Frequently Asked Questions

FAST is an 8-week program that builds children’s confidence, gives family leaders new tools, and builds stronger bridges between home and school.

To empower each child to be successful at home, school, and in the community.

  • FAST will give you new, powerful ways to build up your child and support his/her learning.
  • You will have time to meet other parents and guardians. You will find new resources, ideas, and contacts.
  • Everyone gains.
  • All the activities are fun and nurturing.
  • You will share a free meal together.
  • Activities are set up in ways that remind children you are the family leader(s), even as you enjoy special time together.
  • Families like FAST. Once a family goes to FAST, over 80 percent graduate from the 8-week program. Many go on to FASTWORKS®.
  • By doing fun and rewarding activities with people from school, your child will become more comfortable and gain confidence to succeed.

FAST was developed 25 years ago by Dr. Lynn McDonald, who knew that the most important thing to children are the people closest to them. To increase the chances of each child succeeding, children need positive support in their family. FAST gives parents new tools for this to happen. Many research studies have shown that children who attend FAST make more positive choices and do better in school. Parents have also told stories of how FAST has changed their family life, their personal goals and career choices.

  • Meet and Greet
  • Free Meal (hosted by a family after the first night; funds are provided to host the meal through a “Lottery drawing”)
  • Fun, confidence-building activities
  • Parent Support Meeting (while children have kids’ time, including homework support)
  • One-to-One Quality Time
  • Lottery/Winning as a family (the winning basket includes family activities and games, plus money to supply one meal for your FAST community. In this way, everyone gives and receives and builds up the community.)

Yes. Out of School Time (OST) programs and the FAST program have a working agreement that children participating in OST can also attend FAST. It is a win-win for children to attend OST and FAST. This working agreement was clarified during Summer 2014.

Turning Points for Children, the nonprofit agency helping to lead FAST, 267.236.1540

The School District of Philadelphia, Office of Early Childhood Education
Juanita Rodrigues Romu, Program Coordinator,, 215.400.6716