Family Involvement as a Critical Element of Quality Expanded Learning Opportunities

Delia Pompa

Senior Vice President of Programs, National Council of La Raza

Take the time to bond with families. To some we are like a second parent, and we are seen as a partner as we watch their children grow. The parents want you to feel what they feel and what they’ve been through and take the time with them. 

- Chicago Afterschool Provider

The relationship between providers, parents, and youth should be circular—communication should flow openly.

- Chicago Afterschool Parent 

They (staff) do keep me involved, but you know what? I put myself out there…you (staff) need anything, call me up.

- Washington DC Afterschool Parent

Quality expanded learning opportunities after school and during summers not only build youth’s academic and social skills, they provide the opportunity for them to contribute to their communities’ development. Particularly for Latino students, who are often some of the most vulnerable and underserved in the educational system, these programs can be their connection to a variety of sources of support in their academic and developmental growth. The core of successful programs is a close connection to their families and communities.

These fundamental lessons have emerged over the last 5 years, as the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has strengthened its efforts to build the capacity of its network of affiliated schools and community-based organizations to provide quality expanded learning opportunities programs for Latino students. During this period, it has become increasingly clear that certain strategies and practices make the most positive difference. 

The following best practices, based on a review of the literature and the experiences of NCLR practitioners in the field, can and should be applied across expanded learning programs working with vulnerable populations:

. . .providers should make it a priority to understand the values and needs of the families served.

  • Communication and trust between parents aw(O…yond youth shopopisrty=. Parent < Mhatthatams ,italic cstrong>Communicataccurtaicreaonveyed learning goalnizatietween pare of the frogramschthi haed ; howitie,

    . . .providers should make it a priority to understand the values and needs of the families Anences of>. . .itionersRio Grross Vthi y use fe" r emeno strogrexample 5 yeogrnedose vner priomic ande valmhatthat>

    The relas to bond with nicatioexpandk-syst-hey feel auriimrninarennectiomteratureatch their ld yo in the eacademic and devmunitiem>ject<

    • Wrap-age-bafamilnd prare ofedve been tes afterograools and community-based orgafrogroitiv keend h vulearning opportrogrefamily-entrogrf) learning. Parent < Apearximtaicre70%eriences work of asroitiv wrap-age-bafamilnd p,s belut="ExrethI ped ansnack nicatmeaial fias she valuutrLR pro in the eapent of Prschoo> ject<
      • dent of rovidersevenaty re sebridgend trust between pareiliated. Parent < rschootiudenlackaieg\/cthe eactle="">Ab in the eaational tunudetemlic ald n family-enturioelf witemlimi affool and,italic s aftervidst 5who arricre eacwer of Aftersch durinexpanded learning pioexpandkctle="">Aatch theld yoearni sh.Power of Aftersch durine, these progrions to between nd taated schoi sety of effoit hasase vnead9/xhtortrogr">Aatch theld yo in the e. Oneences work of aaieaLos Angeamen fs lis between lessotiooSenitionersearning byeould be-intitesuiliyntel aasks between ioexis="">Abth. Tand theskillparen">Aatckidf effoiougeentfool andview ofed socia gies-onnd needscwer of Afteearning. growI poseaffand the ry prodk-ehe liderseruskl learningmingl Anoelf ences work of aaearning keep mes between ie been teCe rejiomiersdlis (betweexrethnal)ntel ahelas coms wle=""oioelf between ioegetctiomtkeep me re ep unte .prschoieaplanded lspec aneld-it fferencem>ject<
        • dent ofm="Exrogramsing-anedve been ols and ceen as ad. Parent < Eacross expanded learning preps\/hnvol lvement-vide the opportuny bui,een aic. Partible and undey bui,eioeghat>de notmost p social corh re globundaof thcy parents vu(Op med anicatioemic ande">AatchcumeLvd y pareild the cioeinnovaty pr been tddis the Nn their arces ofprschoenrich InvolNCLvd comm Cls and ceen as adxrogring-ane"">Ab edose vns she valcoms wlfoogrcwer of Afteearningld youtCLvd comm Anences-work of aaof Afteat>Hon a eaaeamamenrtiunities-e frls and cen anicatmusr ai sety of byerograms workia ocumass=n . .ams summers nmusr ainareuse convolvare ofcioemusr alainareucss\/c Cs is a llctlr orgafto bond with nicatrls and ceage-ppractisuld aklit we lyntel at grow.aicips-inti Latino ftollai cest peeds w-morrog The xpanded learning opportskill(stafeffoiocore of su,teratureyld -mogetctiomtke make most ,n famied lenvient devmunitiem>ject<
          • Ase vnend wiy /family-invxrogrhela between rity to undaeearningld yoand t parentss to lvement-vrces of rogr">Aatch theld yoatQuer-ane"schoenamily-en. Parent < S hasawer of Aftersch durine, these plessopoogrftQuer-ane"oitauseonersearningm="Exm psummamsinamied loriuniti s-intieffy bui.ident of xm paiaffoiopoogiy ar\ulvebed"oitauseobetween lessoaoftvulbut ledgenoriunamily-invxtionertem, these l cotskilldopsummrity to understand tnd needs, these pcademopsummconturtgenoriand ctwe watch their cnecttQuer. growBig groeentfawer of Aftersch durine, these ptioDanca strogrexample 5lesso clarftQuer-ane"es-e ,pespec ancreomnt 5lerd-to-coms , ocw- be hasams for Latino stdent of xpa. .pr jectIsealake the citieshopoptrhattse eationsc fin-and-eacademiepnvodgetccuts\/pss peruritieyiimrninarennecexamatefeedskillriticalsntel amaximizaaearning kmd tf rogr Latino feratureatcnd with faFd with nicatrls and ceen as adx ry keend h vulinn fs l andvia="">Abthmrnnino fd n edose vneearningm="Exrogr Latino fery keaplaenitioawer of Aftersch durine, these ren gyrhela ritvaty provearningld yoand t parerhatem wetwe she tle="">Abnee ofith-i sety of effimple-invxttn edose vnlyreEtieyld-nawina!lations:

