• Parent engagement programs demonstrate efficacy by connecting students’ school-home life

    Recently, family engagement in schools has shifted from being a low-priority endeavor to an integral part of academic reform. For many schools and districts, parent engagement has been a ‘nice-to-have’ more than a solidified goal. The concept of parent engagement has had success for increasing students’ reading and math comprehension as well as overall engagement […] READ MORE →

  • The importance of parent engagement: A list of research and thought leadership

    The following scholars and influencers are what we at Families and Schools Together, Inc. consider to be a select list of the current thought leaders in parent engagement. Along with offering ideas and methods for improving the school-family alliance, as well as identifying the most effective components of parent engagement programming, each influencer validates the […] READ MORE →

  • The family engagement movement is happening

    A movement has emerged and the power of this movement is not to be underestimated. Parents, teachers, community organizers, and education leaders are coming together as partners and advocates in new and powerful ways. Creating effective partnerships with parents and community organizations to support student success is recognized as one effective strategy within education reform […] READ MORE →

  • Kansas Reading Roadmap: FAST at Chetopa Elementary

    Fifty-one schools in the state of Kansas are taking part of the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR) initiative, the goal of which is achieving reading proficiency for every student by grade three. Though united under a common goal, each participating Kansas school, including Chetopa Elementary in Chetopa, Kansas, has unique challenges. Phyllis Ross, a retired teacher with 37 years’ […] READ MORE →

  • Kansas Reading Roadmap: FAST at Onaga Elementary

    Whether in a public, private or home school environment, community is at the heart of education and plays a transformative role in the lives of students. While teachers play an integral role in leading a student to academic success, parents are the driving force that continually support and encourage their children to succeed beyond the classroom. Research […] READ MORE →

  • Social Capital

    The term “social capital” dates as early back as 1916 when L. J. Hanifan described it as: “goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals and families who make up a social unit.” Recently, social capital has landed back into the collective consciousness through Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of […] READ MORE →

  • Kansas Reading Roadmap: A statewide initiative to help children succeed by becoming proficient readers partners with FAST

    According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, third grade reading proficiency is crucial for continued academic success and to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The Kansas Reading Roadmap is a statewide project of the Kansas Department for Children and Families working in partnership with the Kansas Department of Education to improve third grade reading scores. The […] READ MORE →

  • Investing in Innovation (i3): $15-million grant project uses FAST as an innovative, targeted strategy for removing key barriers to school turnaround.

    Funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s 2012 Investing in Innovation grant competition, also known as i3, the Investing in Family Engagement Project is part of a national initiative to provide funding to school districts and non-profit organizations to develop new approaches to longstanding challenges in education. Of more than 700 applicants from across the […] READ MORE →

  • OJJDP Bulletin: Families and Schools Together – Building Relationships (1999)

    The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) featured the FAST® Program in its November 1999 bulletin, written by Lynn McDonald and Heather Frey. The OJJDP also published a fact sheet by Lynn McDonald and Deborah Howard in December 1998. READ MORE →

  • Meet the Founder: Dr. Lynn McDonald

    Dr. Lynn McDonald is the creator of the internationally acclaimed family engagement program FAST® and the founder of the non-profit organization Families & Schools Together. Throughout a career that spans more than 40 years, Dr. McDonald has worked tirelessly to improve the well-being of children and families around the world using scientific research to build […] READ MORE →