Building Parent Engagement in Schools
by Larry Ferlazzo and Lorie Hammond
September 2009, 87pp, 6 x 9
1 volume, Linworth

Paperback: 978-1-58683-342-8
$45, £35, 40€, A62
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-58683-405-0
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“No Child Left Behind” promotes it. Research confirms it. Schools across the country are proving it. Getting parents involved in their children’s education—not just with homework but in the life of the school itself—has a remarkably positive impact on the report card, the school, and the community.

This work is a report on the positive impact of parental involvement on their child's academics and on the school at large.

Building Parent Engagement in Schools is an introduction to educators, particularly in lower-income and urban schools, who want to promote increased parental engagement in both the classroom and at home—an effort required by provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is both an authoritative review of research that confirms the positive impact of parental involvement on student achievement and a guide for implementing proven strategies for increasing that involvement.

With Building Parent Engagement in Schools, educators can start to develop a hybrid culture between home and school, so that school can serve as a cultural bridge for the students. Filled with the voices of real educators, students, and parents, the book documents a number of parent-involved efforts to improve low-income communities, gain greater resources for schools, and improve academic achievement. Coverage includes details of real initiatives in action, including programs for home visits, innovative uses of technology, joint enterprises like school/community gardens, and community organization efforts.


  • Includes four specific real-life examples of parental involvement initiatives: home visits, the use of technology, school/community gardens, and community organizing
  • Offers bibliographic listings for additional print and online resources
  • Presents a comprehensive index
Larry Ferlazzo teaches English language learners at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, CA. He also writes regularly about ideas for the English language learner's (ELL) classroom in his blog, Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day,

Lorie Hammond has been an educator for 35 years, working as a teacher from preschool to college, a curriculum coordinator, a researcher, and a teacher educator. In all of her roles, she has encouraged and organized high levels of family and community engagement in education. She started and directed two parent cooperative preschool programs, both bilingual, which rely on the leadership and support of both mainstream and immigrant families. Hammond also started and oversaw five school food-security garden projects, which have involved diverse families in urban schools. These garden projects have had strong science/health education and literacy components, including oral history projects centered on families’ ethno-botanical stories. All of these projects have been centered in partnerships between university and school districts, involving student teachers as volunteers, as well as between schools and private nonprofit agencies. Hammond is deeply committed to community-based education which engages families at all levels, from project planning to leadership to economic partnership.


"As usual, Larry doesn’t disappoint! His text—designed to introduce schools to the kinds of strategies and actions necessary for moving parent participation in schools from involvement to engagement—details a series of key principles that define effective community engagement efforts AND a series of practical projects that communities could tackle tomorrow. Drawn largely from his 20 years of experience as a community organizer and his second career as an educator at a high-needs school in Sacramento, California, Larry’s thoughts and ideas have a measure of credibility that you just can’t find anywhere else. . . . What made Larry’s book so powerful to me is that it directly challenges the traditional efforts made by schools to reach out to parents—chaperoning field trips, making photocopies, organizing bake sales. . . . What will make Larry’s book powerful to you is that it provides tangible examples of what meaningful parent engagement efforts can look like in action—and in a world where closing the achievement gap depends on strengthening the capacity of parents, those examples are nothing short of invaluable." —The Tempered Radical weblog, October 11, 2009

". . . parents and schools must work together for the improvement of instruction, and for the betterment of their students' academic and person lives. The authors write of this importance, while giving down-to-earth examples of how it can work. . . . Recommended."—Library Media Connection, March 1, 2010

"Sacramento, California-based educator Ferlazzo teaches high school-level English language learners; Hammond has been in education for 35 years, working as a teacher from preschool to college, a curriculum coordinator, a researcher, and a teacher educator. Together they have created a concise introduction for educators on engaging parents as active players in the school community — particularly in lower-income and urban schools — by basing parents' involvement in issues that motivate them in authentic ways, and by helping them develop the power to act. After explaining the concept of parent engagement, the authors present four chapters describing successful parent-involved school projects from around the US."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2010
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