Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Music artist and School-based Family and Community Liaison, Maura Mendoza Quiroz from the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC), shares her experiences of how mu-sic, visual arts and language workshops have served as the entry point for immigrant families in the Somerville Public Schools. The examples help teachers “read” their community of parents and create spaces responding to families’ needs instead of providing arts programs that are un-familiar to them. As parents participate in these activities, their “physical time” inside the school increased, home-school communications improved, and over all the welcoming efforts translated into better school attendance. Sarah Davila, director of English Learner Education and Family and Community Partnerships, provides context, organizing frameworks, and introduces the chapter with recommendations about systems that must be in place within the school district for successful arts-based family engagement.

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