Families and Schools Together Work for Children

What is F.A.S.T.?

NJEA’s Families and Schools Together Work for Children (FAST) program works to encourage families to be involved in their children’s education, to enhance their academic progress, and to feel welcome in public schools. FAST is a coalition of education advocates, community groups, and schools working together to foster family involvement.

F.A.S.T. Program Activities

  • Partnerships, discussions, and programs focusing on family involvement.
  • Support for legislation that would allow parents to take time away from work, without loss of pay, to address children’s needs at school.
  • Family involvement workshops through which parents and caregivers learn more about helping children succeed in school. These events include activities for children so that families can attend them together.
  • Visits by school employees to participating places of worship and other community meeting places to invite and encourage parents and caregivers to participate in teacher conferences and school activities.
  • FAST is a jointly sponsored effort of the New Jersey Education Association, its local affiliates, the Statewide Parents Advocacy Network, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, with additional program support from the NAACP Statewide Education Committee.

To find out how your district can participate, contact Mike Rollins at (609) 599-4561 ext. 2368 or email him below.

F.A.S.T. Events

To qualify for FAST funding, events must have a purposeful and learning component or activity for students and their families. Association members must participate and engage parents, community organizations and partners. FAST events should be welcoming, purposeful, and sustainable. FAST events should be a part of a series of two or more events that share a common goal. The event description should align to the goals of the event and demonstrate progress from the first event to the last. A repetition of the same event does not meet the requirements of a series of two or more events as described above.

STEM Nights

A series of four events each one focusing on an element of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Healthy Families

A series of workshops/events focused on health eating, exercise, and mindfulness.

Zinn Education Project Curriculum

Explore teaching materials by theme. Once you have selected one, review the associated books, lessons and activities, all categorized in subgroups that you believe will best support the chosen theme AND resonate with children, their families and the community. Use the information in those subgroups to formulate individual sessions within your themed FAST initiative.

Theme: Disability

      • Subcategory/ lesson: A Disability History of the United States – a book covering the entirety of US history from pre-1492 to the present, this is the first book to place the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative.
      • Crip Camp – A film about a groundbreaking summer camp that galvanized a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.
      • Y.O. Disabled and Proud – a short film of youth at the 2010 Disabled and Proud Disability History Campaign Summit explain why they believe disability history should be taught in schools.
      • The Power of 504 – a documentary on the historic civil rights demonstration of people with disabilities in 1977.”

More F.A.S.T. Event Ideas

  • Homework Help

    Providing parents with strategies to support homework at home –Can send home a pencil case with supplies for homework at home.

  • Math Game Night

    Night of math games with parents and children to support math curriculum – Can send home a game such as dominos to support playing games at home.

  • Healthy Food for the Healthy Mind

    Ideas for easy, healthy and low cost snacks and meals – Can be hands on preparation or trying samples, can send home a lunch box or water bottle.

  • Bilingual Parent Meetings

    Host a meeting in languages spoken by parents in the community – Can send home materials in useful languages and contact for bi-lingual people in schools.

  • Mentoring Programs

    Working with a community partner organization to provide mentoring to students, setting up on going mentoring for students.


NJEA Center for Honesty in Education

NJEA’s Center for Honesty in Education aims to combat disinformation, regressive policies, and dangerous rhetoric in local school districts by giving our association leaders the tools necessary to forge constructive partnerships with parents and other community stakeholders, keep partisan politics out of our public schools and—above all—ensure that our members can continue to support our students rebound from the pandemic in a safe and inclusive learning environment.