News You Can Use
December 16, 2020
Reframing Family Engagement
Cambria Russell
Cambria Russell
Director of MASFEC
Earlier this month MASFEC hosted the Massachusetts Frameworks Institute - an effort to shift the culture around family engagement. Over 150 people attended this three-part master class. Its goal was to provide a research-based approach to changing perceptions in order to change behavior at the individual and organizational levels.

Our hope is that as understanding grows about the impact of family engagement on long-term outcomes for children, communities will devote more resources to fostering family engagement partnerships. A host of materials from this event have been posted to our website for you to use and apply in your organization and community. We hope you will find these helpful and inspiring!

We post resources and stories online and to social media all the time. MASFEC is here to support you, so please continue to reach out with your ideas and questions.

As always, I want to voice my appreciation for the wonderful family engagement community in Massachusetts. Wishing you all a restful and happy holiday season!
Caregiver Self-Care Strategies That Won't Add to Your To Do List
At this busy and sometimes overwhelming time, we want to remind our caring and hard-working community of the importance of self-care. One of our guest bloggers writes, "If you’re like me, you might be asking yourself where, exactly, am I supposed to even fit `self-care' in?"

Small Children, Big Feelings
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, a stressful Presidential election and heightened conversation about the impact racism, this year has been a tumultuous one. Add in the swirling emotions that can come with the holidays and it’s no wonder that children and families may be feeling more than a little overwhelmed.

Educator and children's author Mathangi Subramanian shares interactive activities parents/caregivers can do with young children to support their ability to identify and talk about their feelings. Read more >
Engaging Engagement?
MASFEC's Senior Training Specialist Andrea Parker shares her reflections on meaningful and engaging family engagement. Beginning with a consideration of how students and adults learn, she urges practitioners to root family engagement efforts in respectful, genuine relationships.

She writes, "I have never met a family that does not want the best for their child. The key is for family engagement to be equitable – that all families have access to the resources needed, in their own, particular circumstances."

Seasonal Read-Alouds for Children and their Families
Did you know there is a holiday for Penguin Awareness? You can find it on MAFEC's Family Literacy Calendar for January - along with important holidays like Haiti Independence Day (New Year's Day) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (observed January 18). Read-alouds celebrating these days and other January themes are available online in our Family Literacy Calendar. Enjoy!
Helping Families Use Online Learning Tools
At the request of Family Liaisons, MASFEC has compiled several articles and videos from outside sources aimed at helping parents and families support a few common online tools used by school districts.
New Resource for Families Navigating the Mental Health System
"Should I worry?" Parents and caregivers whose children are struggling emotionally may need help identifying the best way to get help for their child.

With rising rates of anxiety, depression and other emotional and /behavioral concerns, a new website has been created to help families navigate the mental health system in Massachusetts.
MASFEC/FCSN Videos Explain Special Education Concepts
The special education system can be confusing - yet many legal terms are very important for parents, caregivers and guardians to understand. New videos from MASFEC and the Federation for Children with Special Needs unpack these key concepts. Check them out:
Addressing Language Access
Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George recently hosted a virtual conversation about Language Access Needs in Boston Public Schools. Among the panelists was MASFEC's Susan Ou, who highlighted challenges faced by non-English speakers and called for improved language access procedures in schools

Build Kids' Money Skills
Financial literacy is an important lifelong skill. At the request of family liaisons we work with, MASFEC ha identified some great resources for engaging children of various ages in learning about money and finances.

Mindful Mondays Continues
Take a few minutes of time, just for yourself. Our popular Mindful Mondays and Focus Fridays sessions, offered by educator Andrea Parker, will continue through the end of January (and possibly beyond!)
  • Educators may Register now for weekly, live, virtual mindfulness sessions.
  • Every third Friday, Andrea streams a meditative session called Focus Friday via the Federation for Children with Special Needs Facebook Page.
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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 |