Melody Brazo is a former family liaison for student achievement for Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts and is currently an educational consultant.

Note: this commentary was originally published in 2005 by Harvard Family Research Project.

This case illustrates the pitfalls involved in seeing other people in terms of their deficits…

Mary Larner is an applied researcher and policy analyst concerned with children’s issues. As an editor of the Packard Foundation’s journal, The Future of Children, she crafted a 1999 issue called When School Is Out (the full text is available at She is currently living and working in Sweden.

Cathy Duffy, CEO of Girls Inc., New Hampshire

Note: this commentary was originally published in 2005 by Harvard Family Research Project.

Cindy’s mother and school staff both want a quality after school experience for Cindy — whether with her mother or in an after school program. My own experiences leading…

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Piecing it all Together

Marla was very excited. She had just this moment received a wonderful phone call at the photo-processing store. She had gotten the new job she had applied for: working at the cafeteria at the local hospital. She wanted this job because the hours were perfect, allowing…

Principal’s Perspective

Ed believed that if a student has a problem, you deal with it. Just this morning, for example, he had to cut short a fairly important telephone call to address an immediate concern in the building. Cindy had wandered out of her classroom again, and her teacher couldn’t…

School Counselor’s Perspective

Back at school, Shellie the school counselor had hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her door. The school administered a scholarship fund that allowed some students to attend summer camp, and paperwork deadlines were fast approaching for the camp season. …

Cindy’s Perspective

I Went to camp.
I Went on a horse
I like Horses.
My mom Love

- Cindy Potter (Willow School second grade portfolio)

Cindy went from a trot to a gallop around the parking lot, hugging the neck of her horse. Of course, it wasn’t a real…

Cindy’s Mother’s Perspective

As Marla worked her shift at the photo-processing store, she edged to the window from time to time to check on Cindy outside. Again, an after school family day care arrangement had collapsed, and Marla had had no choice but to bring Cindy along to work for…

Global Family Research Project

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