for out-of-school-time programs. 

Building Quality Time. (2013). With the School District in crisis and relentlessly cutting back, this edition of The Notebook details how quality programming available to children beyond regular school hours can be hard to find. To address this, the city has embarked on a three-year project to systematize its array of afterschool activities, which are currently funded through varied sources and have a wide range of goals.

Cheating Our Future: How Decades of Disinvestment by States Jeopardizes Equal Educational Opportunity. (June 2015) A new report examines how lack of resources create vastly unequal educational opportunities, even within the same state. Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

 

Common Core Tests Will Widen Achievement Gap - At First. (March 2015) The Common Core was rolled out with promises of closing learning and achievement gaps, but in the short term, gaps will almost certainly grow wider; as has been the case in Illinois, New York, and Kentucky, all of which launched early versions of aligned exams. This article spells out a few early findings. The Hechinger Report.

 

Community Schools and Equity: Changing Systems Webinar Archive. (May 2015) Honest conversations about the relevance of poverty and race in our nation's educational challenges are vital. This was the core message of the recent webinar, as speakers touched on the intersection of race, poverty, income, class, family circumstance, and culture in educational inequities. Coalition for Community Schools.

 

Community Schools: Hearing from the Community. (July 2016) In early 2016, the Mayor's Office of Education launched a public outreach effort - summarized in this report-to learn more about how the City of Philadelphia should develop the administration's new Community Schools initiative in order to better support children, families and school communities. Mayor's Office of Education.

 

Community Schools in Practice: Research on Implementation and Impact. (January 2016) In this brief, RFA examines existing research on comprehensive community schools and explores the evidence base on several elements such as expanded day learning opportunities and health supports. Research for Action.

 

The Condition of Education 2015. DOE recently released its annual report, The Condition of Education, on education across all ages and levels. This year included a special highlight section on postsecondary attainment rates based on socioeconomic class. U.S. Department of Education.

 

The Condition of Education 2016. This annual report summarizes important national developments and trends in education. It presents 43 key indicators grouped into four main areas: population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary education. US Department of Education.

Connecting Afterschool Learning with Common Core State Standards. (2013). As the recognition of the valuable role that afterschool and summer programs play in supporting student learning continues to grow, it is essential that afterschool providers demonstrate how they can expand on and complement the learning that happens during the school day.This article provides information on the importance of Common Core State Standards, why they exist, and what they mean for afterschool.

Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning. (November 2015) This report examines achievement in 62 public charter and district schools that are pursuing a variety of personalized learning practices, and examines implementation details in 32 of those schools. RAND Corporation.

Data-Sharing: Federal Rules and Best Practices to Improve OST Programs and Student Outcomes (2012). Does the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act block schools and OST partners from sharing student data? No, says this policy brief from the Partnership for Children and Youth, Data-Sharing: Federal Rules and Best Practices. By outlining examples from the field, this paper aims to pave the way for more OST programs and their school partners to use student data to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for all students.

The Economic Impact of Achievement Gaps in Pennsylvania's Public Schools. (2015) Although Pennsylvania is one of the top-scoring states on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on average, the achievement gaps between students classified by race-ethnicity, economic status, and parent education are among the largest in the country. RAND Corporation.

Educating the Whole Child Engaging the Whole School: Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State. (2011). The purpose in issuing voluntary Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) Guidelines is to offer school districts compelling information, example and evidence of SEDL in elementary and secondary school education programs.NYS Board of Regents.

Enhancing School Reform through Expanded Learning. (2009). This report, released by Learning Point Associates and the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), describes the benefits of integrating expanded learning opportunities into overall school reform are explored. The report finds that well designed expanded learning programs can improve overall school performance, increasing positive academic, developmental, and health outcomes.

ExpandED Schools National Demonstration: Lessons for Scale and Sustainability. (April 2016) This report presents findings from the fourth year of the ExpandED Schools initiative as schools begin to break from the outdated, 19th-century school calendar. Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

 

Finding Common Ground: Connecting Social-Emotional Learning During and Beyond the School Day. (May 2016) The new brief provides language and strategies to support alignment between K-12 and expanded learning programs, by cross-walking key priorities and initiatives in California that impact social-emotional learning (SEL). Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY).

