Families and Schools Together
The Springfield community has a demonstrated need for the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program.
FAST is a school-based, collaborative, family-focused program designed to increase the self-esteem and improve the school performance of at-risk elementary school children by supporting the natural strength of the family unit. This innovative, proven program involves parents in circles of support so they can more easily help their children succeed. The target population includes children ages four to nine that exhibit multiple behavior problems in school. The program builds up protective factors against school failure, violence, delinquency, and substance abuse. FAST program goals include teaching good parenting skills, reinforcing the value of a social support system to combat social isolation that is often a link to breakdowns in parenting, and reinforcing the connection between the child’s parent and school.
Whole families participate. Families join together for eight weekly sessions of carefully orchestrated fun, research based activities. Following these sessions, they participate for two years in monthly family self-help support meetings called FASTWorks. All Springfield City Schools elementary students and their families are eligible to participate.
FAST is a nationally research-based and replicated program that Family Service Agency has been conducting in Clark County since 1999. A major strength of FAST is its strong commitment to program effectiveness. Every activity of the program has been built on a body of highly respected research, and this program is now widely replicated in school districts throughout the United States. FAST leads to improvements in children’s behaviors and family relations and decreased social isolation. Of the families served in Clark County, 76% achieved their goals.