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Family/Community Engagement: Individual Resources

Topics: Standard 1 | Standard 2 | Standard 3 | Standard 4 | Standard 5 | Standard 6

Standard 1: Connect families to community resources that support their goals, interests, and needs.

Learning Together at Home
When you are with your child, there is a lot that you can learn together! This section has all kinds of ideas for activities that you can do around the house, outside, in your neighborhood, and during vacations at different times of year. It also has ideas related to math and science that are easy to try at home (like sorting socks). Try some of these out, and if you find an activity that your child enjoys, look for different ways and places to try it, or share it with your child's teacher — you may find something that other kids and families will enjoy too!

Schools and Families: An Important Partnership
In the U.S., schools and families work together closely to help children succeed. For example, you can contact your child's teacher if you have questions, or you may be invited to events at the school. These resources describe how you can build a relationship with your child's school.

Raising Bilingual Kids
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the gift of two (or more!) languages. Being bilingual is good for your child's brain, makes communication with grandparents and relatives easier, and is an advantage for finding jobs in the future. To learn more, see our resources for ideas on raising bilingual children here.


COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation has launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign to raise money for mental health services provided by licensed clinicians in our network. Individuals with life-changing stressors and anxiety related to the coronavirus will have the cost for up to five (5) individual sessions defrayed on a first come, first serve basis until all funds are committed or exhausted.

Virtual Mentoring Portal
To ensure physical distancing does not mean social disconnection, two leading experts on mentoring are launching the Virtual Mentoring Portal. The Virtual Mentoring Portal is a safe and monitored mentoring platform for mentors and mentees to continue their relationships while they may be separated due to COVID-19.

United Way 211
211 is a vital service that connects millions of people to help every year. To get expert, caring help simply call 211 today or search for your local 211 on this website.

Feeding America
The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.

Standard 2: Build partnerships with families that are strengths-based, authentic, reciprocal, and respectful.

Engaging Parents, Embracing Diversity: Four steps for a systematic approach to increase parent teacher conference attendance
The article discusses four steps for a systematic approach to increase parent teacher conference attendance which includes determining students who are struggling academically, using schoolwide communication, and bringing their language to them.

Colorin Colorado Family Resources
As a parent, there are many ways that you can help your child succeed every single day! These bilingual parent resources offer tips on helping your child learn to read, succeed in school, and learn a new language. They also provide information about the U.S. school system and share ideas on how to build a relationship with your child's teacher and school. In addition, you can find fun reading tips and games, bilingual booklists, ideas for using the public library, and videos of children's authors, illustrators, and musicians. Resources are organized by topic.

What Parents Have to Teach Us About Their Dual Language Children
Parents provide insights through a question and answer format about dual language children.

Standard 3: Partner with families to identify information, resources, and strategies to support them in their roles as teachers, models, encouragers, monitors, leaders and advocates as they support their child's learning and development.

9 Steps for Breaking Down Assignments
When kids have a big project or assignment, it can be hard for them to figure out how to get started and come up with a plan to see it through. That's especially true if they have trouble with organization or time management. These step-by-step tips can assist parents help break down projects into manageable chunks.

Engaging ELL Parents as Leaders
How can schools develop ELL families as leaders in the school community? Learn from some schools that have successfully done so from the examples below! These strategies appear in Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders. Strategies offer tips for helping ELL families learn about leadership opportunities in their school community and develop the confidence to step into those roles.

Twenty Ways You Can Help Your Children Succeed At School
As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher. When parents and families are involved in their children's schools, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school. In fact, many studies show that what the family does is more important to a child's school success than how much money the family makes or how much education the parents have. There are many ways that parents can support their children's learning at home and throughout the school year. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Menu: Special Today: Attendance - Exercise
Agenda outline for a parent meeting, complete with discussion starters.

Taking Action on Attendance: How Parents Can Make a Difference at Home - Exercise
The purpose of this activity is to help parents see how their choices affect whether their children are in school on time, every day for the entire day (what educators call "time on task"). Time on task matters for a child's learning and success. Through this activity, parents will know what they can do to support their children in getting to school on time, every day.


