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6.5.2021 | Mariah O'Mara |

Parental Engagement Spotlight Closes

The submission period for our Parental Engagement Spotlight closed last month with 187 innovation submissions from almost 50 countries! The Spotlight was created as part of a joint initiative between HundrED, The Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings, IDEO, and Kidsburgh, designed to identify strategies to build stronger school-family relationships.

The application period to be considered for our Parental Engagement Spotlight Report closed last month with 187 innovation submissions from almost 50 countries!

In this unprecedented moment in which parents are becoming newly engaged with education, HundrED, together with the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution, IDEO, and Kidsburgh, aim to bring together innovative collaborators to help identify, share, and facilitate the use of promising new strategies to build stronger school-family and teacher-parent partnerships on a local and global scale. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused sudden disruptions to schooling around the world, impacting learning  for more than 1.5 billion students. These changes have forced policymakers, school administrators, and teachers to reconceptualize their approaches to teaching and learning for their students, and parental engagement in children’s education has been thrust into the center of all school activities.  

This project is guided by evidence collected from the CUE parent engagement network. 


  • We received 187 innovation submissions from 49 countries.
  • We received the most submissions from Asia (31.8%), followed by Europe (20%), North America (18.2%), South America (12.7%), Africa (12.7%) and Oceania (4.5%) respectively. 
  • The results of this Spotlight will be released in autumn of this year. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss the announcement.

The Project is a collaboration between HundrED, Kidsburgh, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings, and IDEO each partner has its own role to play. 

CUE is studying family engagement in education and has developed a research framework based on the findings from its survey of nearly 25,000 parents across 10 countries.

CUE’s research helped to inform the design of HundrED and IDEO’s calls for family engagement solutions, and the ideas that HundrED and IDEO surface will feed into a playbook CUE is releasing in fall 2021. The playbook will be a practical guide for education decision-makers on ways to work closely with parents and communities to ensure all children and youth receive an education that prepares them well for work, life, and citizenship.

IDEO’s role is to build the capacity of school teams (leaders, teachers, parents, students) to design, refine, and implement solutions to boost family-school engagement. 

They will use the mindsets, methods, and measures from the Co-Designing Schools Toolkit to partner with 17 design teams from jurisdictions across the United States, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom... to facilitate the design thinking process around adapting innovations and strategies to better engage parents and families.

Kidsburgh is acting as the lead coordinator of the coalition and curates and communicates relevant insights back into the Pittsburgh region in the North East United States. 

Kidsburgh will provide mini-grants to selected organizations and schools in Southwestern PA to jumpstart innovative parent engagement ideas that emerge from the Community Conversations or from IDEO’s design thinking process with schools.

HundrED will create a Spotlight Report on Parental Engagement, highlighting 7-15 global education innovations. 

HundrED Spotlights create a unique opportunity for organizations to gain a thorough insight into education innovations around the world. These innovations can originate within a certain geographic region, like the South & Southeast Asia Region or the United States; or around a specific theme in education, such as social and emotional learning, teacher professional development - or, in this case, parental engagement. 

The HundrED Spotlight on Parental Engagement Closed on April 15th, 2021 with 187 Innovations Applications from Almost 50 Countries 

We received the most submissions from Asia (31.8%), followed by Europe (20%), North America (18.2%), South America (12.7%), Africa (12.7%) and Oceania (4.5%) respectively. 

pie chart of submissions

We hosted two webinars around the topic of parental engagement both to help boost submissions and to spark a discussion around the topic. 

In the first webinar of this series, representatives from all four organizations met to discuss the challenges this initiative seeks to address, what we hope to achieve, and the benefits of being involved. 

You can find a summary of the discussion and related resources here or you can watch the entire webinar on-demand below. 

We also hosted a Community Conversation on Parental Engagement with Dr. Tyler Thingpen, Head of the Forest School. 

A Community Conversation is a collaboration between HundrED and a community partner centered around a theme in education. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together our global community with outside networks and create a space for honest and real discussion with various education stakeholders. In the workshop, Dr. Thingpen shared the 5 most essential parent actions that empower children to become independent learners

Both of these virtual sessions were well attended, which supports the idea that both educators and parents recognize the significance of establishing trusting relationships among parents and caregivers to participate in the education process. 

Selected Innovations for this Spotlight will be announced on September 30th, 2021 

As we move into the next phase of the process, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners at the CUE, Kidsburg, IDEO, and the Grable Foundation without whom this Spotlight would not have been possible. 

Engaging parents to help make education more aligned with innovative pedagogy is critical if change efforts to education are to be sustained. Therefore, building trusting relationships and confidence among parents to participate in the education process is essential. We hope that the results of this Spotlight contribute to the identification and development of scalable approaches to engaging families in their children's education. 

Learn more about the Parental Engagement Spotlight