At the 2020 Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and SWOP were honored for the Parent Engagement Institute and the work of parent mentors with the Woods Fund of Chicago Power of Community Award. In 2004, SWOP modeled the Parent Mentor Program after LSNA’s work. Then in 2012, we partnered together to create the Parent Engagement Institute which has led to more parent mentor programs across Illinois.
Thanks to the whole team of parent mentors, coordinators, and Logan Square Neighborhood Association for their work of building power among parents and students in our schools. There are too many people to count to thank — currently there are 1,120 parent mentors in 150 schools.
SWOP’s parent mentors have adapted the ways they lead during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parent mentors are calling parents from their schools to see how families are and what resources they need. Parent mentors have:
- delivered food
- helped parents navigate remote learning
- noticed and mitigated gaps in communication between schools and families around remote learning
- reminded families to fill out the census
- shared pantry locations
- researched needed information on immigration
- urged families to practice social distancing
- collaborated with parents on how to teach their kids about COVID-19
- addressed the lack of information in Spanish related to COVID-19, resources, and remote learning
- picked up and delivered homework and medications
- collaborated on where to find cleaning supplies
- supported people through filing for unemployment benefits, SNAP
- collaborated with families to get Chromebooks and Wi-Fi for students during remote learning
- given social emotional support as many people are anxious
Thank you parent mentors for your continued work of advocating, supporting, and caring for our communities.