News You Can Use
March 31, 2021
Entering the Home Stretch
Cambria Russell
Cambria Russell
Director of MASFEC
As we begin to see the first signs of spring, our collective mood seems to shift as fast as the weather. The COVID-19 vaccine is finally rolling out at a strong pace... but case numbers seem to be rising. Schools are welcoming back more kids for in-person learning... but we're a long way from life getting back to normal.

Whatever you are doing and feeling right now, remember that the home stretch can often feel like the hardest. Despite what may feel like an endless transition, everyone is working hard and doing their best.

We hope this issue of our newsletter will provide some inspiration for keeping your important work. Read on to find exciting new resources for improving family engagement practices and supporting the success of all students.

As we enter the home stretch of the school year, and hopefully of the pandemic, remember to stay vigilant about safety. Continue to do your best even when "your best" might need to look different on some days. And most importantly, take care of yourself. Massachusetts students and families need you!
Universal Design for Family Engagement
We are excited to unveil a new resource on family engagement, developed in partnership with Katie Novak, internationally recognized educational consultant and author of Let Them Thrive.

Universal Design for Family Engagement applies the principles of Universal Design for Learning to the work of building partnerships between schools, families, and community.

Building Empathy with Young Children
Empathy, defined as feeling and acting out of compassion for others, is not an inherent human trait, but a skill that built over time. Like any skill, the earlier we learn it, and the more we practice it, the better at it we become.

The latest post by Mathangi Subramanian, Ed.D., known to friends as Mathu, offers book ideas and conversation-starters for supporting the development of empathy in young children. 

April Family Literacy Calendar
MASFEC Family Literacy Calendar offers ideas for building early reading skills such as:
  • Listening while following words
  • Recognizing and expanding on concepts and themes
  • Phonics and letter and sound recognition
  • Full-body activities to rhyme, rap, sing and otherwise enjoy language

Every month's calendar is different and brings in serious, seasonal and silly themes for families and children to enjoy together.
New Tip Sheets for Educators and Families
MASFEC has a number of helpful tip sheets designed to offer practical take-aways on topics that are important to supporting young people's success at school. Check out the most recent examples on our website!

For Educators

For Families
Family Engagement & Remote Learning Survey: Deadline Extended!
So far, the response to our annual family engagement survey have been strong but we want to be sure to hear from as many people as possible. Please encourage colleagues, coworkers and families to participate using the links below.

The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete and offers an opportunity to share direct, anonymous feedback about your experiences. For questions or help completing the survey, please contact Ryan Miskell with MASFEC at 202-471-2463.

Thank you for your participation and for all you do to support young people's success through effective family engagement!

More Information for Educators
Service Opportunity: Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning Community Council
A new pilot program of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning, is working to bring Deeper Learning to the Commonwealth. Educators, service providers and families are invited to apply to join their Community Council.

In Case You Missed Them
We've been sharing tons of resources on Twitter @MAFamEngage - on family engagement, anti-racism and teaching during COVID. Here are a few of our favorites.
Resources from include family-friendly videos and fact sheets about the
COVID-19 Vaccine.

New Study Confirms
Benefits of Connecting Parents with Each Other
to Build Social Capital
Parents Are Watching
Like Never Before.
‘Trust Us’ Isn’t Enough.
This is the moment to dismantle systemic inequities
After Atlanta: Teaching
About Asian American Identity and History
Left To Their Own Devices? Stepping Up Our Support To Educators Using Technology In Family Engagement
Stop calling this
generation ‘lost.’
It’s hurtful —
and it’s wrong.
Help Spread the Word!
If you like the ideas shared in this newsletter, please:

Forward this email to a friend!

Follow us on Twitter @MAFamEngage

Write to us with YOUR ideas for future issues, at

Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center
A program of the Federation for Children with Special Needs
529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129
617.236.7210 |