Beyond the Bake Sale

The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships

A practical, hands-on primer on helping schools and families work better together to improve children’s education

Countless studies demonstrate that students with parents actively involved in their education at home and school are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, enroll in higher-level programs, graduate from high school, and go on to postsecondary education. Beyond the Bake Sale shows how to form these essential partnerships and how to make them work.

Packed with tips from principals and teachers, checklists, and an invaluable resource section, Beyond the Bake Sale reveals how to build strong collaborative relationships and offers practical advice for improving interactions between parents and teachers, from insuring that PTA groups are constructive and inclusive to navigating the complex issues surrounding diversity in the classroom.

Written with candor, clarity, and humor, Beyond the Bake Sale is essential reading for teachers, parents on the front lines in public schools, and administrators and policy makers at all levels.


Beyond the Bake Sale provides compelling, practical ways to collaborate in building the partnerships necessary to create a culture of learning and achievement. It will become the seminal reference for school districts and schools that are serious about family and community engagement.”
—Thomas W. Payzant, Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“This outstanding resource recognizes and builds upon assets that parents and communities bring in creating partnerships for children’s school success—rich in examples that help schools acknowledge the cultural strengths of families, and their important contribution to teaching and learning.”
—Dr. Rosana G. Rodriguez, director of community and public engagement, Intercultural Development Research Association
Beyond the Bake Sale emphatically reminds us that the missing ingredient in closing the gaps in achievement is heaping measures of community and family involvement. In this one-of-a-kind book, even the most savvy experts will find novel advice and useful tools, surveys, sample school policies, checklists, and strategies.”
—Wendy D. Puriefoy, president, Public Education Network

News and Reviews

Education Week

Q&A with authors Anne T. Henderson and Karen L. Mapp on building the parent-teacher relationship