 

A Framework for More and Better Learning through Community Schools Partnerships. (September 2015) This report demonstrates how community schools promote better learning by working with community partners that are results-oriented. Coalition for Community Schools.

From Periphery to Center: A New Vision for Family, School, and Community Partnerships. (2009). This chapter, written for the Handbook of School-Family Partnerships, advances six components of a strategy that aims to build an effective and sustainable infrastructure for family and community involvement in education.

Governing Urban Schools in the Future: What's Facing Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. (January 2016) This brief is intended to inform the decisions that policymakers will have to make about governing the city's schools if and when state control of the School District of Philadelphia comes to an end. The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Growing and Sustaining Parent Engagement: A Toolkit for Parents and Community Partners. (2010). Along with lessons learned from programs implemented across the nation, this toolkit features parent engagement approaches and strategies that are utilized by parents and partners involved with First 5 LA's Partnerships For Families initiative.

How High Schools and Colleges Can Team Up to Use Data and Increase Student Success. (August 2016) This report is part of a series that encourages high schools and higher education to share responsibility for improving college completion rates by co-designing, co-delivering, and co-validating supportive experiences for all 12th-grade students through the first year of college. Jobs For the Future.

 

How to Grow a Framework: Lessons From California. (June 2016) This policy profile describes how the Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts (the Framework) is used to facilitate school and district efforts implementing systemic family engagement across various federal and state programs and funding streams. Harvard Family Research Project.

Implementing School-Based Services: Strategies from New Mexico's School-Based Health and extended Learning Services.(2009). This case study from Child Trends builds on initial work conceptualizing the value of school-based services; outlines the challenges and strategies for implementing school-based services that were shared in the Roundtables; and highlights suggestions made by Roundtable participants for implementing these services.

Improving Pennsylvania's Low-Performing Schools: Why Governor Wolf's Proposal is not Real Accountability. (March 2016) Part 1 of PennCAN's 3-part response to PA DOE's statement that York City School District will serve as model for PA school reform. PennCAN.

A Look at Community Schools. (2009). This Center for American Progress report provides an overview of community school strategies in the United States and how community schools can decrease poverty's detrimental effect on students.

Meaningful Linkages Between Summer Programs, Schools & Community Partners. (2009). This report from the National Center for Summer Learning with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides guidance and examples for developing and managing effective summer learning partnerships.

New Report: Canadian Afterschool Programs Support Student Success. (2013). Kids who regularly participate in quality afterschool programs show improvements in their academic performance; greater academic motivation; and increased pro-social behaviors, teamwork, and self-esteem. This article summarizes a study conducted by the University of Toronto's Factor-Inswentash Faculty of Social Work.

Out-of-School-Time Programs Succeed When They are Connected to Schools, Local Programs Show. (2013). Across the country, many OST programs face challenges when operating in rural areas, and often struggle to have enough funding to hire quality staff or to transport youth from local schools to their program site. This article suggests that OST programs consider partnering with schools because school facilities are usually available during OST hours and school personnel are often qualified to run the program.

Parents for Healthy Schools: A Guide for Getting Parents Involved from K-12. (November 2015) A brief overview of the framework for engaging parents in school health that is based on the CDC's Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success. (2013). There is strong evidence that, when schools partner with families and community-based organizations, these partnerships for learning improve children's development and school success. They provide a seamless web of supports designed to ensure positive learning experiences for children and youth.  In this paper, the authors draw on the experiences of national organizations and a set of community schools that have built these learning partnerships, and examine seven essential elements for building these partnerships. These elements include: shared vision of learning; shared leadership and governance; complementary partnerships; effective communications; regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress; family engagement; and collaborative staffing models.

Partnerships for Learning: Promising Practices in Integrating School and Out-of-School Time Program Supports. (2010). This Harvard Family Research Project report is aimed to help school and OST program leaders, decision-makers, and funders, to understand and implement effective OST–school partnerships for learning.

Partnerships, NOT Pushouts: New Policy Guides for School Boards. (2014). School boards play a key role in setting the vision and tone for their local school systems. This new guide can serve as a blueprint for board members who wish to create a better-coordinated system of "whole-child" supports for children and their families.

