Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup

The Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup Meets Monthly.

Minutes from meetings for 2021 onward and agendas for upcoming meetings can be found HERE.

Stacey Langknecht

Staff Contact:
Kat Allen
413-774-3167, ext. 119

To find the Workgroup’s Facebook page, click HERE.

Oct 8, 2019
Sept 10, 2019
Aug 6, 2019
July 23, 2019
June 18, 2019
May 28, 2019
April 30, 2019
Mar 12, 2019
Feb 7, 2019
Jan 17, 2019
Nov 26, 2018
Oct 24, 2018
Aug 22, 2018
Aug 6, 2018
July 18, 2018
June 26, 2018
May 31, 2018
Apr 26, 2018
Mar 22, 2018
Jan 25, 2018
Dec 18, 2017
Nov 20, 2017
Oct 15, 2017
Sept 14, 2017
Aug 10, 2017
July 20, 2017
June 22, 2017
May 25, 2017
Apr 13, 2017
Feb 16, 2017
Jan 19, 2017
Dec 1, 2016
Oct 20, 2016
Sept 29, 2016

What We Do

The goal of the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup is to provide resources, skill building, and empowerment opportunities for parents and guardians in order to support the hard work of raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children. Workgroup strategies include:

  • Supporting evidence-based parent education programs, including curricula such as Nurturing Families, Strengthening Families, and Guiding Good Choices.
  • Sharing information about best practices in youth substance use prevention, mental health promotion, family connectedness, family dinners, etc. through workshops, publications, and more.
  • Spreading positive parenting norms through social marketing and outreach.
  • Empowering parent with lived expertise from local family-serving agencies to help shape community services and provide outreach to their peers, (see PEER Ambassador Program below and here).

PEER Ambassadors

The Communities That Care Coalition has a new program for engaging and empowering local parents!  The PEER Ambassador Program (PEER stands for Parent Engagement, Enrichment, and Resources) is a collaboration between the Communities That Care Coalition, Community Action’s Family Center, the Recover Project, the Salasin Center, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, Valuing Our Children, and the Brick House Community Resource Center. These organizations have each nominated outstanding parents/grandparents/caregivers with lived expertise from within their programs to represent their organizations and the Communities That Care Coalition as PEER Ambassadors.

PEER Ambassadors receive a monthly stipend to (1) participate in a self-paced training program and ongoing professional development opportunities, (2) provide outreach to other parents in the region – helping to connect families to important online and local resources; and (3) help shape community services by sharing their perpectives and their lived expertise through participation on community and coalition boards and advisory committees.

Social Marketing

The Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup works to promote positive social norms among parents. You may have seen these images (which are based on data from the Coalition’s annual Student Health Survey) around town on billboards, websites, in newspapers, or in your students grade reports:

Parent Guide

Each year in September, the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup creates a Parent Guide that is published as a supplement to the Recorder and the Athol Daily News. The parent guide includes features on local families, articles on parenting challenges, and lists of resources for local families. The 2020-2021 edition is available here and the 2021-2022 edition is available here.

Front pages of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Parent Guides

Minigrants for Parent Education

Since 2011, the Parent and Family Engagement Workgroup has often been able to award mini-grants to support workgroup strategies in the community. Awards have gone to organizations to support research-based parent education to parents and caregivers of children age 9 through 18 years, and to fund events that encourage families to connect over shared meals.