SEDL and Harvard to Team Up to Serve as National Coordinator for Parent Centers

October 6, 2006
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is gearing up for a new five-year initiative to strengthen family involvement in their children’s schooling.

SEDL has received a $1.19 million award from the U.S. Department of Education to serve as the national coordination center for 60 newly funded Parental Information and Resources Centers (PIRCs) in every state. The PIRC program was created by Congress in 1995 to provide services and information that build parents’ capacity to strengthen their children’s academic readiness and achievement.

Teaming up with Harvard University’s nationally recognized Harvard Family Research Project, SEDL will provide technical assistance to centers throughout the U.S. SEDL and Harvard will produce resource materials and conduct trainings to help the PIRCs carry out core programmatic, management, and accountability activities, and also will provide Web-based resources geared directly to families and teachers.

The Miko Group, Inc., will provide logistical and program management supports to the project. Miko is a veteran-owned small business based in Norman, Oklahoma.

Family involvement has been a major area of focus for SEDL since its inception in the mid-1960s. For the past 6 years SEDL has operated the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, whose focus is to provide research-based tools for building partnerships that boost student achievement, particularly among traditionally underserved groups.

SEDL president and CEO Wes Hoover said, “Research shows clearly that, with knowledge and supports, families can make a difference in their kids’ success in school. We look forward to working with Harvard and with the network of PIRCs to address this critical need.”

About the Harvard Family Research Project

Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) was founded in 1983 at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It strives to promote more effective educational practices, programs, and policies for disadvantaged children and youth by generating, publishing, and disseminating research.

About SEDL

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit