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Step Up Family Engagement with Professional Development

Image by Ivan Aleksic

Build, Energize, and Sustain Family Relationships

Project Appleseed's professional development is the first step in preparing schools to overcome barriers and reap the benefits of high-impact family engagement. Our offerings come in two dynamic forms: the one-day Traveling Workshop and the two-hour Family Engagement Toolbox Training. Both formats are designed to inspire and equip educators with highly effective skills and knowledge, guided by the expertise of the "grandfather of parental involvement," Kevin Walker. These workshops and online training sessions focus on evidence-based research for fostering meaningful family engagement, ensuring long-term benefits for schools and communities.

Bring Kevin Walker, the founder and president of Project Appleseed, to your schools! With over 30 years of experience in education organizing, Mr. Walker is a distinguished advocate for public school parents in the United States. He is the visionary behind key family engagement initiatives like National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week


Recognized as a top influencer in American education, he has been named one of the Top Ten People by Teacher magazine (Education Week) and received the Parenting Leader Award from Parenting magazine. Kevin Walker's profound impact on education policy is evident through his advisory role to the Clinton White House on Title I parental involvement provisions, which continue to shape education today under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Kevin Walker's ongoing dedication is reflected in his active involvement in strategic planning, curriculum development, and community engagement as an alum and resident of the Webster Groves School District in St. Louis, where he remains deeply committed to enhancing education and parental engagement. (Video: Webster Groves School District Foundation video, featuring Kevin Walker raising funds to renovate the Moss Field athletic complex.)

What Are The Benefits?

There are several reasons why the Traveling Workshop and Family Engagement Toolbox Training are important professional development opportunities. Project  Appleseed's professional development in high-impact family engagement​ can be beneficial for educators and school staff as it can help them better understand and meet the needs of the families they serve, and ultimately lead to more positive outcomes for students. Professional development in high-impact parent and family engagement can have many benefits for individuals, organizations, and communities. Some possible benefits include:

  • Increased professional knowledge and skills

  • Improved outcomes for students

  • Stronger relationships between schools and families

  • Increased involvement among families

  • Greater sense of community

Project Appleseed's professional development is important because we can help to improve academic outcomes, strengthen relationships, increase involvement, create a sense of community, and improve communication between schools and families.

Who Should Participate?

There are several groups of people who may benefit from attending our family engagement professional development:

  • School administrators

  • Teachers

  • Counselors

  • Parent liaisons

  • Support staff

  • Parent leaders

  • Others who are interested in promoting parent engagement.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about how to involve families in their children's education and build strong partnerships between schools and families may benefit from attending Project Appleseed’s family engagement professional development.

Traveling Workshop

One-Day Traveling Workshop

Professional Development In-person & Virtual

The costs for one-day sessions are $4,500.00 for in-person multiple schools,

$3,500.00 for in-person single school, and $3,000.00 for virtual sessions all schools.

Research repeatedly correlates high-impact family engagement​ with student achievement, yet this strategy is rarely activated as an integral part of school improvement efforts. Our family engagement training provides strategies that are aligned with student learning and achievement. Schools organize parent responsibility with an effective model that is research-based, meets district, state and Title I ESSA mandates. You will leave the workshop with a multi-year plan and the tools to engage all families.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives
  • Describe the association between parent engagement in schools and student social, academic, and health outcomes.

  • Identify the essential aspects of parent engagement in schools.

  • Identify resources for assessing and promoting parent engagement in the Family Engagement Toolbox.

Parent Partnership Tools

1. Evaluation and Feedback: Our Traveling Workshop uses surveys to assess your school's current beliefs and practices regarding parent engagement. This helps determine if you have the necessary mindset for effective planning. Participants engage in discussions led by Kevin Walker about their school’s family engagement efforts.

2. Strategies for Engaging Families: Learn specific strategies and actions to increase parent engagement in school activities. This publication is adapted from resources provided by the National PTA, Centers for Disease Control CDC, and other experts in health, education, and family involvement.

3. Family Engagement PowerPoint: Stay current with industry standards through our presentation on the Six Slices of Family Engagement, featuring specific activities to mobilize families and enhance student outcomes.​


4. Parent Activity Handbook: This comprehensive guide offers 100 standards-aligned activities designed to foster collaboration between schools, families, and communities. It includes practical strategies for welcoming new families, effective communication, supporting student success, advocating for every child, sharing decision-making power, and collaborating with the community.​

Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Family Engagement

5. Red Carpet Treatment: Part of our Family Engagement Toolbox, this tool helps create a more welcoming environment for families. The process involves a team of parents, community members, and school staff to identify ways to make the school more inviting.


Certification and Planning

  • Project Appleseed Certification: Distinguish yourself as a leader in parent engagement by earning our certification, demonstrating your ability to navigate complex challenges.

  • Customized 10-Step Family Engagement Plan: Empower yourself and your school community with a personalized plan to encourage, involve, and measure parent involvement at all levels.



Online Portal for Family Engagement: Access a wealth of resources at, including articles, videos, and toolkits to support your engagement efforts.Join us in fostering a culture of enthusiastic and effective family engagement. Enroll in Project Appleseed’s Workshops and Training today to transform your school's community and drive student success!

Traveling Workshop Program Agenda 2024-25

Introduction                       30 min

Our Advocacy

National Signature Events

Learning Objectives


Connecting                        60 min

Acknowledging Cultural Differences

What Is Family High-Impact Engagement?

Title I Family Engagement

Barriers to Family Engagement

Activity #1. Connect Families

Engaging                            90 min

Six Slices of Family Engagement

Family Engagement Toolbox

Teacher Home Visits (Optional)

Activity #2. Engage Families   


Sustaining                         90 min 

Red Carpet Treatment

Activity #3. Sustain Engagement    

Activity #4. Family Engagement Action Plan             

Scheduling Options:

  • One Day Session: We can schedule your workshop as a one-day event. Our in-person and on-line Traveling Workshop is normally held between 8:30am and 2:30pm (including lunch and breaks). Reserve at least 30 days ahead.

  • One Day Session Split in Two: Maybe the flexibility of a two day workshop with 2 1/2 hour sessions at times that you choose (including breaks).


Participant Limit:

  • None. It is recommended that groups consist of people from the same school (school teams) or district.

Our program and support is included 

  • Virtual follow-up sessions are available at no cost. These sessions are used to reinforce learning that took place in the Traveling Workshop. A virtual follow-up session is a 60- to 90-minute Zoom or phone meeting led by Kevin Walker. We want to ensure that what is learned in the Workshop will be applied correctly to participants’ work.


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

Choose a professional development option:

Image by Ivan Aleksic
Teacher Home Visit Workshop
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