A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Last Revised: Oct 21, 2008 - Initial Posting: Sep 11, 2007

Tompkins Community Action created the Primary School Family Support Program to promote educational success for young children.


Tompkins Community Action (TCAction) established the Primary School Family Support Program (PSFSP) to increase children’s success in the early elementary grades.  PSFSP provides support to parents and children in grades K - 2.  PSFSP is part of TCAction’s Family Resources Department.

PSFSP Family Advocates work with individual families in three local school districts; as well as directly with teachers, school administrators, and other community agencies on behalf of the family to facilitate school success among enrolled children.  An Enrollment Form is completed to obtain basic information for each family and a Family Partnership Agreement is used to identify family strengths and interests and to develop family goals.

PSFSP provides support through:

  • Home visits to help parents with goal setting for themselves and their children
  • Advocacy in parent/teacher conferences
  • Assistance during Special Education meetings
  • Encouraging parents to participate in school activities
  • Classroom observation regarding performance and behavioral issues
  • Maintaining positive communication with the school system

PSFSP is an effective follow-through resource for children making the transition from TCAction’s Head Start program to kindergarten.  School officials and other community agencies also provide referrals to PSFSP.  The program is funded under the Community Optional Preventive Services (COPS) initiative through the New York State Department of Social Services, as well as funds from Tompkins County Youth Services.


PSFSP serves approximately 60 families and over 75 children annually that result in a range of positive outcomes.  Testimonials have included:

From Teachers

  • The family is now working with us and the child is thriving in school
  • Confidence levels with parents have improved and this in turn has led to academic progress
  • Helped me to reach families I hadn’t been able to connect with in other ways.

From Parents

  • Helped me get on track with not only my child but my whole family
  • Encouraged me to get my GED and driver’s license and helped me practice my interview skills
  • First person to tell me I’m a good parent

Lee Dillon, Executive Director