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APPENDIX B: Resources
BuildingChoice.org, a Web site funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides tools and resources for educators who are working to expand choice options for families. The Web site includes many examples of how districts across the country are communicating choice options to parents and working to involve parents in their schools, along with sample materials from these districts and tools that have been developed to help facilitate parent involvement.
Harvard Family Research Project
Housed in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) assists policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropic organizations in developing strategies to support more effective educational programs, practices, and policies for all children, especially those who are disadvantaged due to poverty and other challenging circumstances. In addition to featuring relevant research and information that the project has collected, analyzed, and synthesized, the organization's Web site also includes a link for joining the Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE), its national network of over 5,000 people who are interested in promoting partnerships between children's families, educators, and their communities.
The KSA-Plus Communications Web site offers training opportunities and a range of other services to help parents gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to become advocates for better schools for their children. KSA also runs workshops and provides consulting services, and provides materials to help administrators and teachers better understand how they can tap into the underutilized resources that parents and families offer and can better meet the increasingly diverse needs of families.
National Network of Partnership Schools
The National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), at Johns Hopkins University, is an organization that helps to build parent involvement, family engagement, and community partnerships for elementary, middle, and high schools across the country by providing tools, guidelines, and a model for developing a school-based action team. Among the many resources offered on the Web site are information on how to join NNPS, research publications and products that support implementation of the NNPS model, training opportunities for school-, district-, and state-level participants, and myriad success stories from those who have used the model.
The Parent Teacher Association
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a national organization with state and local offices around the country. Its national Web site offers a range of resources, including parent resources, relevant current event articles and stories, and information about training opportunities. It also provides a tool to help visitors find their local PTA. PTAs provide a forum at which parents, administrators, teachers, and other concerned adults discuss how to promote quality education and how to encourage community involvement in order to create a healthy environment and safe neighborhoods for all children.
Parents for Public Schools
Parents for Public Schools is a national organization with community-based chapters working in public schools to improve education. The Web site offers links to all of the local chapters, which offer a range of services, such as trainings, outreach events, and information on school enrollment. The Web sites for both the national organization and local chapters also include links to a range of other organizations that provide resources for advocacy, training, and many other types of assistance.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is a nonprofit education advocacy organization serving the state of Kentucky. Among its key initiatives is the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, which trains Kentuckians to become advocates in their children's education. In response to requests for assistance from outside of Kentucky, in 2001, the Prichard Committee also initiated the Center for Parent Leadership to offer similar parent support and training in other states. The Prichard Committee and its multiple initiatives offer training, consulting services, and publications to support parents as education advocates.
The Right Question Project
The Right Question Project offers ideas and services intended to equip low- and moderate-income families and their communities with the skills to participate at all levels of democracy. The organization's Web site provides materials and publications, information on training sessions and consulting services, and stories of how other organizations and participants have used the organization's services.
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination corporation that works with professionals in schools, districts, states, and service agencies to improve education for all students. Its Web site provides a PDF version of A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002), a synthesis of 51 studies about the impact of family and community involvement on student achievement and -effective strategies to connect schools, families, and community. SEDL, in collaboration with the Harvard Family Research Project, is now providing technical assistance to the PIRCs through a 2006 award from the U.S. Department of Education.
U.S. Department of Education Parental Information and Resource Centers
The U.S. Department of Education's Web site provides a Parental Information and Resources Center section that includes a description of the program and links to additional information, including lists of current and former awardees and information on the grant process.
In addition, the home page of the Department Web site includes on its main navigation bar a parent link that serves as a portal to a section created exclusively for parents. Here parents and guardians can find information about how NCLB affects them and their children, how to help their children succeed in school, how to help their children learn to read, and other education issues.