Teachers know and research shows that when families are engaged in learning, students outcomes improve. But between busy schedules and packed curriculum, it can be hard to find those moments to connect with students’ families!
To surface and celebrate best-in-class family engagement ideas directly from the frontlines, Carnegie Corporation is launching the Family Engagement Innovation Challenge. They’re calling on teachers across America to submit classroom project requests for their most innovative ideas on engaging families in student learning.
Submit your project for a 2X Match Offer and a chance to win
While funds last, donations to qualifying family engagement projects will be doubled. At the end of the challenge, a panel of judges will select the top 5 projects to receive $10,000 in DonorsChoose classroom funding.
Check out our help center for full details on how to qualify, along with the challenge rubric our judges will use to select the winning projects.
3 A+ family engagement project examples to get you started
Need some inspiration? These three projects receive high marks on the challenge rubric.
Mommy, Can You Help Me?
Ms. LeBlanc | Grades PreK–2
“The family engagement packs and read-a-long books in this project will help families work together, have fun and enhance the learning at home. These items help by empowering the families to practice skills at home.”
A Book for Every Family!
Mrs. Cedrez | Grades 3–5
“In order to increase family engagement and encourage a love of literacy, our school is hosting a winter themed literacy night for our entire school. We want each family to be able to leave this event with a book to keep.”
An Art Display That Is 'Out of This World'
Ms. M | Grades 6–8
“One after-school event we put on to promote family engagement is 'Festival of Arts'. This event is a chance for every student to showcase their artistic abilities while demonstrating knowledge of curriculum based content.”
Brain Food For Decathletes And Their Families
Mr. S | Grades 9–12
“The Academic Decathalon is looking to host families for a night of celebration. By having families see each students’ area of focus, they will be better able to support them at home and on the weekends with their studies.”
Family engagement resources
Family engagement looks different for every classroom. These resources share information and insight into best practices for engaging families in learning.
Carnegie Corporation Next Generation Family Engagement Resource Center
This collection direct from Carnegie Corporation includes a report on family engagement practices and their benefits, videos of tested family engagement models, and articles from experts across the education sphere.
Learning Heroes is a parent-facing organization that aims to inspire, inform, and equip parents to support their children's educational and developmental success. Find research-based, easy-to-use resources and tools (in English and Spanish) to help parents support their children's social, emotional, and academic development at home on their website.
TalkingPoints Multilingual Family Engagement Platform for Teachers
This messaging app can help increase parent communication and engagement, especially with non-English speaking families. It’s free for teachers and parents, and translates messages in 30+ languages.
Common Sense Education
Common Sense Education supports K–12 schools with resources to help educators empower the next generation of digital citizens. Resources include their award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum, a family media agreement, a guide for parents on classroom technology, and a list of even more apps and websites for improving parent-teacher communication.