Sunday, April 06, 2014

Family Engagement

Parent Engagement is something I have been thinking a lot about  this year.  The more it percolated in my mind the more I came to believe that I needed to think about it differently. This led me to think about Family Engagement.

Parent engagement is different then Family engagement. After all, our students go home to siblings that are not yet school age, Grandparents, and other relatives who may live with them. I wanted to consider a way to include and engage everyone in the entire home. Many people influence our kids and that ripple effect is far reaching. Each family member has a Voice which needs to feel worthy, to be proudly expressed, and to be accepted with loving kindness. So, how could I connect school life and family life?

What I came up with is the One Family Word challenge.

I envisioned each family having a conversation about choosing a Word to motivate and inspire them. A Word to encourage each family member to be the best they could be and a reminder for how they want to live as a Family.

The  intention was to bring Family and School together in a simple, yet meaningful way in which everyone can participate and show support for each other in our school community.

Here is the text that is in the middle of the above photo:
One Word.
That is all it takes.
To motivate. To inspire.  To transform.

Words Matter.
They can encourage.  They can empower. They can nurture. They can ignite and take you wherever you envision.
You Matter.
You can change the world. You can help others. You make a difference just by embracing your Self. You can do anything.
One Family Word.
Imagine what can be achieved with the caring support of your Family. Look at these Words selected by our families.  They are Awesome.
Our School Community
100 families and counting have taken up the One Family Word challenge. We can harness this energy and do wonderful things together.

I have no idea where this may lead or what comes next. Just that it is part of the adventure and that together we can offer caring support and personal inspiration to each individual's journey with One Family Word. 


  1. Very cool! It looks like it took a lot of work, but so worth it. Amazing display! How did you get families to respond with their words? Newsletter or note sent home separately or something else?

    1. Thanks so much, Tanya. It was worth it. The words families selected were very inspiring. I sent home a letter to each family with a tear-off sheet to return. I would be happy to send you a copy of it to use as a template. Just send me your contact info. Be well. ~Marty

  2. I would LOVE to see the note you sent home too! What a fabulous idea!!!

  3. Me too! Thanks

  4. Me too if ya don't mind!!! Good luck...I think this will expand further than you anticipated...what a blessing to so many!!!!

    1. Tell me about it, Caitlin! I had no idea that so many people would take notice to this. It has been a wonderful experience. Please stay in touch and let me know how it unfolds for you. Take care. ~Marty

  5. You're amasing write! Have ever heard about 1WS.

  6. You're amasing write! Have ever heard about 1WS.

  7. Hi, would you still be able to email out the original letter that you send to the parents asking for their words? This is a great idea!