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About Community Engagement


Community and parental engagement takes many forms, from supporting a child at home with homework and participating in school activities to contributing critical resources to the school to being involved in school management and governance.

In almost all CRS education programs, we place an explicit focus on supporting parents as well as community-based and school-based structures. A successful education system needs support and cooperation from everyone. And it can work. Some examples include parents’ creation of community reading spaces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, peer tutoring in Honduras, visual report cards for low-literate parents in Mali, community-school mapping exercises in Laos, and working with religious and local authorities in Pakistan to promote education for all.


  • Community awareness-raising about importance of education: CRS and its local partners support parents in their efforts to identify, contribute to, and even lead initiatives aimed at improving the access to and quality of the education provided to their children. This is done through training, regular technical assistance, school improvement planning, small grant management, exchange visits, and other initiatives.

  • Parent-teacher associations: Parents and teachers need to have an open avenue for effective communication. PTAs can help keep the lines open between school and home.

  • Adult literacy & life skills development: Children are not the only ones who are entitled to a quality education. CRS works with their parents to understand the importance of education and to foster better communication among students, children, administrators and other education providers. We also provide literacy programs for parents so they are able to better help their children succeed. CRS also works with students and parents to provide life-skills training, an education that can continue outside a classroom.

  • Diverse beneficiaries: Beneficiaries and participants in CRS’ education projects are school-age children, their parents and other members of the larger community, teachers and administrators, and local grassroots project partners. Schools participating in CRS' education programs are public, private, and parochial. Education programs focus on primary or pre-primary grades and are implemented through both the formal education system and informal learning environments. Informal learning environments provide basic education to groups that traditionally have been excluded from schooling and strengthen parent and community organizations to become a positive force for improving education.