Education is a reflection of the society in which it exists, as well as the driving influence of the society that is to come. As such, school issues cannot be treated in isolation from other home and community concerns.
Based on Joyce Epstein’s overlapping spheres of influence model, we believe that a successful education system emerges from shared responsibility among communities, schools, and parents. Without an informed and engaged public, chances for improving school systems are limited.
“Good won’t do when we can do better.”– Phyllis Hunter
The goal of our work is to bridge research and practice, and to address literacy issues in Louisiana in four ways:
1. Market research:
Conduct community audits to gauge the wants, needs, and demands of literacy stakeholders, including unmet literacy needs, gaps between the community’s current literacy capacity and its goals, and any opportunities, trends and challenges.
2. Information gathering:
Engage parents, community, and other stakeholders through careful issue-framing, nonpartisan dialogue – propelled by research – to build a common ground around literacy-related issues and trends.
3. Information dissemination:
Inform and educate parents and the general public about the benefits, risks and policies relevant to literacy-related issues via various communication mediums.
4. Community relations:
Create an open space for discussing the issues, bringing all stakeholders together – from students to educational leaders – to shape mutually beneficial solutions to issues.