Pittsburgh: An EdTech Hive. (2013). This article describes Pittsburgh as a great example of universities being a source of learning innovation. With several examples of Pittsburgh-based initiatives, the author narrates how the city is building on the entrepreneurial and innovative environment.

A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs. (2009). This guide is designed to share the practices that can help you cover it all-great programming, terrific staff, positive relationships, and plenty of resources to lead and sustain successful afterschool programs.

Push Is On to Add Time to School. (2011). Providence's, RI has initiated an expanded-school-day pilot in partnership with the school district and the Providence After School Alliance, a nonprofit that manages after-school programs for low-income students in that city. Their efforts come alongside growing national interest in expanded learning time, or adding time to the school calendar as a way to help low-performing students catch up.

Revitalizing Arts Education through Community-Wide Coordination. (2009). In a number of urban areas in recent years, efforts are under way to counter a generation-long decline in public school arts education by forming coordinated networks of schools, cultural organizations, local governments, and funders, to work together to revive arts education.

Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy. (2011). Built on the experience of the growing number of local community schools initiatives across the country, this guide will help school districts and their public and private community partners organize and mobilize the resources of the entire community to support student success. The Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership.

School Breakfast Scorecard: 2014-2015 School Year. (February 2016) The annual report measures states on the rate of participation of low-income children in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program. Also see companion piece: School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts. Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).

 

The State of Teacher Diversity in American Education. (September 2015) This report shows that nationally, progress toward greater diversity is being made, but it is quite modest compared to the need for more minority teachers. Albert Shanker Institute.

 

State Summative Assessments: 2015-16 school year. (November 2015) This report outlines where states stand in regard to summative assessments for the 2015-16 school year. Education Commission of the States.

Supporting Student Outcomes Through Expanded Learning Opportunities. (2009). This paper from the Harvard Family Research Project looks at the role of after school and summer learning programs in supporting student success and explores how to bridge the divide between out-of-school time programs and schools by offering research-derived principles for effective expanded learning partnerships.

Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools. (2011). NCTL's report, Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools, reshapes the field for expanded-time schools by outlining specific practices that can lead to dramatic increases in student achievement and preparation for success in college and the workforce.

Tracking an Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded-Time Schools in America. (2009). This report from the National Center on Time & Learning documents the state of expanded-time schools in America. It draws from their new national database of schools that have broken from the conventional school calendar in order to improve educational outcomes.

Transforming the Learning Day: International Perspectives. (2012). The After-School Corporation (TASC) recently brought together a group of international and U.S. leaders to discuss time and learning. This paper summarizes the discussion and provides detailed graphics that show highlights of the conversation.

What District and School Leaders Can Do To Prepare Rural Students for a Brighter Future. (2015) This brief discusses the importance of college and career preparedness for rural youth and how STEM helps students learn meaningful skills connected to career pathways. Education Northwest.

 

Who Should Be in Charge When School Districts Go into the Red? (2015) This report presents a tiered sequence of state policies and interventions for school districts nationwide that are contending with rising education costs and constrained revenues. Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

 

Why 12th Grade Must Be Redesigned Now-And How: How High Schools and Colleges Can Share Responsibility for Student Success. (October 2015) This first report in a new series by JFF provides the rationale for restructuring 12th grade and tying it more tightly to the first year of college through new high school and college partnerships. Jobs for the Future.

 

Workin' 9 to 5: How School Schedules Make Life Harder for Working Parents. (October 2016) Upon examination of the calendars, schedules, and policies of the largest school districts in the country, as well as data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the resulting analysis reveals the multitude of ways that U.S. public schools make life unnecessarily harder for working parents. Center for American Progress.

 

Youth and Inequality in Education: Global Actions in Youth Work. (August 2015) This hardback volume analyzes the global injustices that create inequities and restrict future opportunities for young people during this transitional time, including poverty, unemployment, human rights, race, ethnicity and location. Routledge.

