In the District of Columbia, the Flamboyan Foundation is influencing how schools and educators partner with families to improve academic outcomes for children through its Family Engagement Partnerships. To ensure continued expansion and innovation in effective family engagement, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded Flamboyan a $406,000 grant to support Family Engagement Partnerships in a cohort of pre-school through 3rd grade classes at seven D.C. public and public charter schools.
“Since we began our work in 2010, we’ve witnessed educators and parents build trusting relationships and effectively work together to accelerate academic achievement for kids through Family Engagement Partnerships,” said Susan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Flamboyan Foundation in Washington, DC. “Now, with the support of the Kellogg Foundation, even more educators, parents, and children will reap the rewards of effective family engagement.”
The Family Engagement Partnership model is an intensive, school-wide intervention designed to support student success by transforming how teachers and families collaborate with one another on behalf of the student. It uses an intensive principal and teacher capacity-building model—from teacher training to school leader coaching and professional development—with a focus on three key family engagement practices: relationship-building, ongoing communication, and academic partnering.
This Kellogg Foundation-funded work aims to improve outcomes for 1,797 pre-school through 3rd grade students, increasing family engagement, while strengthening their attendance, cognitive and language development, and pre-literacy skills, as well as improving teacher job satisfaction.
The Kellogg Foundation funding covers a two-year period from January 2015 to December 2016, and will focus on preparing school leaders and teachers to do effective family engagement, as well as a pilot program to connect childcare providers with early childhood classroom teachers.
“We want families to feel they have genuine relationships with the DCPS educators who serve their children; that we know their kids; that we help parents understand what their children are learning in school; and that we help families support learning at home,” said Vincent Baxter, Deputy Chief of Family Engagement for DCPS. “This generous grant from the Kellogg Foundation positions our partners at Flamboyan to continue helping us prepare more DCPS teachers and leaders to be in genuine relationships with families.”
Other co-funders collaborating with Flamboyan in this effort include The Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, The Horning Family Fund, District of Columbia Public Schools, and Center City Public Charter Schools.
“We believe that our integrated approach to family engagement bolsters student achievement by empowering parents, inspiring educators, and supporting school improvement efforts,” added Stevenson. “This grant award validates the growing demand for this work and its potential impact on families and their children’s academic success.”