The FAST Program is an internationally acclaimed, evidence-based family engagement program that supports child well-being and learning readiness, empowers parents, and builds social capital so children can thrive. It is designed to:
- Strengthen family relationships and increase cohesion
- Engage parents more with the school and enable them to advocate for their children’s education
- Connect families to other families and community resources to reduce isolation and stress
The program is run at a school or community organization and meets for weekly 2.5-hour sessions, which can be offered in-person or virtually, over an eight-week (or 10-week) cycle. A site will typically run two cycles per school year.
During these sessions, families eat a meal and play games together, parents discuss and bond over shared experiences, kids and youth make friends with their peers, and parents engage in one-on-one special play/conversation time with their children free from distraction.
A trained FAST Team of local parents, youth (for middle and high school levels only – see below), educators, and mental health and other community professionals facilitates the program and provides coaching and support to the participating families.
FAST® Levels Overview
Early Childhood Education (ECE) Level
Elementary School LEvel
Middle School Level
HIgh School Level
The program is available at the Early Childhood Education (ECE), Elementary School, Middle School, and High School levels to provide the tools needed to support each developmental milestone. While the core values of FAST remain the same for all levels, some activities are adjusted to develop and strengthen age-specific protective factors to meet the FAST Child’s needs.
Up to 60% of the program is adaptable to also meet the needs and priorities of diverse communities, cultures, and local circumstances.
Program News 📌
- Families & Schools Together applauds Evers’ renewed investmentSays it reflects parents across the state who are asking for more of the expert family engagement program Madison, Wis., Feb. 15, 2023 — Toni… Read more: Families & Schools Together applauds Evers’ renewed investment
- Goodman Community Center: Life in the ‘FAST’ LaneThe Goodman Community Center featured the FAST® Program in their blog post: Life in the ‘FAST’ Lane: Families and Schools Together helps parents build a… Read more: Goodman Community Center: Life in the ‘FAST’ Lane
- Czech Republic becomes 22nd country to implement the FAST ProgramFamilies & Schools Together is celebrating our Czech Republic partners and recognizing their incredible hard work after the conclusion of the first two program cycles… Read more: Czech Republic becomes 22nd country to implement the FAST Program