East Hartford Public Schools Receives $750,000 Grant to Build Partnerships with Families and Community to Support Student Success

One of the most urgent needs and greatest challenges facing public school districts is forging meaningful partnerships that engage families and schools’ surrounding community to support students to be successful in school and life. In an effort to meet this challenge East Hartford Public Schools has been awarded a one-year, $750,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to develop a new Teaching and Learning Center and other strategies that will enable it to support children’s learning, development, and success through increased family, school, and community partnerships.

“This grant provides East Hartford with the unique and special ability to develop the infrastructure for lasting and game changing family and community partnerships that are centered on helping children succeed,” said East Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Nathan Quesnel. “We are incredibly grateful to the Foundation for providing this significant investment in our communities, families and schools this is rightfully centered on the partnerships where children thrive. While we all know the adage, ‘it takes a village,’ this grant truly moves to the heart of strategy by developing the systems, links and conditions that make “the village” happen. As East Hartford opens the Office for Family and Community (OFC) Partnership, I have no doubt that this plan will have long lasting impact on our entire community.”

The Hartford Foundation grant will allow East Hartford Public Schools to accomplish the following:

  • Launch an Office of Family and Community (OFC) Partnership that will provide the infrastructure needed to develop highly effective, trusting and lasting relationships between East Hartford schools and families.
  • Develop and work through the Teaching and Learning Center to promote a universal understanding among educators, parents, town officials and the entire East Hartford community on the importance and value of family and community partnerships. Over time, the Teaching and Learning Center will serve as a hub, coordinating the activities of three resources currently under development by East Hartford Public Schools: an East Hartford Public Schools Parent University, an Educator Academy, and a Community Liaison Program.
  • Use the Harvard School of Education’s family engagement model and “dual capacity building framework,” to help district leaders and teachers develop the necessary skills, abilities and mindset to more effectively engage and work with families. Included in this important work is a special focus on culturally responsive practices. This effort to forge true partnerships with parents is also expected to improve the school district’s relationships with the entire community.
  • Create a new Family/Community Liaison Program throughout East Hartford’s neighborhoods to foster ongoing conversations about how schools can better serve children and eliminate the obstacles that families face as they aim to support their children’s educational and developmental success.

“East Hartford is re-imagining the links between its core instruction, expanded learning opportunities and comprehensive student supports in important and dynamic ways,” said Sara Sneed, the Hartford Foundation’s Director of Education Investments. “The Hartford Foundation found East Hartford Public Schools’ plans consistent with all of the latest research concerning effective school districts’ necessary connection with families and students’ broader community. We expect that East Hartford’s plans will result in its students having greater community support that ultimately increases its student success.”

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrates 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $620 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888. 



Photo, left to right: Jacqueline Jacoby, consultant, Sara Sneed, director, education investments, Hartford Foundation, Nathan Quesnel, superintendent of schools, East Hartford Public Schools, and Anne Marie Mancini, assistant superintendent of secondary curriculum, instruction and assessment, East Hartford Public Schools.  


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