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While you are waiting for your User ID and password, here's some information about our complementary program to help parents help their children succeed:

Realizing the American Dream Family Engagement Program
A Team Approach to Academic Success

Research-proven program helps parents improve AYP in critical subgroups and build college- and career-readiness in students!

Rarely do you find education research translated into practice so expertly that any school or district can replicate the results. And, it’s ready to implement now!


The Realizing the American Dream (RAD) Family Engagement Program is a research-based, do-it-yourself, yearly-licensed, professionally developed series of classes for parents that gets results. Available in Elementary, Middle and High school editions, in both English and Spanish, it's built on the landmark Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler research model* that explains how to get parents effectively involved in their student’s academic success. The program will help your parents understand the vital role they play in their child’s success in school, learn how to implement an academic success plan for their child and learn how to be a partner in their child’s education through elementary school and beyond. You’ll:

  • improve AYP success in critical sub-groups;
  • increase the number of students who are college- and career-ready; and
  • build support for your school programs as you motivate parents who will see that through smart parenting, hard work and education, their children can be successful and realize the American dream.



Implementation is Easy and the Rewards are Great!


Curriculum. The RAD curriculum is research-based and written in the most helpful, understandable terms for parents. Your class facilitators will have no problems implementing the lessons. In fact, one Class Facilitator recently said, “With this program, the classes practically teach themselves.”

Finding appropriate class facilitators. You’ll get an overview outlining what we have found to be the ideal traits of great class facilitators, tips on where to find them in your own school/parent community and recruitment materials Program Directors can use including a PowerPoint® presentation and script.

Getting parents to attend. RAD is unique in helping with this challenge. We know that it can seem like a daunting task to implement a parent program, especially if your school/district hasn’t had great results in getting parents to attend events. That’s why the RAD Program provides advice on how to get parents to attend with all the publicity materials (invitation letters, flyers, timelines and more) you’ll need to accomplish the task. The Parent Institute also shares secrets that all schools should practice to engage parents successfully, like this one that we like to call “the genuine invitation.”

  "An impersonal, crumpled note in a child’s backpack reading 'Come to our open house!' won’t get parents' attention, but an invitation in an envelope personalized with their name signed by the principal, the teacher—or their child will really get their attention—even if it arrives in the backpack. A few personal phone calls by you, teachers, aides, even other parents to hard-to-reach parents also work wonders. It doesn’t take much more time or effort to make the invitation 'genuine' and the results are guaranteed to amaze you."  



The RAD Program can be the best thing your school has ever done to help parents improve student achievement. Research from the last two decades has definitively proven that getting parents meaningfully involved in their children’s education improves student achievement. In this time of increased accountability and consequences for lower student performance, schools must enlist the help of parents to boost student achievement.


Research Confirms Effectiveness of
Realizing the American Dream Program!

Independent research conducted at school sites currently implementing the RAD curriculum shows that the program positively influenced parents in their parent involvement beliefs, knowledge and behavior.

In the latest research study, a total of 1605 parents in 26 different schools attended the RAD program in the Fall of 2011. Using pre- and post-survey instruments focused on 32 items keyed to RAD program objectives, researchers were able to achieve a matched data pair of survey responses for 1245 parents, representing a robust 78% response rate. Parents were asked about their parent involvement beliefs, knowledge and behaviors before and after the RAD program.

Parents’ Beliefs About Parent Involvement

The study found that the RAD program positively influenced parents' beliefs that they can make a difference in many aspects of their child’s education with these four items showing the most significant and meaningful change from the beginning to the end of the program:

  • My child spends more of his/her time learning at home than at school
  • My child’s principal, teacher(s) and other school staff cannot make sure my child will succeed academically without working with me as a partner
  • I am my child’s most important teacher
  • Other people [do not] have more influence on my child’s grades than I do.

Parents’ Knowledge About Parent Involvement

The research shows that the RAD program has its biggest impact on parents’ knowledge of how schools work and how they can be a partner to their child’s school. All of the 10 survey items assessing parents’ knowledge changed significantly from pre- to post-program. The largest changes were found for parents’ understanding of the following areas, which are heavily emphasized in the RAD curriculum:

  • I know the steps required to help my child succeed academically and go to a university.
  • I know how to work with my child’s teacher(s), principal, counselor and parent liaison.
  • I understand the important academic standards and requirements my child must meet to succeed academically.
  • I understand the important terms and concepts necessary to help my child graduate from high school prepared to get a university education.
  • I know some good ways to build my child’s reading skills at home.

