FAST Program (Families & Schools TOGETHER)

FAST Program (Families & Schools TOGETHER)

Doria Mitchell, Director, Early Literacy
Juanita Romu, Program Coordinator

 Families and Schools Together  (FAST®)


To build a strong bridge between home and school Kindergarten and First Grade families should take advantage of the exciting Families and Schools Together (FAST) program! Twenty-five years of research shows FAST makes a huge difference in the lives of families and students.

The FAST program provides a variety of services, including: fun activities for children, free meals with family and school friends, a place where parents can spend time with their children, network with other adults, and much more! 

FAST is a free 8-week program for family members and their children that gathers one day per week for 2½ hours at their child’s school.  

To get more information about FAST and to register for the program, please click here.

Investing in Family Engagement


Building Capacity and Scaling Up in an Urban Environment

With financial support from the U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund (I3), the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will undertake a 5-year research project to study the impact of FAST and FASTWORKS in the School District of Philadelphia. This project has three aims:

  • Test school-wide FAST and FASTWORKS in an urban setting to change school climate, encourage social inclusion, empower parents, and achieve school turnaround
  • Build capacity for FAST trainers
  • Scale up FAST nationally with dissemination

FAST Group Program Picture

The Office of Early Childhood hosted a presentation by Dr. Lynn McDonald (seated center) on its newest Investing in Family Engagement Project.   The presentation was held for district staff members on July 25, 2013. Dr. McDonald, founder of Families and Schools Together (FAST), provided an overview of FAST and how it will be implemented in the Investing in Family Engagement Project. The program will be offered to kindergarten children and their families.

District representatives that attended were from the offices of School Reform, Research and Evaluation, Early Childhood Education, and Multilingual Curriculum and Programs. In addition, there was a Rutgers University representative from the School of Social Work.  Our partners on this project from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Turning Points for Children and FAST also attended the informative session. 

Attendees had the opportunity to meet FAST trainers from England, as well as parent graduates who shared their stories. We were also honored to have Commissioner Sylvia Simms join us and share her excitement about the program. 

The closing presentation took place following a two-week training at the School District of Philadelphia Education Center. The conference trained 30 schools and 345 parents, teachers and community partners that will participate in the Investing in Family Engagement Project this fall.