Bridging the gap between schools and community: Organizing for family involvement in a low-income neighborhood

Trudy L. Good, Angela R. Wiley, R. Elizabeth Thomas, Eric Stewart, Jon McCoy, Bret Kloos, Gladys D. Hunt, Thom Moore, Julian Rappaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case study of community psychology consultation illustrates the assessment, collaboration, and organizing activities dictated by an open-systems, ecologically oriented approach to building structures that bridge the gap between school and community. Three types of participation structures are identified: (a) family to school communication; (b) communication among families; and (c) an active, family-run organization. Bridging activities include special event and program planning along with spontaneous "moments of opportunity" that express family and neighborhood interests. The entry, assessment, and development of bridging activities in search for more permanent structures is described in the context of the school district and its historical relation to the neighborhood. Questions addressed include, How can low-income families be involved in schools in ways that benefit both their own empowerment and the well-being of their children? Where do barriers exist for meaningful participation of families in schools? What are the characteristics of meaningful family involvement?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-296
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Educational and Psychological Consultation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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