Tips to Support Families Through the Coronavirus Pandemic (VIDEO)
Created by Successful Innovations, this video provides families with tips and strategies to support their children through this challenging time.

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors
Offers free, early childhood mini sessions for parents available in Spanish.

Coping Tips for COVID 19
A webinar highlighting coping strategies for families and children.

Talking Is Teaching
An Indoor Activities Guide with simple activity ideas for families with young kids at home. Available in English and Spanish.

Springboard Connect
A web-app that helps families to support their children's reading progress. Personalized tips and reminders are available in English and Spanish. It is the perfect at-home coaching companion!

Standard 4: Provide intentional opportunities for families to connect and engage with each other.

Events During the School Year
During the school year, there are a number of events that help build the foundation for partnerships with families of English language learners (ELLs). Take a look at these ideas for engaging families throughout the year, with special tips about reaching out to families in their home languages.

The Beginners' Guide to Connecting Home and School
Here are five steps to engage parents in their children's education, whether through at-home activities or in-class participation, to help foster academic success.

Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting From COVID-19
Families across the country are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most schools, places of public gathering, and nonessential businesses are closed, and parents and other caregivers are faced with helping their families adjust to the new normal. – Family Engagement (PDF)
Engaging families in the casework process promotes the safety, permanency, and wellbeing of children and families in the child welfare system and is central to successful practice. Effective family engagement occurs when child welfare practitioners actively collaborate and partner with family members throughout their involvement with the child welfare system, recognizing them as the experts on their respective situations and empowering them in the process.

Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers
Parenting is hard work! But it can also be fun and rewarding. There are many things you can do to help build a safe, stable, and nurturing relationship with your child. This website will help you handle some common parenting challenges, so you can be a more confident parent and enjoy helping your child grow.

Family and Community Engagement – USDE
Check out the resources on this webpage supporting the framework for building greater support and capacity in schools, homes and communities, so ALL students have the chance to succeed. Get ideas for how to bring your passion, talents, and energy to help students and to make your neighborhood schools stronger.

Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day!
Research has found that providing children from birth to five with consistent, language-rich experiences – such as talking, reading, and singing – can have important benefits on their brain development and future school success.

Standard 5: Support families as they develop their leadership and advocacy skills.

Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families: How to Share Data Effectively
This resource provides guidance to educators on sharing data with families about their student's achievement, strengths and challenges, and learning styles. It also includes tips for families about talking with teachers about their child's progress. It is available in Spanish and English.

Tips for Parents: Parent-Teacher Conferences
During the school year, teachers will invite you to come to parent-teacher meetings (also called conferences). This is very common in the United States. You can also ask for a conference any time.

How Parents Can Be Advocates For Their Children
Parents are often the best educational advocates for their children, especially children with a learning disability. Discover nine tips to help you be a strong champion for your child.

8 Steps to Advocating for Your Child at School
Here are some tips to help you advocate for your child at school. Be informed. Keep and organize paperwork. Build relationships. Ask questions. Stay calm and collected. Remember that you're part of the team. Know your child's rights. Talk to your child.

Under-connected in America: How Lower-Income Families Respond to Digital Equity Challenges
This resource will discuss how being under-connected impacts the everyday lives of lower-income parents and children, how parents assess the risks and rewards that connectivity can offer their children, and the implications of under-connectedness for policy development and program reform.

Natural Leaders
Families serve as multi-cultural bridges between students, families, communities and schools. This program is not a top-down, school-directed training programs teaching parents how to help their kids succeed. The Natural Leaders program is different. Parents take on leadership roles and learn the skills needed to build relationships with families in their community, identify what helps these families be successful in the school system, and then implement these ideas. Currently based in Washington State.

10 Ways to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child at School – Special Education
This site provides 10 suggestions for effective advocacy. Each suggestion includes links to additional information.

