Family Engagement Community of Practice



Family Engagement Community of Practice

CoP that shares promising practices, lessons learned, and resources for supporting families in STEM from out-of-school-time programs in various settings. Professional development options are intended to be research-informed and practical for immediate implementation.


Target Audience

We recommend at least one participant from the Afterschool State Network staff (i.e. Network Lead or MGM/STEM Lead, or Professional Development or Quality Improvement staff member), and welcome additional participants who have leadership within their organization, to extend the training and resources from this community of practice across other partners.



September 9: Deadline to submit an interest form

September 16: Teams are notified of participation

October 22 – March 23: Six monthly sessions are held on the second Wednesday of the month from 12-1:15pm ET

Summer 2023: Participants attend one reunion meeting.


Apply Here

Field Guide: to Host a Community of Practice – Bright spots and opportunities, challenges and lessons learned

How can we support a child’s interest that starts in a summer robotics camp or in an afterschool coding program? Family engagement is the “secret sauce” to sustain engagement in STEM. And yet, most organizations offer limited opportunities for families. And, the kinds of family engagement offered, are not always built upon practices that address the needs and assets of youth and families.

STEM Next created the Family Engagement Project so that every family in every community has the chance to explore STEM and every caregiver can support their child’s sense of wonder. With this Project, we developed a suite of resources including a white paper for practitioners, a guide for funders, and case studies and blogs that highlight promising practices to support family engagement. While these resources have been well received, we received requests for help to put them into action and take family engagement to the next level. Our response has been to offer professional development through communities of practice that build capacity for impactful and equitable family engagement.

Download the Field Guide