Flamboyan Launches Inaugural National Family Engagement Fellowship

September 13, 2016 07:20 AM
by / Topics: Improving Family Engagement

Flamboyan Foundation’s Inaugural National Fellowship Brings Together Five States
Leading the Charge in Family Engagement Across the Country


Flamboyan National Fellows_2016During Flamboyan Foundation’s inaugural National Family Engagement Fellowship convening this month, a cohort of 19 newly announced Fellows from Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Tennessee will come together in a learning community to build knowledge and skills, particularly around family engagement planning.

Flamboyan, a DC-based organization, works with educators and 44 schools in the District of Columbia to elevate and implement family engagement practices proven to build trusting relationships among families and teachers that improve student academic achievement.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our work to and learn from cities and states that prioritize family engagement within schools,” said Kristin Ehrgood, Flamboyan Foundation’s President and Board Chair. “Research has shown that effective family engagement practices are linked to improved academic performance for students in DC. It is our hope that we can work with leaders from other cities to implement effective family engagement programs that will yield promising results in their jurisdictions.”

Flamboyan is launching the National Family Engagement Partnership to build a community of practice, share knowledge, and work towards building sustainable family engagement practices across the country. The national initiative aims to improve student outcomes by building the capacity of change-makers who are interested in leading the charge for effective family engagement in their communities.

The initial three-day convening, taking place at the Flamboyan Foundation DC office, will prepare Fellows to achieve overarching goals that include:

– Building knowledge and skills, particularly around family engagement planning, design thinking, and race and equity;
– Conducting in-depth analysis and contextualized planning;
– Developing a sustainable, organizational approach for family engagement practice;
– Building a network of family engagement practitioners.

Following the September meeting, Fellows will convene for three additional meetings throughout the current and coming year. The dedicated space will help build participants’ knowledge of family engagement, strategic planning, equity, and design thinking. A series of workshops will help Fellows identify challenges and barriers within their current context and their existing family engagement approaches so that they can create short-cycle projects and pilots that will evolve into a long-term strategy.

Fellows will also have a rare opportunity to learn from experts who create and support innovative family engagement practices that build close collaborations between parents and teachers and share effective strategies for advancing students’ academic skills. Anne Henderson, Senior Consultant to the Community Organizing and Engagement Program at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, will lead a two-hour dynamic discussion on elements that deepen understanding of the key research surrounding the roles families play in schools.

At the end of the year-long fellowship, participants will create a five-year vision and one-to-two-year strategic plan for design and implementation of family engagement work in her/his home organization, community, or system.

To learn more about the National Family Engagement Fellows, read their bios here.