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New Year, New Interactive Tool Encourages Parent/Educator Partnerships
BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood has launched a new interactive tool on the Maryland Families Engage website; the virtual Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Toolkit. The goal of the new and improved Toolkit is to help teachers, providers, parents, and families build a network of community support and share best practices.
The MSDE Division of Early Childhood, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Innovation in Development, Engagement, and Learning Systems (IDEALS) Institute, designed the new and improved online version of the Toolkit to guide educators through the state’s Family Engagement Framework. The Toolkit features a variety of updated content with navigational tabs that provide easy access to family engagement strategies, topics, and success stories in the form of articles, videos, infographics, and downloadable resources.
Originally created in 2016 as a colorful box set with large informational cards, the online version of the Toolkit was developed based on feedback from the state’s early learning community. During focus groups conducted last year, educators requested a more user-friendly Toolkit. Educators requested a toolkit that would be less text-driven and highlight family engagement strategies “in action” with success stories featuring families and educators on the Maryland Families Engage website.
In July 2018, the MSDE Division of Early Childhood launched the state’s family engagement community hub, MarylandFamiliesEngage.org. Through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the website serves as a “one-stop shop” for parents, families, providers, teachers, and other stakeholders to share resources that promote school readiness, positive parent-child relationships, and the benefits of family engagement.
For more information about the virtual Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Toolkit, please visit marylandfamiliesengage.org.