Engaging Families to Work Toward Collective School, Home and Community Solutions
A PowerPoint Presentation and Round Table Discussion for the Binghamton Community Lab, January 15, 2013, The Lost Dog Restaurant. Binghamton Community Lab is a partnership between the Binghamton Neighborhood Project (BNP) and the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition.
Parent involvement (PI) programs typically represent an important improvement strategy for schools serving low-income communities. Although the benefits of PI are well established, PI continues to be minimal, sporadic, or altogether non-existent in too many of low-income school-communities.
Conventional PI programs typically target improvements in individual parents’ school-related knowledge and skills (e.g. how to communicate with children’s teachers, how to help children with homework) as the primary mechanism for engaging parents and enhancing children’s academic outcomes. In contrast to the individualistic nature of conventional PI, the Collective Parent Engagement model highlighted in this presentation targets parent social networks as the primary action system for improving children’s outcomes. The model was designed to enhance children’s academic outcomes by empowering low-income parents to develop, implement, and operate programs to help students and school parents at home, at school, and in the community.
Tania Alameda-Lawson, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University (SUNY). Her current research interests include innovative designs for family and community engagement, full-service community schools, as well as inter-professional education and training programs. A recognized national leader in parent involvement and family engagement, Dr. Alameda-Lawson practice and policy work has also included working as consultant for several national and international foundations as well as the Clinton Administration.
Michael A. Lawson, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development at Binghamton University (SUNY). His current research interests center on student engagement, innovative designs for family and community engagement, as well as school-based and community-based prevention programs. As a practitioner, Dr. Lawson directed several local and regional school-community improvement efforts and has also provided leadership to county and state-level steering committees and leadership councils.