About Us


The Cranston Family Center and COZ has been  supported by the Cranston Public Schools for over 20 years. There are ten Child Opportunity Zone in the state. The COZ  is Rhode Island’s community school initiative,and was instrumental in the inception of the Rhode Island Partnership for Community Schools.


The current Family Center is the outgrowth of the COZ model and its mission has also evolved to reflect the infusion of Title I funds.  The Family Center is charged with the responsibility of insuring compliance for the Title I parent engagement requirements. While the Family Center has always promoted family engagement, our role was expanded to provide support to all the Title I schools in this area. The mission of the Cranston Family Center is to link families to the schools and learning to promote student success. The Family Center works with  families to remove obstacles that inhibit their ability to actively participate in their child’s education. To accomplish this, the Family Center employs a four tiered system.

Tier 1: Family Support and Strengthening

In Tier 1.Families are linked to programs and services to help meet their needs. The Family Center sponsors food and gift drives to assist families in need especially during the holidays. Assistance is provided through fund raising and solicitation of donations from community partners

Tier 2: Family Engagement

Tier 2’s strategy welcomes families into the schools. Traditionally, families are invited into schools for Open Houses and report nights. The Family Center contacts each family at least twelve times a year to invite to school and Family Center programs. For parents who do not see their role as being actively involved in their child’s education, the invitation to become involved is paramount. Outreach is critical to engage families in school. Family Center staff contacts families by phone, invitation, in person and via email.  Our web page creates a parent friendly resource page with links to additional websites; we monitor the number of visits to the site. This work is continuous and fundamental to building parent engagement. Families are invited to participate in Topic specific workshops with the their school Principal, family events and fairs. Training in MegaSkills is provided by the Family Center in conjunction with our community partner RIPIN. Family literacy opportunities are offered by the Cranston Public library and Cranston School librarians and facilitated by the Family Center. Each program offered is designed to build the parents level of confidence and self worth. We provide parent incentives at many of our programs . The Family Center is able to distribute books at each of its programs to build home libraries through the partnership with First Book.

Tier 3: Family Partnership

Tier 3 is moving families into becoming partners with the schools in educating their child. Family Center programming is intentional in its design to provide families with the opportunity to gain confidence in their ability to positively influence their child’s education. Once this occurs parents can partner with their child’s teacher to support learning and positive educational outcomes. Families are invited to participate in the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) at their school which advises the School Improvement Team on matters of parent engagement including the Home-School Compact and the District’s and school’s Parent Engagement Polices. Each PIC is facilitated by a staff member from the Family Center. They are responsible to organize and recruit members, facilitate the meeting, and report the PIC’s findings to each school principal and Title I reading consultants.

Tier 4: Family Leadership

Tier 4, Family Leadership is the top level of the system and draw parents who are ready to take action and lead others. Parents participate in the Institute for Parent Leaders offered in partnership with Johnson & Wales University. Graduates of the Institute have gone on to be PTO leaders, Family Center Advisory Board members, and members of district wide committees such as, the Cranston Educational Advisory Board.

To support these systems, the Family Center receives funding from Title I, Child Opportunity Zone legislative grant from RI Department of Education, Passport to Safety grant from the RI Office of Highway Safety, fund raisers, donations and in kind contributions.


The Family Center will continue to implement The Finish Line initiative, a program that promotes academic success for all students. The initiative incorporates a three prong approach, home library building through the BOOKS FUELING FUTURES/First Book program, promoting daily attendance through parent education incorporating AttendanceWorks and the district Attendance Counts! Task Force out comes. and college/ career planning with College Crusade and Way to Go RI. We will offer home learning with QUICKITS, mini lessons for parents on curriculum topics to increase their understanding of what their child is learning and distribution of the Common Core Standards for each grade level.


The Home-School Connection program is offered in two Title I elementary schools and the Early Childhood Center. It provides targeted educational assistance to children in pre k. The “Early Learning Coach” worked with children and their families who could use extra help.  The job as the coach is to inform parents what the child is learning in the classroom, and how they can support their child’s learning at home. The coach observes the classroom two to three times a week observe lessons, help with journal writing and listen to them read.  Her presence in the classroom also built a connection with the child whose home she would visit. Watching the teacher connect with the students through song, games and books helped her to suggest activities for parents to do at home and build on what the child is learning in class.

The home visits are usually monthly but depending on the child more visits may be needed. Each visit is individualized, and is adapted to each child’s need and is planned after a meeting with the teacher.


The parent is engaged and participates in the activities planned.


If you are interested in this program, please call Jeannine Ambrosino at 270-8057.


To achieve the best results for families, staff has cultivated and continues to seek out new partnerships with likeminded organizations whose services and resources would benefit Cranston’s Title I students and their families. Our partners include:


Johnson & Wales University                                                   First Book

Cranston Public Library                                                           RI Fathers and Families Network

CCAP                                                                                           COZ Network

RIPIN                                                                                           Cranston Substance Abuse Task Force

Elizabeth Buffum Chase Center                                             RI Partnership for Community Schools

RI Office of Highway Safety                                                    RI Brain Injury Prevention Foundation

AAA                                                                                             University of Rhode Island

Cranston Rotary                                                                        TACO Manufacturing

Attendance Counts! Task Force                                             Cranston Community Learning Center

Cranston YMCA                                                                         Dorcas International /Institute of Rhode Island

Welcome RI                                                                                Head Start/Early Head Start

RI General Federation of Women’s Club                              Texas Road House, Garfield Avenue location

Cranston Community                                                               United Healthcare

Roger Williams Park Zoo                                                         Neighborhood Health Plan

Starr Birth                                                                                   Cranston Community Police

Center for Southeast Asians                                                   Parent Support Network

about us



Robin Gervais

co coordinator


Grace Swinski

co coordinator


Lisa Milson

Parent outreach



Cranston Family Center

50 Gladstone St.

Cranston RI 02920

Title 1

Cranston Public Schools receive supplementary federal funds for Title I Programs that are part of the “No Child Left Behind Act” 2001. They ensure “highly qualified” teachers for all students by requiring all teachers to be State Certified for the grade level and subjects in which the teacher is providing instruction.



Rhode Island Department of Human Services

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services is an organization of opportunity, working hand-in-hand with other resources in Rhode Island to offer a full continuum of services for families, adults, children, elders, individuals with disabilities and veterans.

Learn how they can help »

Rhode Island Department of Education

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) works towards preparing every Rhode Island student for success in college, careers, and life. They offer programs, initiatives, and resources to improve student achievement.

Learn how they can help »


Cranston Family Center
50 Gladstone St.
Cranston RI 02920

Website funded by R.I.Department of Highway Safety