About Us

Project Appleseed is a genuine grassroots education organization that lacks an office in Manhattan. We don't have a steady flow of cash from the Gates or the Waltons. We don't have a slick corporate website and don't boast of 100s of chapter offices. What we have is an energy that derives from authenticity. And that has staying power. More than two decades of staying power - and counting. 


For over 25 years, Project Appleseed has been an effective advocacy organization that engages public schools and families by mobilizing millions of volunteers, building responsibility and promoting accountability — both at school and at home. With a focus on low-income and under-served families and schools, Project Appleseed works to improve schools, build public awareness, enable public engagement, advance policy positions and advise elected officials and other decision-makers on best practices for creating optimal educational environments. The effect of our efforts are clear: academic achievement rises in tandem with parental involvement.

Project Appleseed, family engagement, parental involvement public schools
What we do

Our Vision

Project Appleseed is a resource, advocate and voice for America’s 65 million public school parents.

Our Mission

Project Appleseed provides resources for parents who want to be engaged in their children's schools and for schools who seek their involvement.

Our program and training utilize the Six Types of Parental Involvement from Dr. Joyce Epstein’s research to engage with families. Our web site has the resources for both educators and parents including the Parental Involvement Toolbox, which is our parent engagement program for individuals schools and school districts.


The Toolbox contains Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Pledge and Parental Involvement Report Card, providing an opportunity for parents to formalize their commitment to working with their child’s school through a written agreement, which they can complete and take to their parent leader, school secretary, teacher, or principal. The Pledge also includes a survey of parent volunteer interests in which parents can immediately volunteer in school, outside the classroom, and at home.

Our Philosophy
Project Appleseed

Though not yet at the scale of the national civil rights movement, parent organizers around the nation are currently working in communities to ensure that historically marginalized parents and students can participate in local, state, and national education debates and decisions. We are guided by the research which has shown that the community organizing approach to school reform has led to successes such as increases in education funding, more equitable distribution of education resources, greater access to college preparatory curriculum, and more effective teacher recruitment and retention in hard-to-staff schools. (Renée, M., and S. McAlister. 2011)

Our reform strategy is based on the best available research. Project Appleseed believes that family engagement should be systemic, integrated, and sustained:


Systemic family engagement is purposefully designed as a core component of educational goals such as school readiness, student achievement, and school turnaround.

Integrated family engagement is embedded into structures and processes designed to meet these goals, including training and professional development, teaching and learning, community collaboration, and the use of data for continuous improvement and accountability.


Sustainable family engagement operates with adequate resources, including public–private partnerships, to ensure meaningful and effective strategies that have the power to impact student learning and achievement. Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform, 2010.

Our 25 Year History

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