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  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

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NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
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National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools
Schools: General

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> A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement

> A New Wave of Evidence: Family and Community Engagement Self-Assessment

> The Connection Collection

The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools bridges research and practice. The Center accomplishes this by linking people with research-based information and resources they can use to effectively connect schools, communities and families. The Center uses research findings and recommendations to help schools, families and communities focus their efforts to have the most impact on student success. In addition to gathering general information about family and community connections with schools, the Center pays particular attention to information on:


  • Family and community connections that support achievement in reading and mathematics
  • Connecting families from diverse communities with schools
  • Involving families in preparing children to enter kindergarten
  • Engaging community organizations in the development of excellent schools

The Center hopes that as these school, family, community connections mature, students will receive the support they need to succeed in school and in life.


(Adapted from information on the website of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, 2004,, and used with permission of the Southwest Educational Development Lab)


Studies suggest that family involvement can improve student attendance, behavior, and academic achievement, while community involvement can help provide services that schools alone cannot give students and their families. Some outcomes linked to partnership schools include more positive attitudes and relationships with families, schools and the community; the creation of new roles for families, teachers, and community leaders; and increased support for school reform.

(Excerpted from "SEDL's New Center Makes Family-Community Connections to Improve Learning," SEDLetter, Volume 14, February 2002,, and used with the permission of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory)

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> Beyond "involvement:" Are elementary schools ready to be family-centered?

> Schools and Community partnerships



copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.