To all of our supporters,
As we kick-off this Holiday season’s end-of-year fundraising drive, we are grateful for YOU and everything you do to make our schools and community places where all families can thrive. For Giving Tuesday we wanted to take a moment of your time to share PLAN’s vision of Transformative Family Engagement and how it is guiding our community organizing work.
What is Transformative Family Engagement and how does it differ from traditional approaches?
- Shared Responsibility vs. Individual Responsibility – Typically, parents are not seen as partners in learning. We believe, and a growing body of research confirms, that the best learning environments for children are ones where families, educators and community leaders share responsibility for student success.
- Strength-based vs. Deficit Based – Many initiatives reinforce negative stereotypes that low-income families simply do not have the skills or interest in engaging in their children’s education. We believe that all parents and caregivers want to see their children succeed. They have tremendous strengths to bring to conversations and important decisions on their children’s education.
- Building Capacity vs. “Fixing” the Family – Typical approaches have not honored the unique strengths families can bring to their children’s education, with an assumption that families need to be “fixed” to meet their parenting responsibilities. We believe that parents and families are the best advocates for their children and deserve a seat at the table when important decisions and investments are being made that impact their children’s education.
- Learning From Other Cultures vs. Cultural Hegemony – There is an assumption that existing practices are good enough, but research shows that more needs to be done to truly achieve equitable outcomes for children through family engagement. We believe that truly transformative family engagement means schools remain open and committed to adapting to the needs, cultures and priorities of local families and communities.
By supporting our work you are helping make this vision a reality. We will be pushing the envelope in 2016, and we look forward to bringing you stories that highlight how our staff and parent leaders are translating this framework into functioning policy and practice. Your donations are the foundation for our continued success, and we hope that you give as generously as you can today and support parents as we improve conditions for learning at the school site, district and state levels so that our schools are 100% Engaged.
Thank you for all that you do!