Family Engagement: Partnering for Student Success

May 12, 2016

In late March of this year, grantmakers, local government officials, and non-profit leaders met for a convening on improving family engagement in schools, spearheaded by NYC Youth Funders and co-sponsored by Philanthropy New York, called “Family Engagement: Partnering for Student Success”.

The forum was put together to recognize the importance of developing successful partnerships among families, schools, and communities to support the development, learning, and success of our youth, and to better understand specific issues, barriers, and challenges which can impede the development of effective partnerships.


QU9A0590Many states, districts, and schools struggle with how to execute partnerships and cultivate and sustain positive relationships with families.  A common refrain from educators is that they have a strong desire to work with families from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and to develop stronger partnerships of shared responsibility for children’s outcomes between home, school (and community), but that they do not know how to accomplish this.

– Harvard Family Research Project


With contributions from local leaders, parents, and city officials, the conference showcased successful strategies for accomplishing goals in NYC.


Valerie Barton-Richardson, Executive Vice President for Economic Development, Education, and Youth Development, Family Support, Homelessness and Shelters; CAMBA.


QU9A0518Steven Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.



Jane Heaphy, Executive Director, Learning Leaders.



Aracelis Lucero, Executive Director, MASA.



Christine Marinoni, Senior Advisor for Community partnerships, Stategic Policy Initiatives at NYC City Hall; and Senior Advisor for the NYC Department of Education’s Chancellor’s Office on Effective Family and Community Engagement Practices.



Isabel Gonzalez, NYC Department of Education Division of Family and Community Engagement.



Al P. Reynolds, Project Director for Neighborhood Initiatives at Literacy, Inc.



Jenna Shumsky, Senior Director of the Middle School Quality Initiative, NYC Department of Education.

Photos by Kenny Polyak.