Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Engaging Families!
The Michigan Department of Education is taking an innovative approach to family engagement. Most agree, the effort needed to engage families in an authentic and sustainable way is daunting. This novel approach addresses first the providers readiness using a brief Family Engagement Perception Instrument (FEPI); then follows with the essential elements for addressing attitudes and beliefs that may inhibit genuine partnerships with families. All participants (administrators, teachers, support staff, etc.) will leave with tools as well as a shared understanding of engaging families that will make efforts sustainable and rewarding for all stakeholders.
Shawn Cannarile serves as a Safe Schools Consultant for the Michigan Department of Education. With over 20 years of combined experience in marketing and communications, public health, and education, Shawn has worked to advocate for improved learning environments for all children across diverse demographic and sub-populations within Michigan.
Barb Flis is the Founder of the Parent Action for Healthy Kids, and an advocate focused on connecting families, schools and communities for the purpose of promoting the well-being of children's social, emotional and physical health. As a nationally recognized thought leader and skilled facilitator, Barb has years of experience bringing key stakeholders together as positive, engaged partners and active advocates for children. As a mom herself, Barb cites her grass-roots PTA experience as the first step on a journey that has ultimately led to strengthening the parent voice for leading school and public health initiatives, most notably including: developing the "Talk Early & Talk Often" curriculum for former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, leading the parent engagement efforts in the Michigan Safe and Supportive (S3) initiative and, assisting with the development of the parent toolkit for former First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative.