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  Family and Community Involvement: Reaching Out to Diverse Populations
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Looking for More Ideas? Take a Look at These Resources

There are many publications in the field on parent and community engagement that address some of the learnings SEDL gathered from the field including knowing the community, helping to overcoming barriers and understanding the concerns that affect the participation of the linguistically and culturally diverse populations in schools. A listing of organizations is also offered for additional information and resources.

Ballen, J., Moles, O. (1994, September). Strong families, strong schools: Building community partnerships for learning. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Online. Available:
A handbook for strengthening families, along with supporting research by the U.S. Department of Education. Of special interest are Chapter 2 that describes how schools can welcome parents and recognize their strengths, and Chapter 3 on how to connect communities with families and schools.

Davis, D., (2000, June). Supporting parent, family, and community involvement in your school. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Online. Available: (Site no longer available - 2009)
This guide provides ideas and suggestions taken from research on family and community involvement in schools and can help school staff and others design a long-term approach to garnering the positive involvement of all concerned.

Funkhouser, J.E., Gonzalez, M.R. & Moles, O.C. (1997). Family involvement in children’s education. An Idea Book. U.S. Department of Education. Online. Available:
This is one of an occasional series published by the U.S. Department of Education. An Idea Book discusses how some schools and their communities have overcome key barriers–finding the time, increasing their information about each other, bridging school-family partnerships. It is based on case studies of 20 successful schools from around the country. They include elementary and secondary schools and districtwide programs that receive Title I money.

McGroarty, M. (1999). Partnerships with linguistic minority communities. Arlington, VA: TESOL: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.
This paper explores how effective community partnerships can be formed and sustained from the classroom to the school district to community organizations and businesses. It also examines the roles of teacher training and professional educational organizations in developing successful partnerships.

Moles, O.C. (ed.) (1996). Reaching all families: Creating family-friendly schools. U.S. Department of Education. Online. Available:
This booklet is offered to stimulate thinking and discussion about how schools can better involve all families, regardless of family circumstances or student performance. It presents school outreach strategies that are based on broad experience, which can help even seasoned educators do a better job of making their schools family-friendly.

National Council of Jewish Women. (1996). Parents as school partner: Research report. NCJW.
The data collected from the Parent as School Partners activities provides information from “voices in the field” through parent, teacher, and principal focus groups, including superintendents’ surveys. It contains a compilation of replicable school-based programs for enhancing parent involvement and a literature review. It considers policies, programs, practice and research to determine the status of current knowledge in the field of parent involvement.

U.S. Department of Education. (2000). Let’s go to school together (Vamos juntos a la escuela). Online. Available:
This 15-minute video offers tips for Spanish-speaking parents to help them become involved in their children’s learning, from infancy through adolescence. It features real-life vignettes of Latino parents and families dealing with topics such as reading, mathematics, and college preparation. It also comes with Spanish language booklets and brochures.

White-Clark, R., & Decker, L.E. (1996). The hard-to-reach parent: Old challenges, new insights. Online. Available:
This publication is a must read book. It debunks many of the myths about the assumptions and stereotypes made about the lack of involvement of the “hard-to-reach” parent. It provides some basic and common sense ideas drawn from different sources to assist in the understanding and recruitment of parents.

Other Resources

Be sure to check out these organizations. They offer information on school and community partnerships and issues important to linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Some lead to other organizations, others provide materials, and all can be accessed through web sites.

BUENO Center for Multicultural Education
University of Colorado @ Boulder
Ed. Bldg. Rm. 247
Boulder, CO 80309
Tel: 303/735-2566
Fax: 303/492-2883

Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE)
University of California
College Eight, Room 201
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Tel: 831/459-3500
Fax: 831-459-3502

Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR)
John Hopkins University
3503 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2498
Tel: 410/516-8800
Fax: 410/516-8890

Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
5835 Callaghan Road, Suite 350
San Antonio, TX 78228-1190
Tel: 210/444-1710
Fax: 210/444-1714

ERIC Database

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition(NCELA)
George Washington University
2121 K Street NW Suite 260,
Washington DC 20037
Tel: 800/321-6223
Fax: 800/531-9347
202/467-42833 (within DC area)

National Coalition for Parent Involvement In Education (NCPIE)
3929 Old Lee Highway Suite 91-A
Fairfax, VA 22030-2401
Tel: 703/359-8973
Fax: 703/359-0972

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202-0498

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