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Families in Schools

Families in Schools (FIS) works to involve parents and communities in their children’s education to achieve lifelong success. Created in 2000 by the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project, FIS continues the movement of educational reform initiated by the Annenberg Challenge. FIS provides trainings and services based on research and best practices to community-based organizations, school districts, and in some cases, to parents as a direct service.

Through the Community Leadership Project, Families in Schools is strengthening the ability of small nonprofits to adapt to change and increase their effectiveness.

Region Served: San Joaquin Valley
Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties

Total Award: $150,000

Program Details:
Families in Schools has developed a capacity-building program that focuses on the concept of adaptive capacity: helping nonprofits be responsive, innovative, and adapt to lessons learned from both internal and external forces. FIS recruits and selects two leaders from each of 15 organizations to participate in the program each year, for a total of 45 organizations and 90 participants over three years.

Group members participate in four, one-day meetings and each creates a plan for building adaptive capacity within his/her organization. Additional topics include program evaluation, public policymaking, and strategic planning. Each year concludes with a peer learning event that allows organizations to share their adaptive capacity plans.

The Families in Schools team is currently working one-on-one with the following organizations:

Selection Process:
FIS focuses on nonprofits that provide services in education, children, youth and family development and that have been incorporated for at least three years, have annual budgets greater than $75,000, demonstrate a connection to and understanding of their communities, and can invest in capacity development.

Project Launched: Early spring 2010


Project Contact:
Kaci Patterson
(213) 484-2870