10 Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings – Special Education
Emotions can run high at IEP meetings (The IEP Meeting – An Overview). But it is important to focus on the end goal: helping your child. Here are 10 stay-calm phrases you can use to redirect conversation and defuse tense situations.

Self-Advocacy Sentence Starters for Kids Who Learn and Think Differently – Special Education
Self-advocacy is an important skill for kids who learn and think differently. It helps them ask for what they need. But kids don't always know how to ask or what to say. Here are things kids can say to self-advocate.

Families - All About Me Books
This resource is for families to develop "All About Me" books with their children. Families can use the resource to communicate their child's strengths to their child's teacher.

Families - Your Family is Extraordinary
This resource is for families to read and recognize that they already are extraordinary and can support their child in the formative assessment process.

Families - Construct Guidance
This resource is designed to provide families with equitable access to activities and resources that will assist them in supporting their child's development.

Families - Your Family has a Voice
This resource is for families to read and understand the shared power they have in their child's growth and development.

A Guide for Hispanic Parents: How to Help Your Child Prepare for College and Career – Latino
Cómo Ayudar a sus Hijos A Prepararse para la Universidad y el Trabajo by EdTrust - Latino
Why your child needs to prepare for college and a career, how to tell if your child's school has college-ready academic standards, the special hurdles facing Hispanic students, and how parents can be effective advocates for their children.

OSEP English to Spanish Translation Glossary – Special Education, Latino
This second edition of the OSEP Glossary of Spanish Translations of Common IDEA Termsincludes over 400 terms related to IDEA Parts B and C (the parts of IDEA that cover special education and early intervention services, respectively). The terms were selected by experienced translators from Parent Centers who have worked with families with children with disabilities representing the majority of Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America and Spain.

Tips for Parents: Advocacy - Working with Your Child's School
This Tips for Parents article is from a seminar hosted by Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, Ph.D. She provides numerous strategies on how to advocate for your gifted student in his/her school setting.

Preparing Parents to Advocate for a Child With Autism
Educators have a vital role to play in helping parents develop the skills to become effective advocates for children with autism. Parents are expected to advocate for their children in a multitude of situations. It begins early with navigating their children's physical and emotional well-being. They come to rely on their children's physicians, their family, and the informal network of friends facing similar circumstances to help them steer safely through the early days of parenthood.


Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five
This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about the complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children aged two to five years of age. Racismo y violencia: Su influencia como padres para apoyar a los niños de 2 a 5 años de edad - Spanish Translation.

Racial Stress and Self-care: Parent Tip Tool
What effect does racism have on your health and well-being? Not only does racism impact you as a parent, it can also impact how you interact with your children. Experiences of racism build on each other and can chip away at your emotional, physical and spiritual resources as a parent, contributing to race-related stress. Race-related stress can make it hard to have the space needed to take care of yourself as a parent, which reduces the emotional space you need to adequately take care of your children.

Strategies for Advocating as a Parent of Black Children
This resource describes the perspective of a Black mother raising her children and offers steps to consider in how to advocate for Black Children during their educational experience. Strategies include engagement with school, talking to your child about race and racism, connecting with other parents of Black children, and meeting with other non-Black parents.

Standard 6: Build partnerships with families during times of transition

Planning for the Future Checklist – Special Education
The checklist is designed to support youth with Disabilities, as well as their family, and IEP Team members, to ensure they are reviewing all aspects of Post-Secondary Transition planning at age appropriate intervals. The checklist is also available as an app.

Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide – Special Education
The website, which is continually updated, provides transition aged youth, their families, and professionals with Post-Secondary resources to facilitate successful progress for individuals with a disability toward their goals in the areas of education/training, employment, and independent living.

Social & Emotional Support for ELLs and Immigrant Students
English language learners can face a number of difficult situations, such as moving to a new country, trying to fit into a new school, and learning a different language. They may also have significant family responsibilities or experience with trauma. These resources provide guidance on how to help address some of these needs as well as draw on student strengths and resilience.