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Teacher and Blackboard

Project Appleseed goes beyond just implementing proven strategies. It's about fostering a culture of enthusiasm and excitement about parenting within the school and wider community. By celebrating and prioritizing the crucial role of families in their children's education, we can inspire and mobilize the entire community to help every student succeed.

About us

Project Appleseed is a leading advocate for public school families in America, working to empower parents and communities to take an active role in their children's education and advocate for policies that support student success. 

Kevin Walker, an African-American public school parent and grandparent, founded our organization in 1993 in St. Louis, Missouri, after recognizing the need for more active and engaged families in the educational process. The organization's mission is to make family engagement a systemic, integrated, and sustained school improvement strategy, with a focus on low-income and under-served families and schools.

Project Appleseed's programs and initiatives have had a significant impact on schools and communities across the country. One of the organization's most notable achievements is the establishment of National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week. These events are celebrated annually in thousands of schools and have helped to raise awareness about the importance of parental involvement in education.

  • National Parental Involvement Day, established in 1994, celebrated on the third Thursday of November, is a day dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the vital role that parents play in their children's education. Schools across the country participate in this event by hosting activities and events that promote parental involvement and engagement.

  • Public School Volunteer Week, established in 1997, celebrated during the first full week of April, recognizes and celebrates the contributions of parent and community volunteers in public schools. Schools across the country participate in this event by hosting activities and events that highlight the impact of volunteerism on student success.

By 2025 Project Appleseed plans to expand the reach of both events to 30,000 public schools, reaching 15 million students and 8 million families. This will further help to raise awareness about the importance of family engagement and volunteerism in education and encourages more parents and community members to become active participants in their local schools.

Project Appleseed's efforts have also helped to improve the education outcomes for students in Title I schools by increasing the level of parent and community involvement in these schools. Project Appleseed advised the Clinton White House on the parental involvement provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1994, 2002 and 2015. This helped to ensure that the law recognized the critical role that parents play in their children's education and provided funding for programs and activities that support parent involvement. 

Six Slices of Family Engagement

The organization utilizes the Six Types of Parental Involvement from Dr. Joyce Epstein's research to engage with families and offers resources for both educators and parents, including a comprehensive program for increasing parent involvement Family Engagement Toolbox, which has been implemented in thousands of schools nationwide. Project Appleseed provides training and professional development for educators and parents through the Traveling Workshop and Family Engagement Toolbox Training, which reaches educators and parents from Hawaii to New York. 

Our 30 Year History

Project Appleseed has been recognized by various organizations and publications for its work in promoting parental involvement in education. In 1999, Teacher magazine named Kevin Walker, the founder of Project Appleseed, as one of the "most influential Americans who shaped education in the last decade of the 20th century." In the next year, Parenting Magazine honored Walker with the Parenting Leader Award for his efforts to improve public education in the United States. EcoSalon calls Project Appleseed one of ”10 Unsung Nonprofits That Should Be Household Words" for the organizations work.

Social Media History

Thank you for celebrating two of the oldest family engagement events in America!

National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week cannot take place without the support of parents, educators, school boards, sponsors, partners, speakers, staff, and the attendees themselves. Project Appleseed wants to show our gratitude to all those who helped make National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week a success. Here's a look at hundreds of past events across the country!

                    "#nationalparentalinvolvementday"                                      "publicschoolvolunteerweek"

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Who we reach

Data Points:

  • Over ten million family members observe our signature events - Public School Volunteer Week & National Parental Involvement Day each year.

  • Our events are observed by dozens of state departments of education covering appoximately 18,000 schools in all 50 states each school year. 

  • The Parental Involvement Pledge is the most widely used leaning compact in the United States with an estimated 500,000 in circulation each year.

 

Top Rank In Google:

  • Over 67% of our visitors are women between the ages of 25-54.

  • Our newsletter Appleseeed Today reaches nearly 60,000 superintendents, nonprofit leaders, legislators and teacher leadership in all states covering 85% of school districts in the United States.

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  • There are currently over 300,000 links to our signature events Public School Volunteer Week& National Parental Involvement Day in the Google search engine.

  • Project Appleseed is a top source for "parental involvement in public schools", Google.

Who we reach
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  • YouTube
  • Instagram