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The Welcoming Classroom
Building Strong Home-to-School Connections for Early Learning

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The Welcoming Classroom
Building Strong Home-to-School Connections for Early Learning



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The children in today's early childhood classroom are more culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse than ever. As a teacher, your challenge is to partner with each family through recognizing their individual strengths, concerns, priorities, and resources.

In The Welcoming Classroom: Building Strong Home-to-School Connections for Early Learning, Dr. Johnna Darragh Ernst offers practical ideas for creating a welcoming atmosphere for families that will encourage them to participate in their children's learning community.

  • Learn practical ways to connect with families from varied cultural and language backgrounds and abilities.
  • Gain new strategies for creating a home-school link to support learning.
  • Create a richer learning environment by integrating unique family cultural perspectives.
  • Learn ways to encourage family participation in decision making.
  • Learn strategies to develop families as resources.
  • Communicate the message that all families are valued members of the learning community.


From improving children's school readiness to encouraging positive engagement with peers, promoting student academic achievement, increasing graduation rates, and helping reduce the negative impact of poverty, the benefits of engaging families early will impact the young children in your care long after they leave your classroom!

Johnna Darragh Ernst, PhD

Johnna Darragh Ernst, PhD, is a distinguished professor of early childhood education at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois. She specializes in helping early childhood professionals connect with families to create...

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