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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.

Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades

"This powerful book is about real children coming to consciousness about the world around them and taking steps, to paraphrase Paulo Freire, to learn to read both the word and their world."

–Sonia Nieto, author of Affirming Diversity

Learning to Roar

Families With Power is a grassroots organization of low income families, dedicated to developing youth and caregiver leadership, supporting one another and helping our children succeed.

Where’s Your Shirt From? Second Graders Learn to Use Data to Change the World

Sewing vests for teddy bears inspires students to learn how clothing is made. Learning the Look For the Union Label song leads them to investigate where their clothing is made. They learn which countries belong to which continents, gather and graph data, learn about unions and fair trade.

The Thanksgiving Lesson

First graders learn about compassion, action and change in response to hunger and homelessness int heir community.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Test

I teach child-oriented inquiry-based science based on the standards not specifically to raise test scores but to raise creative problem solvers, empathetic doctors and ethical researchers.

Heather's Moms Got Married

Second graders talk about same-sex marriage and family diversity.