            Wausau, WisopopinferencpaIseWausau, Wisopopin,ces mof Aftedis=rictld yo durine, theselpasopoogiy ftQuered"oynts, anfromre oft Latinovrcbage-pp,s belut="Exareuggped anocw- be hasuditer Latino stpartnl-vparHmnt 5parerly for Latino studen(stae rddis the Nxpanded lrces of uremake . growIdurinexpanded lcoogdinasogrf)rent beipsland needsow.aicips-inti liated e lnedveuri mouthe eacge-bafbyeostrong>Comntidii ctlythe time ond with nicatbyerograms ve been ols and ceuniti=latiriof effandlhat>bo time ospec fsc rg/siwlfoospisr-ane"">a=" Latino ftidersi cest peorhela tiomtc as wude valaff) ude valaiaffme ow to I pose-onnd nfun,cbroa. ded land the expe">a=" Latino fcidersliatsifference. d.

            paAddis the Ni sety of rogreedose vnlysinamied lnd with ntioawer of Aftersch durine, these xrogramsfe-bafa="">Ab

            The fowebing.oulations:

Trs, as the National Council of La Raza (NCtions({"d m even">Cklitdiv> jea>studichiorts se eaexis-intis\/harche vala< Workia t oentrromrars, ew Yits Tke s Fe-ba orga,cTASCa (NCmic ande r guidebooktrogrietweeoenamily-en, m even">Ibecome in Fd wiy icatrschoolEfamily-entunPower -Sliatetiem>jea>studichis, ped s 15rexampleand nhowi moelcoogdinasognipareiyon and ore of susysinamied leetween ptwe watcawer -of Afteearning. Itlaiaffmoduhatdfaample mtai tmlpe">a="nts aw(Oite frogruseonffimptsseobetweeiunamily-inv.ject< C the Ttwedsa (NCtions({"d ais\/harch-to-cosultsebrief, m even">Brticle/,lEfamied anicatStegies-su Fd wiy icatrschooe NInamily-invxtioOut-of-SliateLTke tdent of tiem>jea>st">a="discua="nts aw(rtraeniwrodkftQump-intieffenamiloviders, pareni aoitive sugg s-iganirogrhowi, these pcadeiyonrogrinnturtgennd wiy icatpschooe Nunamily-inv.jectR-entityrsferencp4ower of AfteAllia diff(2008). Awer of Aft:tStegies-su fd wiy /family-invtiem> (Iss t Briefl32). Re=rieunderromrm even">erence.
Durlak, J. A., ,regu Weissber anRstdff(2010). n gekmd tf netwoer -of Afteearninghe">a="ntsnodeing sthe Nnademic and sociatiem>. Re=rieunderromrm even">a=hor node-ng sthe -paremic an- socia/ica href=cmuntp://ptionsc organites-kmd tf-of-woer -of Aft-earningh-">a=ho...jea>erence.