Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Aaron Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Students not having the positive opportunities of an education, often experience negative effects throughout their lives. Educators need to do more to meet the needs of elementary students at risk, and if this can be accomplished the students will receive a 21st Century education that will help students with a global education, which is necessary to their quality of life now and in the future. This is an effort to better understand the interactions family resource centers use to intervene, helping families of students at risk, become involved in schools, and establish a framework that offers a more focused lens through which to view the interventions.

Examining what it means to be at risk may help educational stakeholders understand interventions used by family resource centers to help families of students at risk in rural Kentucky which are not achieving high levels of educational attainment to become involved in their child's school(s). The researcher examines issues that cause family resource centers to intervene in the lives of families with students who are at risk. The study is qualitative in nature and is based upon data from surveys completed by family resource coordinators, teachers, and administrators of currently enrolled elementary school aged children. In addition, data was obtained from family resource center grants, which assessed family involvement in their children at risk education.

NCLB mandates every child reach grade level status on specific subject areas by 2014. Family resource centers are providing interventions for families of students at risk and trying to get parents actively involved in the education of their children. The family resource center is one of the most useful forms of intervention to gain parent involvement and can enhance schools' parent involvement programs. When developing parent involvement policies, schools, districts and other policy makers should be aware of the different forms of involvement. The family resource center is active in the community network that shares concern and support for individuals at-risk. Family resource centers are hubs of information for the schools and are committed to finding resources for each need of the students and their families.