parents as allies

hundrED releases ‘Journeys in Family-School Engagement,’ sharing our Parents as Allies work with the world

If you’re a parent or caregiver raising kids, do you feel connected to your child’s school? Do you know your child’s teachers and feel welcome in the school community, and are there ways for you to really engage and be a partner in the life of your school?

If you do, that’s a powerful gift for your child. Young learners benefit – in fact, whole communities benefit – when families and schools build trust and really engage with one another.

But it isn’t easy. Most teachers aren’t trained in parent-school engagement. Many parents don’t know where they fit in the school community or how to connect with teachers. And so often, parents and teachers misunderstand each other. With so many potential barriers, parent-school engagement is often absent — and that affects millions of kids around the world.

For nearly three years, Kidsburgh’s Parents as Allies project has been finding new and creative ways to make parent-school engagement possible. Local teams from around the Pittsburgh region have built thriving relationships and dreamed up new methods of connecting — easily, impactfully and on a surprisingly accessible budget. This week, our partners at hundrED published a report, titled Journeys in Family-School Engagement: Parents as Allies, that chronicles the exciting things that have been happening in Pittsburgh and shares them with a global audience.

Find the new report right here.

As you look through the report and discover the many strategies and hacks that have emerged from this work, you’ll hear about districts like Duquesne City, where community engagement increased thanks to a resource fair that was held on the same day as parent-teacher conferences.

You’ll learn about places like Ambridge, where parents are now volunteering in ways they never had before, and Charleroi, where the school district partnered
with a local “paint and sip” business to organize “Canvases and Cookies,” a low-stress event where teachers and families got creative together — and got connected as people.

parents as allies
These 22 school districts participated in the second year of Parents as Allies research, which we called “PAA 2.0.”

Parents as Allies team members were excited to share the results of this work with an international audience at the recent hundrED Innovation Summit in Helsinki. We’re excited today to share this new report, and in the months to come we’ll be sharing individual stories about each of the 22 school districts in the Pittsburgh region that have been doing the challenging, inspiring, community-building work of family-school engagement.