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Parent Mentor Program

Listing Last Update: October 20, 2015

Primary Contact

Nancy Aardema

(773) 384-4370

Educational services

  • To read and write better
  • To help my child learn
  • To learn English
  • To improve my math skills
  • To improve my technology skills

Instruction Type

  • Classroom
  • Family literacy program

Program Overview

The Parent Mentor Program is a nationally recognized parent engagement model that builds deep and lasting relationships between students, teachers, and parents. HOW IT WORKS: Community organizations partner with schools to recruit approximately 10 parents per school to assist teachers two hours every day. Before entering the classroom, parent mentors participate in a weeklong leadership training. Parents are then assigned to a classroom (not their own child’s) where they are mentored by a teacher and work one-on-one and in small groups with children. After reaching 100 volunteer hours, parent mentors receive a stipend. PROVEN TRACK RECORD: Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) have 23 combined years of experience with parent mentors and run programs in 30 low-income neighborhood schools across Chicago. Together, LSNA and SWOP run the Parent Engagement Institute to guide new communities through the program. BENEFITS SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS IN EARLY GRADES: Parent mentors specifically address the needs of primary students, many of whom need extra support in grades pre-K-3 because they are gaining literacy in two languages. Regular school budgets do not adequately provide such support. MUCH-NEEDED SUPPORT FOR TEACHERS: Parent mentors provide extra eyes, ears, and hands in the classroom, and help connect teachers to the culture of the community. INTENSIVE PARENT TRAINING: Parent mentors gain an insider’s understanding of the school system and strengthen skills they need to support their children throughout school. In turn parent mentors become community resources and share these skills with neighbors. The program can also offer a pathway to bilingual teaching and other careers. STRONG RELATIONSHIPS FOR SCHOOL SUCCESS: Parents, teachers, and administrators form strong working relationships and collaborate to improve low-income schools. STRONG FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES: Schools draw on the strengths of families who otherwise might see the school as unfriendly. Schools become vibrant centers of community as families begin to use the school as a place to access adult education classes and multiple services.

Hours of operation: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Program Status: