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MAEC selected to be Statewide Family Engagement Center in Maryland and Pennsylvania

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that MAEC will lead the Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) in Maryland and Pennsylvania. This is an exciting new iteration of MAEC’s program, the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement (CAFE). This grant will enable MAEC to expand the work it began nearly five years ago. 

MAEC President Susan Shaffer,

“We are thrilled to continue partnering with families, schools, and districts to bring high-impact and culturally responsive approaches to family engagement in Maryland and Pennsylvania. This funding demonstrates U.S. ED’s continued trust and lasting commitment to the work MAEC has been doing.” 

CAFE will work to uplift voices and address the needs of families and family engagement professionals with programs such as “Are All the Children Well?” an expansive webinar series addressing the unique challenges faced by students experiencing homelessness. We will also continue with The Corner CAFE Podcast to provide insightful conversations with family engagement experts on best practices and strategies to bolster family engagement.   

Additionally, MAEC will expand and reinforce its direct relationships with families and caregivers through the CAFE parent advisory committee and the leadership council and its work with community organizations and agencies such as Parents as Teachers, ParentPowered (Ready4K), A Parent’s Place in MD, and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE). The goal of CAFE is to ensure sustained growth and the well-being of every child. 

Program Director Rita Perez,

“In addition to our projects, we are excited to partner with the Maryland State Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Education. It’s a recognition that culturally responsive family engagement is crucial to school improvement.” 

Since 2018, MAEC has provided evidence-based programs and resources to families, educators, and community members in Maryland and Pennsylvania through CAFE, resulting in the development of a statewide family engagement network grounded in collaboration, equity principles, and practices that aim to break down systemic barriers and increase family involvement in their children’s education.  

We invite you to explore how CAFE can support your community’s pursuit of meaningful family engagement. Visit our website to learn more about our resources and services. 



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