This week, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced a $5 million investment to identify and promote innovative family engagement initiatives that support children’s educational success from birth to 8 years old.
While we know funding is critical, what I find most exciting about this new effort is the definition and approach to family engagement that the foundation is helping to advance. WKKF defines family engagement as “a shared responsibility of families, schools and communities for student learning and achievement. It is a continuous process from birth to third grade and beyond that occurs across multiple settings where children learn."
As Carla D. Thompson, VP of Program Strategy for WKKF put it, “Our goal is to shift the paradigm for people to see that families – particularly those that have been marginalized by racial inequities – possess numerous skills that must be recognized and supported to help children succeed.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Our strength-based approach to family and community engagement at Scholastic is not only about providing access to books and literacy materials but about comprehensively connecting and empowering homes, schools and communities.
As you think about the new school year ahead, what kinds of innovative and systemic approaches are necessary to help make this paradigm shift?