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Teacher Home Visit Training

Image by Ivan Aleksic

How to Engage Hard-to-Reach Parents

Sharon Johnson, a veteran teacher of at-risk children, knew from experience that family engagement played a crucial role in students' academic success. Ms. Johnson had heard about National Parental Involvement Day and decided to use the occasion as the start of an effort to promote parental involvement to her student's families. 


As she set out on her mission to engage parents who are traditionally difficult to reach, she was well-prepared with her school's Title I learning compact, the Parent Engagement Pledge. This pledge had been provided to her during the school's recent professional development sessions, emphasizing the importance of parent engagement and collaboration. Armed with the pledge, she hoped to inspire parents to actively participate in their child's education and create a strong partnership between home and school.

After carefully selecting the families to visit, Ms. Johnson set out to meet them in their homes. She introduced herself and shared her vision of building a partnership between parents, students, and educators to create a supportive learning environment. She explained the Parent Engagement Pledge, which asked parents to take personal responsibility for their child's safety and education, as well as the safety and education of the children in the community.


"Would you be willing to take the Parent Engagement Pledge with me?" Ms. Johnson asked each parent.

At first, some parents were hesitant, but as Ms. Johnson explained the pledge's requirements, they began to see the benefits of becoming more involved in their child's education.

At Maria's house, Ms. Johnson sat down with her and her child and showed them some reading strategies and games to help with vocabulary and comprehension. When they were finished, Ms. Johnson handed Maria the pledge form and explained what it meant.

"By signing this pledge, you are committing to taking a more active role in your child's education," Ms. Johnson said. "You'll volunteer at least five hours of your time to the school each semester, and you'll spend a minimum of fifteen minutes each school night reading with your child or working on homework and enrichment activities."

Maria read the pledge and then looked up at Ms. Johnson with a determined expression. "I'll sign it," she said. "I want to do everything I can to help my child succeed."

Over the next few weeks, Ms. Johnson continued her home visits, meeting with other families and sharing the Parent Engagement Pledge. Parents were moved by Ms. Johnson's dedication and the power of the pledge. They saw that their involvement could make a difference in their child's life, and they were eager to take part.

As a result, the children began to thrive in the classroom, and the parents felt more connected to the school community. Ms. Johnson's home visits, combined with the Parent Engagement Pledge, had transformed the lives of at-risk students and their families.

Ms. Johnson knew that there was still much work to be done, but she was heartened by the progress she had made. She had succeeded in building a bridge between home and school, and she knew that it would make all the difference in the world for her students.


Parent-Teacher Connections Today!

Project Appleseed Traveling Workshop

Project Appleseed's teacher home visit program is uniquely impactful by generating thousands of hours of volunteer time through the distribution of the Parent Engagement Pledge. This aspect not only strengthens the bond between families and schools but also leverages the power of volunteerism, significantly contributing to the success of the program and the broader community. The volunteer time represents a valuable resource with considerable economic value, making this program especially effective.​

Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Family Engagement

Experience the transformative power of Project Appleseed's Traveling Workshop on Teacher Home Visits! This dynamic workshop is designed to empower educators and school administrators with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to implement effective teacher home visits and enhance family engagement for improved student success.

Led by Kevin Walker, the pioneer of parental involvement and founder and president of Project Appleseed, this workshop provides a unique opportunity to learn from one of the most influential figures in parent and family engagement. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Walker has collaborated with schools, educators, and families to develop successful programs that support student achievement. He is the visionary behind key family engagement initiatives like National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week and has been recognized as a top influencer in American education, named one of the Top Ten People by Teacher magazine (Education Week) and receiving the Parenting Leader Award from Parenting magazine.

During this engaging workshop, participants will explore the powerful impact of teacher home visits on student behavior, academic achievement, and parent involvement. Through interactive sessions, group discussions, and practical activities, you will gain insights into the key principles and best practices of successful home visits.

Research from a three-year study of 14 schools engaging in teacher home visits conducted by California State University at Sacramento (CSUS) found evidence that home visits can increase student performance, jumpstart high-impact family engagement, reduce discipline problems, and foster positive attitudes toward school. A well-executed home visit program gives teachers, parents, and students a better opportunity for connection, communication, and collaboration.

Key aspects of our home visit program include:

  • Setting Goals: Establish specific goals for home visits and create plans to achieve them.

  • Building Relationships: Learn strategies to build positive relationships and effective communication with families.

  • Gathering Data: Collect data during home visits to inform decision-making and identify areas for improvement.

  • Reflecting and Improving: Regular reflection allows for analyzing data and making necessary adjustments.

  • Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among teachers, families, and administrators.

  • Safety and Boundaries: Receive guidelines and training to ensure safe and appropriate conduct.

  • Scheduling: Plan and schedule home visits effectively.

  • Evaluation and Assessment: Use evaluation tools to measure impact and effectiveness.


Home visits offer numerous benefits, including fostering a more open and trusting environment for communication, building closer partnerships between parents and teachers, and gaining deeper insights into students' lives. For students, home visits provide a sense of belonging and support, reinforcing the idea that they have a network of caring individuals invested in their success.

Enrolling in Project Appleseed’s Traveling Workshop on Teacher Home Visits is your opportunity to revolutionize family engagement in your school. Act swiftly to reserve your date for this transformative workshop, as scheduling is limited. Join us in creating a school community where every parent, grandparent, and caring adult is actively involved in their child's education. Together, let's pave the way for student success and meaningful family engagement.

For inquiries or assistance, reach out to our dedicated team. Don't miss out on this opportunity to bring positive change to your school community. Enroll in Project Appleseed’s Traveling Workshop on Teacher Home Visits today!

Download Project Appleseed's guide, "Family Engagement Professional Development," for more information here.

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Image by Ivan Aleksic
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