Research and Recognitions Linking Iowa Parents and Eduators...for student success
Home About Us Contact Us Directory Search  

Family Messages



Research by Henderson and Mapp (2002) and others indicates that student achievement increases when families are involved in their children’s education. Research has also identified specific actions families can take that will make a difference in their children’s school performance. For example, a family helping their children to learn at home appears to have a greater impact on student achievement than a family volunteering in a classroom.

So What

Web LinksWeb Link


The Family Messages at Iowa Public Television (IPTV) and the Iowa Parent Information Resource Center (Iowa PIRC) developed messages educators and community members can deliver to families regarding specific actions they can do that can impact their children’s school performance. The premise is that if educators and community members would deliver these messages to families from the time a child was born until he/she graduated from high school, student achievement may increase.

Now What




You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.


As educators and communities strive to send consistent messages to parents and families in their community, they should select 2 to 3 “core” messages to deliver to families “loudly and often” —verbally and in writing—from birth on. Some of the examples of messages shared are similar to provide districts with optional ways to deliver a message.

Those core messages might be delivered in the following formats/mediums. The school and the community should select the best methods to deliver the information:
  • parent-teacher conferences
  • back-to-school nights
  • welcome to school/orientation events
  • report cards
  • postcards/notes included in back packs
  • handbooks
  • bill boards
  • newsletters
  • community newspapers
  • church bulletins
  • grocery bags
  • public service announcements
  • community and/or school web sites
  • unique ways that impact people in your community

Again, the key is to deliver the same “core” messages loudly and often and in a multitude of ways to meet the needs of your families.

Another thing to consider is who should deliver the message. Individuals or groups you might consider include the following:

  • teachers
  • administrators
  • secretaries and other support personnel
  • coaches
  • community youth program
  • high school parenting classes
  • parenting classes offered by community agencies

The key is to select individuals or groups who influence the families you are seeking to reach with the core messages.

So What
Now What

Essential Learnings

  1. Programs and Interventions that engage families in supporting their children’s learning at home are linked to higher student achievement.
  2. The continuity of family involvement at home appears to have a protective effect on children as they progress through our complex education system
  3. Families of all cultural backgrounds, education, and income levels encourage their children, talk with them about school...
  4. Parent and community involvement that is linked to student learning has a great effect on achievement than more general forms of involvement...
  5. Programs that successfully connect with families and community invite involvement, are welcoming, and address specific needs of parents and community.
  6. Parent involvement programs that are effective in engaging diverse families recognize, respect, and address cultural and class differences.
  7. Effective programs to engage families and community embrace a philosophy of partnership...


checked checkbox Birth to 5
checked checkbox Elementary
checked checkbox Middle School
checked checkbox High School

Home  »  Research and Recognitions »  Family Messages