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By Kim Blasiak, Family Engagement Coordinator

[Spring 2018 NYPT]

With all of the hustle and bustle of school, work, extra-curricular activities, and just life, family engagement may be the furthest thing on your mind.

But did you know that you are already engaged? You may not label your actions as engagement, but you are already doing this with your children and schools.

Do you believe that a home/school partnership is needed in order to improve your child’s chances of success? Do you have an open dialogue with your child’s teachers and school? Do you pay attention to issues that would affect their education, such as state or local budgets? Guess what – that’s engagement!

In every school, engagement can be labeled as something completely different. The idea of family engagement is to work in partnership in order to support and enhance your child’s, as well as other children’s, educational experience.

It has been proven time and time again that the more parents and caregivers are engaged, the more those children succeed, graduate from high school, and go on to higher education. The hard part is to get people continuously engaged.

Now, you may ask how to engage more parents? There’s no easy answer to that. I would like to hear from all of you about what has been working in your units and in your regions. I want to find innovative ideas on family engagement, so that we can share them throughout the state.

Is there a program you’re doing right now that is a great bridge between home and school? We want to hear all about it!

Being that this is no easy task, I would like to open it up a bit. You can send me a quick blurb, video, email or anything else you feel that could help explain your efforts. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to me at and I would be more than happy to connect with you.

We need your stories to help others. I heard a phrase recently that sums this all up perfectly, “Stories are data with a soul.” Let’s help each other strengthen family engagement around New York because, together, we can make a difference.