 

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Parents, Parenting, and Families

Adolescent Well-Being after Experiencing Family Homelessness. (June 2016) This is the second in a series of research briefs that draws on the Family Options Study to inform HHS and HHS grantees as they carry out their special responsibilities for preventing and ending the homelessness of families, children, and youth. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement. (2012). Education policies have been developed to bolster parent engagement at school in response to research proving its value; however, schools face some challenges to fully engage parents as active stewards in their child's education. Afterschool programs are an ideal partner to help schools break down the barriers often present between parents and schools. Together, schools and afterschool programs can help increase parent engagement, paving the road for students to achieve academic success, become more self-confident and enhance their overall wellbeing.

Aiming Higher Together: Strategizing Better Educational Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. (May 2016) This paper argues for fostering conditions in homes, schools, peer groups, and communities that enable instead of stifle BYMOC achievement. Urban Institute.

 

Basic Facts about Low-Income Children. (February 2016) This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their less disadvantaged counterparts. National Center for Children in Poverty.

 

Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions in the State of Pennsylvania. (2016) This state-specific report, like the 2013 national report before it, serves as an important resource for policymakers, advocates, practitioners, parents and caregivers alike addressing the strengths and needs of Black children and families where they live. Black Child Development Institute Philadelphia.

Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform. (2010). Beyond Random Acts provides a research-based framing of family engagement; examines the policy levers that can drive change in promoting systemic family, school, and community engagement; and focuses on data systems as a powerful tool to engage families for twenty-first century student learning.

Beyond the Head Count: Evaluating Family Involvement in Out-of-School Time.August 2002. This brief offers an overview of how out-of-school time programs can evaluate their family involvement strategies and practices. It draws on findings from our Out-of-School Time Evaluation Database, interviews, and email correspondence. HFRP.  

Bibliography of Family Involvement Research Published in 2011. September 2013. The Harvard Family Research Project recently published a bibliography of research briefs, journal articles, dissertations, theses, and reports on family engagement.

Building Community, Building Hope: 2016 Prevention Resource Guide. (2016) This annual Resource Guide is one of the Children's Bureau's most anticipated publications, offering trusted information, strategies, and resources to help communities support and strengthen families and promote the well-being of children and youth. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau.

 

Childhood Adversity and Adult Reports of Food Insecurity Among Households With Children. (2016) This study investigated the association between female caregivers' adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and household and child food insecurity, taking into account depressive symptoms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

 

Child Maltreatment Facts FFY 2014: United States. (January 2017) This document presents facts about child maltreatment in FFY 2014. It is part of an array of child welfare factsheets, available on the Child Trends website, including foster care, adoption, and relative caregiving. Child Trends.

 

Children in Poverty: Indicators on Children and Youth. (December 2016) In 2010, more than 1 in 5 children (22 percent) lived in families with incomes below the poverty line, the highest level since 1993; by 2015, this had fallen to 20 percent. Poverty levels among Black and Hispanic children, children living in single-mother families, and children under five are higher. Child Trends.

Complementary Learning Connections with Out-of-School Time Programs in Nebraska. (2009). Lisa St. Clair writes about how the Nebraska State Parental Information and Resource Center is using a complementary learning approach to link family support programs with schools, early childhood programs, and out-of-school time programs.

Data on Data: A Resource Guide to Engaging Families with Student Data. (2010). Data have the power to be transformative. As the articles in this resource guide suggest, when used by families, data can lead to school improvement and community enrichment. Data also provide a platform that allows parents, students, and teachers to engage in a dialogue about student learning goals, progress, and action steps to achieve these goals.

A Day in the Life: Family Engagement in Citizen Schools. (2009). Emily Schneider-Krzys, the Deputy Program Director of Citizen Schools in Texas, explains how the Citizen Schools program's focus on creating networks, building intentional relationships, and establishing consistent communication helps to engage families and support student learning.

The Economy's Impact on Parents Choices and Perceptions About Child Care. (2010). More than 11 million children under the age of 5 regularly spend time in some type of child care setting every week. The majority of parents consistently report that this care is a necessity that enables them to find and keep jobs in an economy where both parents have to work.

Engage Families in Anywhere, Anytime Learning. (April 2014). A common mistake is thinking that learning happens only in schools or out-of-school time programs. This article, published in Phi Delta Kappan, highlights ways in which out-of-school programs can engage with families to get them involved in all of the learning that the child is experiencing. Phi Delta Kappan Journal.

