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Families With Power: Centering Students by Engaging with Families and Community

What if the families of students most impacted by the opportunity gap somehow had the power to organize whatever activities they felt would best help their children succeed? That's the question that began Families with Power/Familias con Poder (FWP), a grassroots organization of low-income students and caregivers in Northampton, MA. Through vignettes and interviews, Cowhey shares the stories and lessons FWP learned along the way. Inspired by Paulo Freire's popular educational philosophy and the radical tradition of the Highlander Folk School, a group of real families with few material resources and educators connected with each other, found common ground, and built their own programs to address the needs of their children. Readers will get an inside look at the benefits, successes, and challenges of more than a dozen years of student and family engagement in the community and school as FWP tackled issues ranging from academics, race, and class to immigration and public health. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to a scholarship fund for Families With Power.