Jumpstart Snapshots: Family Engagement in the Classroom

Now that you’ve been in the classroom and have begun to get to know your partner children and their families (whether directly or through the children’s stories), you might be looking for some ideas on how to better engage and communicate with families. Here are a few ideas from around the network!

Eastern Connecticut State University

Eastern Connecticut State University Corps members hosted Family Night at Windham/Willimantic Child Care Center, and lots of families showed up! The dad that’s pictured came for family night last winter, and this time he brought his son who is new to Jumpstart and his daughter who is a Jumpstart graduate! Another mom and dad came into the classroom and said, “Okay, who’s Amber and Aimee (Corps members from their daughter’s classroom)? She talks about you all the time. Jumpstart is her favorite thing!”

Northeastern University

Northeastern University Corps members implement a variety of strategies to communicate with families and make sure they know what is happening in the classroom. They cover a bulletin board in the preschool with pictures and captions of Corp members and children doing Jumpstart activities. They created a communication station that includes a pocket with newsletters or any other handouts for parents to take (as well as a section for parents to leave comments), and an introduction to the team with their photos. Corps members also encourage the home-school connection by making and sending home an alphabet chart with a hand-written note on the back. The chart can be hung up on the fridge or in the child’s room to support continued alphabet knowledge development!

University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island Corps members seek to welcome families in all contexts. They hang a poster up during each session to let families know they are welcome to join in and they send a note home to any child who is absent, just to let families know they are thinking of them!

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