Engaging Families to Boost Teens' After-School Enrollment: Practical Tips from the Beacons Experience. (2009). Contrary to the myth that young teens don't want their parents around, programs that engage the whole family help boost recruitment, participation and retention. In this article to Connect For Kids, the Youth Development Institute has the story and practical tips.

Engaging Parents, Developing Leaders: A Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Nonprofits and Schools. (August 2016) This publication introduces an assessment and planning tool to help nonprofits evaluate their parent engagement efforts and chart a path toward deeper partnerships with parents and caregivers. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Engaging with Families in Out-of-School Time Learning. (2004) In this article, the Harvard Family Research Project talks about how the goals of a program can be shaped to engage in better ways with families of students. It discusses three specific types of engagement that can be used to get parents and family members involved in out-of-school time programs.

Family Engagement: A Shared Responsibility. (2009). This Harvard Family Research Project article discusses how families, schools, and communities can create a shared responsibility for children's learning and academic success.

Family Involvement across Learning Settings. (2009). In this article Harvard Family Research Project's Helen Westmoreland talks about how families and nonschool learning settings, such as out-of-school time programs, museums, and libraries, can work together to promote student achievement.

Families Matter: Designing Media for a Digital Age. (2011). This report focuses on two complementary studies that document how families with young children are integrating digital media into the rhythm of daily life. Results from a survey of more than 800 parents of children ages 3 through 10 reveal how parents nationwide feel about raising children in a digital age.

Featured Teaching Case: After School for Cindy. (2009). This feature from the Harvard Family Research Project newsletter explores the roles that family members, school staff, and community organizations play in one child's out-of-school time and demonstrates the importance of family engagement across learning contexts.

From Periphery to Center: A New Vision for Family, School, and Community Partnerships. (2009). This chapter, written for the Handbook of School-Family Partnerships, advances six components of a strategy that aims to build an effective and sustainable infrastructure for family and community involvement in education.

Growing and Sustaining Parent Engagement: A Toolkit for Parents and Community Partners. ((2010). Along with lessons learned from programs implemented across the nation, this toolkit features parent engagement approaches and strategies that are utilized by parents and partners involved with First 5 LA's Partnerships For Families initiative.

High Quality Child Care is Out of Reach for Working Families. (October 2015) This issue brief uses a number of benchmarks to gauge and analyze the affordability of childcare across the country. Economic Policy Institute.

How to Develop a Logic Model for Districtwide Family Engagement Strategies. (2009). This new Harvard Family Research project publication is a step-by-step guide to help you understand and develop a logic model for districtwide family engagement efforts.

How to Grow a Framework: Lessons From California. (June 2016) This policy profile describes how the Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts (the Framework) is used to facilitate school and district efforts implementing systemic family engagement across various federal and state programs and funding streams. Harvard Family Research Project.

 

Identifying Barriers: Creating Solutions to Improve Family Engagement. 2016. School Community Journal.

Improve Family Involvement in After School Programs. (2012). This article describes four strategies for engaging elementary school families in afterschool programs and provides examples of promising practices from family-focused programs serving ethnically diverse communities. The article also offers implications for parents and parent leaders as they select and design afterschool programs.

Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or at Risk of Homelessness. (July 2016) This report summarizes existing evidence on family intervention strategies for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness gathered through a literature review and conversations with a small set of key informants. Urban Institute.

 

Investing in Tomorrow: Helping Families Build Savings and Assets. (January 2016) This policy brief outlines practical federal policy changes that could help enable low-income families to move toward self-sufficiency and ultimately change the course of their children's lives. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

 

Is reading contagious? Examining parents' and children's reading attitudes and behaviors. (December 2015) Drawing on data on 4th-grade students from the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), this brief can inform policy efforts to promote positive reading attitudes and behaviors in children. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Joining Forces: Families and Out-of-School Programs as Partners in Supporting Children's Learning and Development.(2012). In this Commentary, Harvard Family Research Project's Senior Research Analysts Heidi Rosenberg, Erin Harris, and Shani Wilkes explore the increasing importance of family engagement in afterschool programs.

Lessons From Blended Professional Learning: The Case of Family Engagement. (2015) In this commentary, Margaret Caspe highlights what effective blended professional learning to prepare and support educators in engaging families can look like. Harvard Family Research Project.

