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Last Updated: 01/15/2018

Article of Interest - Parent Involvement

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New Publication Introduces "Complementary Learning"
Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE), Harvard Family Research Project, July 2005
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In the 4th edition of "The Evaluation Exchange," the Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) examines "complementary learning" -- the idea that narrowing the achievement gap requires solid and sustained investments in nonschool learning supports, such as after school programs, early care and education, families, libraries, museums, and other community-based supports. This issue builds on knowledge compiled in three prior issues. The Winter 2004/2005 issue covered family support and family involvement programs, the Summer 2004 issue examined early childhood programs, and the Spring 2004 issue was devoted to out-of-school time and youth development programs. All of the issues are available on the Harvard website at

While good schools are critical, schools alone cannot improve educational outcomes and fully prepare our children for success in the global 21st century. Complementary learning also calls for school and nonschool supports to link and align so they complement one another as well as schools and no longer operate in isolation.

The issue delves into the evidence base behind complementary learning and then examines mechanisms that can create effective linkages between learning contexts -- mechanisms such as family involvement, technology, professional development, and diverse funding streams. Articles in this issue also highlight promising approaches for evaluating complementary learning practices and programs, both in terms of what outcomes to focus on and what methodologies to use.

The issue is available free of charge on the Harvard University website at If you would like a hard copy just email to request it. You can also subscribe to the electronic or hard copy version of "The Evaluation Exchange" at


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