Key Points

· The Family Leadership Initiative (FLI), part of the larger Gatherings of Hope Initiative, was a collaboratively designed program to strengthen families and improve children’s education in Grand Rapids, Mich.

· FLI was launched in 2011 with two cohorts of 20 congregations who took part in a six-step design process.

· Programs were implemented in fall 2011. The program entailed holding monthly meetings for parents and children that included bonding time, parent education and homework support for students, and time for ministry.

· The initial evaluation shows high levels of satisfaction, with students reporting some academic improvements.

· For the congregations, FLI provided a rare opportunity to collaborate with each other.

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