National Network Redefines Family Involvement. (2011). Research has linked increases in family involvement to improved student attendance, behavior, and learning; effective family involvement helps increase students' math, reading, and science achievement, and other outcomes regardless of family background measures.

Parent and Family Involvement: Beyond the Bell Toolkit. (2012). The sixth chapter in the Beyond the Bell Toolkit, Parent and Family Involvement, introduces ways to get parents involved in afterschool programming. This is one of the most important aspects of a strong afterschool program because, as the Harvard Family Research Project (2007) points out, youth who have disengaged or restrictive parents are less likely to participate in afterschool programs. Horowitz and Bronte-Tinkew (2007) discuss the significance of family involvement in afterschool programs.

Parent Engagement Toolkit. (2009). This is a resource for Dropout Summit conveners and community leaders bringing the parent voice into the planning process and the development of local and state action plans addressing the dropout crisis.

Parent Involvement and Extended Learning Activities in School Improvement Plans in the Midwest Region. (2011). Analysis of school improvement plans in five Midwest Region states reveals that more than 90 percent of plans included at least one "potentially effective" parent involvement activity and 70 percent included at least one extended learning activity (a before-school, afterschool, or summer program). Few extended learning programs were described as providing academic support.

Parenting in America: Outlook, worries, aspirations are strongly linked to financial situation report. (December 2015) A broad, demographically based look at the landscape of American families reveals stark parenting divides linked less to philosophies or values and more to economic circumstances and changing family structure. Pew Research Center.

Parents as Advocates for School Improvement, Afterschool Programs, and Increased Funding. (2013). Parents are the natural advocates for their children, but they are also one of a school's most prized resources and can be an afterschool program's strongest supporters. This article enumerates several ways in which parents can help advocate for afterschool programs.

Parents for Healthy Schools: A Guide for Getting Parents Involved from K-12. (November 2015) A brief overview of the framework for engaging parents in school health that is based on the CDC's Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents Matter: The Role of Parents in Teens' Decisions about Sex. (2009). This Child Trends brief explores how parenting practices that occur before adolescents have had sexual intercourse are associated with the probability of first sex by age 16.

Parental Relationship Quality and Child Outcomes Across Subgroups. (2011). Numerous studies have found links between the quality of the parents' relationship and positive outcomes for children and families.Yet very little research has examined whether this association holds across various population subgroups, especially among disadvantaged groups. To address this issue, Child Trends analyzed data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. Analyses focus on more than 64,000 respondents3 whose children were between the ages of six and 17.

Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success. (2013). There is strong evidence that, when schools partner with families and community-based organizations, these partnerships for learning improve children's development and school success. They provide a seamless web of supports designed to ensure positive learning experiences for children and youth.  In this paper, the authors draw on the experiences of national organizations and a set of community schools that have built these learning partnerships, and examine seven essential elements for building these partnerships. These elements include: shared vision of learning; shared leadership and governance; complementary partnerships; effective communications; regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress; family engagement; and collaborative staffing models.

Preparing Teachers to Engage Families Around Student Data. (2011). A closer look at Creighton's use of Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT), in which participating teachers hold 75-minute parent team meetings three times a year and 30-minute individual parent-teacher conferences once a year. The parent team meetings are centered on analyzing achievement data together as a team. In this follow-up article, we look at how the Creighton School District prepares teachers to effectively share student data with families.

Preventing Placement in Foster Care: Strengthening Families and Community Ties. (2009). This report documents the work of Good Shepherd Services at its Beacon in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the efforts of social workers and youth development staff have reduced foster care placements. The Beacon Preventive Program provides intensive support services to families to help them build healthy relationships among members. Part of the “Practices to Keep In After-School and Youth Programs” series from the Youth Development Institute.

Promoting Normalcy for Children and Youth in Foster Care. (June 2015) For many youth in foster care, "normal" is often out of reach. This new guide was published to help state advocates, legislators, and agencies implement recently enacted federal legislation in a way that brings meaningful change and responds to foster youths' needs. Juvenile Law Center.

 

A Qualitative Research Study of Kinship Diversion Practices. (July 2016) This research brief explores the practice of "kinship diversion," in which children are placed with relatives as an alternative to foster care and explores the reasons for using kinship diversion, the continued support needed for kinship caregivers, and the varied factors that influence kinship diversion practices. Child Trends.

