AUSTIN, Texas, April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Dean Drako, LivingTree owner and executive chairman, announced today that he has funded the second Drako Community and Family Engagement Grant for Schools for up to $1M; individual schools and districts who are awarded the grants receive access to the private, secure LivingTree Engage and Give platforms at no cost for one year. Eligible schools include accredited private and public schools in the United States: elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

Schools Report Improved Family Engagement with Private Social Networks

A recent survey showed that only one in five schools reported having greater than 50% of families engaged. Districts cite using more than 12 methodologies to engage families and frustration with results. One hundred percent of districts using private social networks report improvement in family engagement. The top reasons for increased family engagement are based on student achievement and include: higher literacy rates, better attendance, higher test scores, and increased graduation rates in addition to a culture of partnership for educators and families alike.

“Our LivingTree platform continues to expand in scope and we are honored to be able to share our solutions and support with more administrators and districts,” said Dean Drako, grant benefactor and LivingTree Chairman. “This is our way of showing up for a community of committed educators and we could not be more proud to boost their efforts.”

$1,000,000 Drako Community and Family Engagement Grant for Schools – Details

Grant winners will receive a grant for one full year of funding for their custom LivingTree Engage and LivingTree Give platforms. The solution includes all engagement features, SIS integration, one-stop funding solution, transparent access, setup, training, upkeep, and support. LivingTree also provides marketing and awareness materials as well as best practices for using technology to engage families and community. LivingTree platforms are private and secure and offer weekly analytics at the class, campus, and district level.

The Drako Community and Family Engagement Grant for Schools is appealing to help schools use the best technology to consolidate and simplify engagement efforts. Research shows that engaged families can offset as much as $1000 in needed funding per year for each student. Further, some states require objective measures of family engagement while the national Every Student Succeeds Act mandates two way conversation in native language.

LivingTree is a hosted service and requires no additional technology at the school sites. LivingTree is COPPA compliant, FERPA compliant, and a Student Data Privacy Signatory. At the end of the 12 months, if the school chooses to continue using the LivingTree multifaceted platform, they would purchase the annual license and continue with uninterrupted service. The school / district also has the option to shut down their network, at no charge.

“We’re excited to continue working with districts around the country and providing the resources to help increase overall engagement and funding streams,” said Gary Hensley, CEO of LivingTree. “Last year’s Grant participation made it evident that we needed to double down and continue in year two. We look forward to all of the applications and most importantly, announcing the winners!”

Grant applications will be accepted starting April 4, 2018.  Application deadline is June 26, 2018. Grant winners will be selected based on the merits and timeliness of their application.

To learn more and apply for the grant, please visit

Case Studies on Family Engagement and LivingTree

Briargrove Elementary School: Houston, TX

Briargrove Elementary serves ~900 students in the Houston School District. Nearly half the school’s population is Latino and Asian-Pacific, and 23% of students are in ESL programs. Prior to LivingTree, the school relied heavily on room parents and the PTO to relay information and volunteer opportunities to parents. Despite the combined use of flyers, email blasts, and newsletters, parents felt uninformed. Results from a 2011-2012 survey showed parents felt excluded and disconnected from the school. As of Fall 2016, 100% of classrooms were engaged on LivingTree and fully 60% of network members were contributing content, commentary, or appreciation! Briargrove has successfully resolved the disconnect parents originally felt with the school.

Briargrove’s Principal, Eden Hinds, shares: “Using the LivingTree platform, our school  was able to build a much tighter community and meaningful engagement with our families. It has truly changed our level of transparency with parents and how we converse, share, and coordinate in the context of educating our children.”

For the full case study, please visit 100% Participation = Real Results.

About LivingTree
Founded in 2012, LivingTree’s mission is to connect the people who raise, develop, and educate our children. Through its communication and parent engagement platform LivingTree Connect, its fundraising platform LivingTree Give, and its teacher based messaging app LivingTree Messenger, LivingTree aims to serve and connect school communities. LivingTree has been recognized for its work by the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, as the 2016 Gold Community Involvement Program of the Year and 2016 Silver Smartphone App of the Year.

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Gabrielle Asadoor 

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SOURCE LivingTree