PURPOSE AND STRUCTURE OF THIS BOOK We have written this book primarily to help preservice teachers and school personnel (e.g., teachers, administrators, and counselors) develop the necessary skills to involve families and communities as partners in K-12 education. The book is also appropriate for adding a service-learning component to a variety of professional studies courses and to service providers other than educators who need to learn about family involvement. A survey of training programs in eight related fields conducted by the Carolina Institute for Research on Infant Personnel Preparation found that programs in nutrition, psychology, special education, and speech-language pathology all needed additional course content in family involvement (Bailey, Simeonsson, Yoder, & Huntington, 1990). This list reasonably could be extended to include occupational and physical therapists and members of the social service professions. Winton and DiVenere (1995) suggest that most professionals in early intervention have received little training on how to collaborate with families. For this reason, references to teachers in this text include the broader professional audience. Each chapter addresses a significant characteristic of the contemporary family followed by anApplicationsection and aSupplemental Activitiessection designed to teach the dynamics of effective home-school partnerships. TheApplicationsection includes practicalstrategiesfor working with those families characterized in the chapter and acase studyanddiscussion guiderelated to the chapter's content. TheSupplemental Activitiessection includesschool-basedandcommunity-based field experiences, response journal prompts,androle playingandreflection exercises.The strategies, case studies, field experiences, and other activities are designed to encourage students to examine, reflect, and construct meaning about family structures, attitudes toward family involvement, the complexities associated with establishing effective home-school partnerships, and to learn about social service agencies that provide family support and resources. OVERVIEW OF THE CHAPTERS AND CASE STUDIES The themes in the text address the significant areas of change that are characteristic of the contemporary American family. Each chapter provides an overview of the key issues, rather than an in-depth treatment because the text is intended to complement the content of professional studies courses by adding a family involvement component without overburdening existing course curricula. These themes are developed in other sources in greater depth for those who desire more extensive information. Chapter 1 describes significant areas of change in the structure of contemporary American families, ethnic and cultural demographics, income levels, and families with children who have special needs. The case study at the end of Chapter 1, "Who's Responsible for Damien?", presents a situation in which a teacher and a single parent have difficulty communicating because of differing expectations for each other's roles and responsibilities. Chapter 2 focuses on the family's role in education and the impact of family involvement. The case study at the end of Chapter 2, "Can't Rules be Bent?", highlights how a single father's experience with poor school-to-home communication and an unbending school policy make it almost impossible for him to form any type of meaningful partnership with his son's school. Chapter 3 describes challenges to viable home-school partnerships with families of varying income levels. The case study at the end of Chapter 3, "Is Anyone Listening?", presents a young girl who feels isolated and different from her classmates because of her family's lower socioeconomic status. She is a target of ridicule from her peers because of her physical appearance and lack of resources. Chapter 4 aRonald E. Diss is the author of 'Developing Family and Community Involvement Skills Through Case Studies and Field Experiences', published 2004 under ISBN 9780130486226 and ISBN 0130486221.