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Family Engagement: Assumptions Made, Lessons Learned

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

A group of people sit together in conversation.

Presented by Jessica Webster, Ed.D., Senior Family Engagement Specialist, MAEC, Inc.; and Rebecca Honig, Chief Content and Curriculum Officer, ParentPowered

Sponsored by ParentPowered, creator of Ready4K

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It’s easy to make assumptions about what families need, what family engagement should look like, and why families don’t engage. But we can avoid this by approaching families with curiosity and by listening.

In this edLeader Panel, two family engagement experts share stories from the field about assumptions they’ve made about families that turned out not to be true. They share what they learned from these experiences and how they led to new systems and tools to break down barriers to engagement and respond to families’ strengths and needs. You gain tips, strategies, and resources to help you:

  • Bring family voice and perspective to the table
  • Break down barriers to engagement
  • Support families in ways that are just right for them

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to PreK-8 school leaders, district leaders, and those involved with family engagement, school improvement, and parent and community involvement.

Jessica WebsterAbout the Presenters

Jessica Webster, Ed.D. serves as a Senior Family Engagement Specialist for MAEC, an education non-profit dedicated to increasing access to high-quality education for culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse learners. Dr. Webster has over 20 years of classroom and leadership experience in both public and private education. In addition to classroom teaching, she has served as an inclusion specialist and assistant middle school principal. Prior to joining the MAEC team, she led a university laboratory school through a strategic plan and realignment focused on literacy, culturally responsive and equitable practices, staff and student diversification, student supports, family engagement, and community partnerships. Dr. Webster completed her Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned an M.Ed. in educational leadership with K-12 Principal Certification from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an M.Ed. in literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rebecca HonigRebecca Honig is the Chief Content and Curriculum Officer at ParentPowered where she leads the content development of Ready4K, an evidence-based family engagement program delivered via text message. Within this work, Rebecca collaborated with mental health specialists, community health workers, and caregivers across the country to develop Ready4K Trauma-Informed, a text-based program created to help parents and caregivers buffer the effects of trauma and adversity on their children. Prior to joining ParentPowered, Rebecca spent numerous years working at Sesame Street where she wrote and developed children’s books, parent guides, and provider resources on numerous topics related to early childhood adversity. She has created numerous parent and educator resources focused on promoting play and learning in conflict-impacted areas and refugee camps as well as teacher guides promoting resilience in the classroom.

Join the Community & Family Engagement community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Research shows that families play a powerful role in fostering children’s development. ParentPowered is on a mission to help K–12 districts provide accessible, evidence-based family engagement curriculum, without adding more to teachers’ plates. Our Ready4K program — for PreK through grade 8 — supports, inspires, and activates parents and caregivers with simple, strengths-based insights they can turn into everyday teachable moments. Learn more and request a demo at

Gear up for Great Family Engagement! Download Toolkit


Tuesday, July 25, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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