A New Approach to Building Family Engagement Pathways: The 5Rs Framework

Are you interested in increasing your outreach to families? Are you wondering how you might elevate family voice in the work that you do? Are you thinking about how to develop stronger community partnerships in support of families?

If so, then this free on-demand webinar will benefit you. In their recent report Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement, Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association outlined five important processes that build successful family engagement pathways:

  • Reach out,
  • Raise up,
  • Reinforce,
  • Relate, and
  • Reimagine.

This webinar explores how these practices are being implemented in early childhood programs and libraries, and offers practical ideas that you can use to build family engagement pathways in the learning setting you work in.

Originally presented December 6, 2016.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of thinking about family engagement as an ongoing process that takes place in a variety of settings;
  • Be able to use the 5Rs framework—reach out, raise up, reinforce, relate, and reimagine—to guide and organize their work with families; and
  • Have new ideas to apply to family engagement efforts in early childhood programs, schools, afterschool programs, and libraries.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This webinar recording is freely available to anyone who works with families including, but not limited to, early childhood and K–12 educators, public library staff, and community, district, and policy leaders. The content is appropriate for beginners, for those with some knowledge/experience, and for those with considerable knowledge/experience on the topic.


Margaret Caspe is a senior research analyst at Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP). Her research focuses on how families, early childhood programs, schools, and communities support children’s learning. As part of the HFRP team, Margaret co-leads the Libraries for the 21st Century Project and develops materials to prepare educators for family engagement. Margaret received her PhD in Applied Psychology from The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University and holds an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is based in New Jersey where she and her 3 daughters count spending time at the library among their favorite activities.

Michelle Jeske is the Denver city librarian, head of the 26-location urban library system which sees more than 4.4 million people in its buildings annually. Michelle has worked for the Denver Public Library since 2001 and was appointed city librarian in 2015. The library's number one priority is that all Denver children enjoy reading and learning and flourish in school and life. To reach that outcome, the library focuses on outreach to parents and caregivers in the community, inter-generational programming for immigrants and refugees and novel ways to engage families in learning. Michelle is also a member of the PLA Family Engagement Task Force.

Lesley Graham is a member of Save the Children’s National Education and Health Team for U.S. Programs. In this role, she leads Save the Children’s Family and Community Engagement programming, as well as the Healthy Choices physical activity and nutrition program. Save the Children prioritizes their domestic work in rural, under-resourced schools and communities across the United States. The family and community engagement work conducted by Save the Children expands across the P–3 continuum, supporting children and families prenatally through 3rd grade. Lesley supports approximately 150 sites across the country, including the provision of technical leadership and strategic planning, program quality assurance, training development and delivery, and program design and development. She obtained both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Family Sciences from the University of Kentucky.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to plawebinars@ala.org or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).