A new network committed to engaging families in education transformation was unveiled this week as part of Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress event in Washington.
Called the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA), the organization plans to provide resources and support to educate, equip, and mobilize individuals, families, and organizations to ensure student success.
The announcement was made by NFEA founder and Chairman Byron V. Garrett during a keynote address to the Mom Congress on April 30 at the National Press Club.
"Our vision is to transform education through meaningful family engagement. We are creating a dynamic movement by building a national network of individuals, families and organizations, to advance and improve the education system for all students," said Garrett, a leading planner of NBC News' Education Nation and former CEO of the National PTA.
NFEA plans to pursue its mission by:
- Creating a digital platform designed for community engagement and information sharing;
- Convening thought leaders to craft a national agenda for family engagement;
- Developing a clearinghouse of data and research that is user friendly and easily understood by the public;
- Mobilizing participants to drive public and political will to transform education.
"The mission of NFEA is not to duplicate the work of others, but to be the catalyst for providing resources and support to educate, equip and mobilize individuals, families and organizations with an emphasis on increasing student achievement, especially those in under-served and under-represented communities," Garrett said.
The first staff members to join NFEA are two parent leaders who represented their respective states and regions nationally as members of the inaugural Mom Congress, 2010. Myrdin Thompson of Louisville, Ky., is the regional director for the central states; and Gwen Samuel of Meriden, Conn., will handle the eastern and southeast regions.
Both Thompson and Samuel have been recognized for their advocacy and training of both parents and education professionals in effective family engagement in education. Thompson recently attended the U.S. Department of Education's Parent Leader Summit, while Samuel has been featured by a number of media outlets as a champion of disenfranchised families.
Learn more about NFEA on Facebook or via Twitter: @EngageFamilies.