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Kellogg Foundation to Invest $5 million in Family Engagement Efforts

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation plans to invest $5 million to enhance and develop family engagement efforts to support the education of children from birth to age 8 living in low-income and/or minority communities.

Organizations could receive up to $500,000 for one to three years for family engagement models that emphasize family leadership development, effective teaching strategies, and work on aligning early-childhood education programs.

Carla D. Thompson, the Kellogg Foundation's vice president of program strategy, said the foundation hopes to identify and support programs that are helping parents become advocates for not only their children but all children. She said the foundation wants to cultivate parents as education policy advocates as well.

Thompson said family engagement programs could help break the cycle of negative feelings and disenfranchisement that some minority parents have about their schools. She said these efforts would aim to demystify the education system and create new family-school partnerships.

"We need to change the way low-income parents are viewed," Thompson said, adding that they are often perceived as obstacles to their children's educational success. "Parents need to be seen as real partners."

See our full coverage of parent empowerment issues.

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