Resource Guide for Family Engagement Across the Developmental Pathway. (2010). This bibliographic resource from the Harvard Family Research Program 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.

Seeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement. (2009). This policy brief from the Harvard Family Research Project and the National PTA examines the role of school districts in promoting family engagement and spotlights how six school districts across the country have used innovative strategies to create and sustain family engagement "systems at work."

A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities. (April 2016) A Shared Sentence offers commonsense proposals to address the increased poverty and stress that children of incarcerated parents experience. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

 

Step Up to College: Philadelphia's Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes - 26th Edition. (2015) A 66-page resource book designed to lead high school students and their families through each stage of the college admissions and financial aid processes. Philadelphia Futures.

Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement in Out-of-School Time. (2009). In this Issues and Opportunities in Out-of-School Time Evaluation brief, Harvard Family Research Project explores the benefits of and strategies for engaging families in OST programs, as well as the role of systems and intermediaries in supporting family engagement in OST.

Strengthening Family Engagement Through Teacher Preparation and Professional Development. (2013). In this Commentary, the authors discuss the importance of teacher preparation in family engagement, and highlight the ways in which Harvard Family Research Project is working to advance educator training and professional development in the field.

Taking Leadership, Innovating Change. (2010). The National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group recently compiled these twelve examples of leading innovations in family engagement as an integral and effective strategy in systemic education reform.

Teaching the Teachers: Preparing Educators to Engage Families for Student Achievement. (2011). To be affective, teachers must collaborate with families to support student success. When teachers understand families and communicate and build relationships with them, students benefit. Many studies confirm that strong parent-teacher relationships relate to positive student outcomes for students, such as healthy social development, high student achievement, and high rates of college enrollment. Harvard Family Research Project.

Two Generational Strategies to Improve Immigrant Family and Child Outcomes. (December 2015) This paper is a reflection of a remarkable two-day conversation among leading voices from the worlds of policy, advocacy, research, service delivery, and philanthropy for low-income families and immigrant communities. CLASP.

 

Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children. (September 2016) The report sheds light on the truly global nature of childhood migration and displacement, highlighting the major challenges faced by child migrants and refugees in every region. UNICEF.

 

Using Existing Large-Scale Data to Study Early Care and Education Among Hispanics: How Hispanic Parents and Children Experience ECE Settings. (March 2016) As part of a larger effort to build research capacity related to early care and education (ECE) issues for low-income Hispanic families, this brief describes data elements specific to the experiences children and families have with ECE providers and programs, including the quality of ECE settings, parental satisfaction, and parents' experiences coordinating ECE arrangements with employment demands. National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. 

What teachers Really Want to Tell Parents. (2011). Ron Clark, author of "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck -- 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers," has been named "American Teacher of the Year" by Disney and was Oprah Winfrey's pick as her "Phenomenal Man." He founded The Ron Clark Academy, which educators from around the world have visited to learn.

What We Stand to Lose in our Obsession to Win. (2012) The report is a wake-up call, particularly for parents and families, intended to serve as a catalyst for cultural change in sport. True Sport.

 

What Young People Need to Thrive: Leveraging the Strengthening Families Act to Promote Normalcy. (2015) This brief highlights the importance of normalcy to the overall healthy development of young people in foster care. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

 

Workin' 9 to 5: How School Schedules Make Life Harder for Working Parents. (October 2016) Upon examination of the calendars, schedules, and policies of the largest school districts in the country, as well as data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the resulting analysis reveals the multitude of ways that U.S. public schools make life unnecessarily harder for working parents. Center for American Progress.

 

World Family Map 2015: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes. (September 2015) The 2015 World Family Map, released last week, reveals that the proportion of U.S. children living in relative poverty is higher than that of most high-income countries. Child Trends.

Youth who are “Disconnected” and Those Who Then Reconnect: Assessing the Influence of Family, Programs, Peers and Community (2009) This report examines what leads children to disconnect from school, family, and community life, and what helps them reconnect.  It highlights possible indicators of disconnection, and discusses the importance of job training and caring adults to initiate reconnection.

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