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How to Engage Families

In June, a dozen members of the PAC and supporting staff joined hundreds of parents and professionals at the National Family and Community Engagement Conference in San Francisco. Family engagement is critical to our work of connecting families and schools, and building a community that supports the whole child. 

Below are a few personal takeaways from ELM staff, PAC members and supporting staff.  We encourage you to check out all the conference resources here.

“I loved the preconference half-day training on community organizing—going through that with parent leaders thinking big about what they can do to advocate for the work of the hub and deepen our connections and outreach in our county. It validated the route we are taking at ELM, and it was a pleasure to meet so many folks thinking and doing similar things.” 
–Molly Day, ELM Director

“It was a very good opportunity. We learned about empowerment—the process that is essential to activate people’s capacity to satisfy their own needs, solve their own problems and take control over their life. Lack of parent involvement is linked to parents not feeling empowered and respected. We also heard about the Family and Schools Together (FAST) program and its goals. FAST creates a partnership between parents, school and community to help child form more caring relationship to help them succeed in school.” 
–Maria Gvozdicova, PAC member

“Each year I look forward to the Family and Community Engagement conference. The conferences are always a time to build strong relationships and partnerships, and to affirm, initiate, and embed those necessities that were needed but dropped off. The student leaders were amazing. Having students and parents present makes everything work together for good. One student shared, ‘Equity is not about getting some students to succeed, it's about getting ALL students to succeed.’ We as teachers, leaders, directors, funders, managers cannot do what we do unless we listen and hear the voices of concerned parents and students.” 
–MaryEtta Callier-Wells, PAC support, Self Enhancement, Inc.

“It was a very good opportunity for us. We learned success stories from other states and counties to improve family engagement, and we hope that we can apply those experiencse in our community here in Portland.”
–Chau Huynh, PAC member