NAFSCE’s Address to National Family and Community Engagement Conference Attendees at General Session

NAFSCE was provided the opportunity at the recent IEL National Family and Community Engagement Conference in Chicago to address and engage the 1,100 attendees of the conference in the establishment and advancement of NAFSCE.

S. Kwesi Rollins, Senior Leadership Team Member for the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) and NAFSCE Board member, provides introductory comments regarding the establishment of NAFSCE, and introduces its Executive Director, Vito Borrello (with a screen shot of NAFSCE’s newly launched website as a backdrop), to address the audience.

Thank Kwesi and IEL for hosting a first class conference for our field! Good morning, my name is Vito Borrello. It is an honor and privilege to work with my colleagues of the past twenty years to move the needle in this work we all know to have a significant impact on child development, student achievement and school improvement.

Four years ago, following the defunding of PIRCs, Susan Shaffer, who regretfully couldn’t be with us today, had a vision of an organization where family engagement was at the center of educational reform, rather than an add-on, and a platform for all professionals implementing family, school and community engagement. She reached out to Anne Henderson, and then early childhood expert, Deborah Stark, who engaged the Heising-Simons Foundation to fund a planning grant.

Two years later in September 2014, through their tireless work, as well as Susan’s staff from the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, the continued funding support of Heising-Simons, and efforts of our Founding Board; the National
Association for Family, School and Community Engagement-NAFSCE- was launched.

Some of our Board members, many of the thought leaders in our work, are here today.

    • Oscar Cruz
    • Anne Henderson
    • Debra Jennings
    • Karen Mapp
    • Kwesi Rollins
    • Barb Scherr
    • Lacy Wood

NAFSCE envisions a world where family engagement is universally practiced as a essential strategy for improving children’s learning, and advancing equity.

Finally, we have an opportunity for all of the professionals impacting this work to come together to create a movement. From early childhood and after school professionals, to educators at the school, district and state levels, to parent leaders, to higher education. It is time that our work from cradle to college and career received the priority it deserves as the key educational strategy we all know it is.

NAFSCE is committed to working in synergy and partnership to create a rising tide for family, school and community engagement.

Together, this movement can be the impetus to elevate practice, advance policy and increase public and private resources so best-practice family engagement programs and practices may thrive. But this is only possible if we all come together, to form a formidable network that has the power in numbers to influence the future advancement of our work.

The thought leaders of our work have all come together to enable the birth of NAFSCE. Now we invite each of you to join us and become a member. You can join us here, onsite at our exhibit booth, or online at our newly launched website,

We hope you’ll come by our booth to hear more. Let’s capitalize on the momentum that IEL and this conference has provided. Thank you!