Monday, March 19, 2012

Parent Involvement in School Reform event - March 22, 4:30pm

I am passing on information about an event happening this Thursday afternoon that will be of interest to those of us eager to know more about the impact of parent/community organizing on school improvement efforts. Sadly, due to a conflict with work and MLK Elementary's PTO meeting that evening, I can't make it to this. I hope some of you can!

Click on the flier to the right and/or read on for more:

Superintendent Susan Lusi and the Providence Public Schools invite you to join in a conversation with nationally recognized parent organizers Joanna Brown, Leticia Barrera, and Christina Torres from Chicago’s Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

Date: March 22, 2012

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: Providence Family Resource Center 379 Washington Street, Providence
For more information and to RSVP, please contact Janet Pichardo at or (401) 456-0686.

Light refreshments, Spanish translation, and children’s activities for ages 5-12 will be provided. Traducción a Español, refrescos y actividades para niños de 5-12 estarán disponible.

The Logan Square Neighborhood Association, which turns 50 this year, serves the 80,000 population of its Northwest Chicago neighborhood. In the past 15 years LSNA has built a national reputation by transforming schools into 'community schools' with deep parent engagement fostered through its Community Learning Centers and Parent Mentor programs. LSNA's members consist of 44 neighborhood organizations, including 10 public schools with over 7,000 students, most of them from low-income Latino immigrant families. The Parent Mentor program was the subject of A Cord of Three Strands: A New Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools (pub. 2011), by Prof. Soo Hong of Wellesley. LSNA also has a Grow Your Own Teacher program which has expanded into a statewide program with 16 sites around Illinois.

Leticia Barrera, LSNA Education Organizer, began at LSNA as a Parent Mentor in 1997 and is now a Lead Parent Trainer. Since 2000, she has been on full-time staff at LSNA, mentoring at least 600 parents and building relationships with school staff. Formerly a teacher in Mexico, she is studying to receive her teaching credentials in Chicago through LSNA’s Grow Your Own project. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is part of the new Parent Engagement Institute which is developing new parent mentor programs in 13 new schools outside the Logan Square neighborhood.

Joanna Brown is Lead Education Organizer at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago, where she has worked since 1993. She has 30 years of experience in community organizing, community journalism and public relations; urban affairs and politics. She was professionally and personally involved in Chicago’s first school reform elections, serving two terms (1989-93) as a Local School Council member. Her two children attended Inter-American, a Chicago public dual-language elementary school.

Christina Torres is a parent activist with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and a trainer with LSNA's new Parent Engagement Institute. Christina began her involvement in the Logan Square community as a Parent Mentor in her children’s school. She is a leader in her children's school and in Chicago school reform campaigns.

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