At Family Engagement Lab, we work to build bridges for every family and every classroom to support students every day. FASTalk is helping schools and teachers share weekly information and tips in families’ home language that are explicitly connected to student learning.
This focus is especially meaningful during the pandemic. Since March, FASTalk has strengthened school-family partnerships to support learning for 30,000 students in grades PK-8. Schools and families have exchanged 1.1 million messages directly related to student learning. For comparison, from 2017 until the start of the pandemic FASTalk supported 750K interactions for 9,000 families and teachers. Our text message library includes more than 3,000 learning tips that reinforce Common Core skills and content in 12 ELA and SEL curricula, and include culturally relevant adaptations in multiple languages.
We are also proud of FASTalk's growing evidence base. Through multiple evaluations, FASTalk has been found to meaningfully advance literacy outcomes for elementary-age students, when compared to similar peers whose families did not receive the weekly messages. Importantly, FASTalk is having a powerful impact on the achievement of English Learners, students from low-income backgrounds, and students who start the year behind their peers academically.
What do we hope the future holds? The greatest opportunity to improve student outcomes can be realized when more educators recognize, prioritize, and support the role that families play in learning. We are grateful that you all have taken this important step. But we know there is much more work to be done.
With your support, we couldn’t be more ready for the opportunities ahead — including exciting new partnerships and expanding our impact in new grade levels and learning domains. We’d like to extend a special thank you to the individuals and organizations that played an especially pivotal role in our early days:
So many more of you have helped us on our journey, and we are grateful to each and every one of you. Here’s to the next four years!
Vidya Sundaram and Elisabeth O’Bryon
Co-Founders, Family Engagement Lab