Parents’ Involvement Behaviors

Can RAD positively influence parents’ involvement behaviors? Similar to the results for parents’ self-reported knowledge, all of the involvement behavior items on the research survey showed significant positive change from the beginning to the end of the program. One item in particular —the centerpiece of the RAD curriculum—showed remarkable change:

“I have made a plan to make sure my child succeeds academically and graduates from high school prepared to get a university education.”

Other parent behavior items that showed significant and meaningful increases include:

  • I encourage my child to read regularly.
  • I help my child practice vocabulary, math and other skills regularly.
  • I talk with my child about my expectations for his or her success.
  • I keep in touch with my child’s teacher about my child’s academic performance.
  • I keep in touch with my child’s teacher about my child’s behavior.

In short, independent professional research finds that the RAD Program can positively influence parents in their beliefs, knowledge and behaviors about parent involvement.

Meta-analyses of published research show that increased parent involvement leads to improved student achievement. Schools and districts would be wise to implement the RAD curriculum every year with their parents.




The RAD Program has everything you need to make
your program a success including email support and
phone consultation from The Parent Institute!

Over 500 pages in three binders providing separate sets of materials needed for the Program Director, Class Facilitator(s) and Parents. (Click on the binder images below to see samples from each.)


  • The Program Director binder contains all of the information needed to implement the program. It includes a program overview, time line and checklist of logistical action items and responsibilities to complete before, during and after each class and other meetings, tips on identifying class facilitators with a script and PowerPoint® presentation to recruit them, program evaluation tools, registration forms, attendance sheets, website download access to all printed materials and PowerPoint® slides and more! You’ll also get publicity materials, a plan for recruiting parents to get the best results and ways to maintain the momentum after parents graduate. Each document is also available to download from a dedicated program website.






  • The Class Facilitator binder contains a guide for each class including detailed lesson plans, discussion starters, PowerPoint® slides, room set-up suggestions, instructions for administering the pre- and post-program surveys and more!
  • The Parent binder contains lesson materials for each class, a Quick Guide to the American School System to help parents understand how schools work, typical school standards, important terms and concepts about graduation, typical university admission requirements and much more. It includes a personal Academic Success Plan to identify actions parents will take to ensure their child’s academic success. Choose to conduct the classes with only a few handouts, give parents a full printed set or allow parents access to the dedicated website to print their own sets.

A Dedicated RAD Program website.
For Program Directors and Class Facilitators containing all reproducible materials, supplemental publications for parents, PowerPoint® slides, pre- and post-program survey forms, access to email and telephone support and more.

Electronic “Family Engagement Library”
Includes 32 of our electronic publications that you can post on your website to reinforce the important messages from each class! The Library includes these titles plus 25 more: 25 Ways Parents Can Help Children Learn, Instilling the Desire for Success in Your Child, Expect the Best From Your Child … And Get It!, Communicating Expectations, How to Work With Your Child’s Teacher, Building Homework Skills, and The School-Parent Team. See what it looks like!

Pre- and post-surveys to evaluate your results
Measure the success of your program in three critical areas: parent behaviors, beliefs, and knowledge. Simple instructions are provided for the Class Facilitator while administering the survey to ensure you get the most useable data.

Yearly Copyright and Reproduction License & Customer Support
This program is the most versatile and comprehensive, ready-to-implement research-based parent engagement program available. Programs of this caliber normally cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop. Now, it can be yours at a tiny fraction of the cost. Not only will you get the curriculum but all of the organizational and publicity components, a renewable year-long license to conduct the program and reproduce the materials, plus free email support and telephone consultation.

Research proves that it is never too late
to help parents or their children!
The RAD program was developed, and is working, in actual schools and districts. Now your parents can learn the vital lessons they need to help their children succeed and pursue the American dream that includes high school graduation and higher education. Your school/district can be on the path to increasing test scores, having higher-achieving students and boosting AYP in critical subgroups.



*The RAD Program is based on the Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler Model of Parent Involvement. The Model was developed through more than 20 years of research at Vanderbilt University about what it takes to get parents involved and what kinds of things they should do to help their children succeed academically. The Parent Institute took this research model of encouragement, modeling, reinforcement and instruction and developed it into a user-friendly curriculum for all parents aimed at improving student achievement. For more information about H-D & S model, or to read their research papers, go to


For assistance with your order, please call The Parent Institute at 1-800-756-5525 and read them your session ID: W36724