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From Then to Now: Developing Effective Programs of Family and Community Involvement

Excerpts From a Talk by Joyce Epstein

September 2006

Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, Director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and National Network of Partnership Schools, and Research Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, spoke in Connecticut at "Welcoming, Honoring and Connecting for Learning: A Forum on Building Bridges between Schools and Families for Student Success." The forum was sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Education, the State Education Resource Center, Capitol Region Education Council, Connecticut Parents Plus/ United Way of Connecticut, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and Family Day 2006.

In this excerpted audio, Epstein reflects on the enormous changes in the field of family and community involvement in the twenty-five years she's been working in it, beginning with the shift in name from "parent involvement" to "school, family, and community partnerships." Epstein's research shows the need for deliberate actions at the school, district, and state levels to ensure that all schools have well-planned and equitable programs of family and community involvement. This includes attention to her framework of Six Types of Involvement to engage families in various ways, and the need for school-based Action Teams for Partnerships to link family and community involvement to school goals for student success. The changes support her theory of "overlapping spheres of influence" that recognizes the shared responsibilities of educators, parents, and others for student learning and development.
Approximate run time: 38 minutes

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