Parent Engagement

About Parent Engagement

Afterschool and expanded learning programs are often the most accessible way for parents to interface with teachers, school leaders and their children. Engaged parents become advocates for their children and understand what the school expects of student performance. Statewide afterschool networks have engaged statewide parent organizations, such as Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and Parent Teacher Student Organizations, as well as federally-funded programs such as the Parent Information Resource Centers (PIRC).

Key Information

  • 25 percent of parents would send their children to an afterschool or expanded learning program if one were available to them.
  • Parents want afterschool and expanded learning programs to be ‘not MORE school’, but a well-rounded program with opportunities for enrichment as well as academic help.
  • Parents want their children to be safe and supervised during out-of-school time and they see afterschool programs as a big help to working families.
  • Communication from afterschool programs is not always parent-friendly for ease of understanding.

Strategies to Support Parent Engagement

  • Reach out to your local and statewide PTA
  • Know your state PIRC.
  • Review your statewide standards for quality to see if family and parental engagement is adequately addressed.
  • Help afterschool and expanded learning programs think about how they can support parents learning to support their children’s academic progress.