A Holiday Letter from GFRP

Dec 23 2020

Authors: GFRP Staff

A Holiday Letter from GFRP

We end the year with gratitude for all the hard and inspiring work so many families, schools, and communities are doing.

All of us at the Global Family Research Project send our appreciation and best wishes for fun, joy, and rest over the holidays as well as our hope that 2021 will be a much better year for all. This has been a year like no other for families, schools, and communities.

The stories we have heard this year about the many and powerful ways families, schools, and communities have pivoted, adapted, and heightened their work together to support children’s learning and development have kept us going and optimistic for the future.

Everyone now has a deeper appreciation and empathic understanding of each other. It is as if everyone is lined up with  their fingers and some toes in the dike trying to manage unremitting stress and prevent the disasters of massive learning loss, widespread economic and work disasters, and the lack of access to adequate  food, shelter, health and mental health services, and the tools necessary for distance learning.

The pandemic has powerfully exposed huge inequities. But it has also pointed us to examples of family, school, and community engagement practices and policies to address those gaps in the short term and that can be used to build on over the long term. We have heard so many stories in interviews and from our readers about how teachers, family engagement staff, schools and districts have reached out to families to support their children’s learning.

They are building relationships, supporting two-way communication, and linking families to each other for mutual support through Zoom and other tools. Many are asking families what they need and co-creating new initiatives together with them. Schools, afterschool and early-childhood programs, libraries, and a broad array of community organizations are building promising new partnerships and collaborations with the potential to address inequities and pandemic learning loss — and to create more equitable anywhere, anytime learning pathways from birth on.

In these exceedingly difficult times, we end the year with gratitude for all the hard and inspiring work so many families, schools, and communities are doing. We look forward in the new year to sharing more stories of how people and organizations from the national to the local level are coming together to ensure all families and their children have what is necessary for success in school and life.  

With best wishes,

Global Family Research Project