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Donate to LSNA Annual Campaign

Dear LSNA Supporter ,                                                                                  

Often when I talk to new community members or friends about Logan Square Neighborhood Association, they envision a modest community organization with a small staff and a light footmark in the sands of change. When I tell them we have been around for more than 52 years, they may nod their heads, smile, and congratulate me on our longevity. If you have known us for a while, you might laugh at this paradigm. But it is an honest misconception that only shifts once real stories are shared about the people who make us an organization with an impressive imprint. People like Maria Alviso.

Fifteen years ago, Maria wanted to be more involved in her own kids’ education so she began working a few hours a week at their neighborhood school in an LSNA partner-program. Today, Maria walks the hallways as a first grade teacher at that same school - Logandale Elementary.

Through the Parents as Teachers First program, Maria got to know folks at LSNA who noticed a potential leader in the immigrant mom from Mexico.  “You could see in her a passion, an exuberance, and a deep desire to grow and develop,” recalls Susan Yanun, Maria’s first supervisor at LSNA.  “Maria has this fine blend of being extremely nurturing but also pretty demanding.  She sets high expectations, but then helps you meet them with warmth and care.”

These qualities served Maria well as she went on to run LSNA’s Parent Mentor Program at Monroe Elementary School and then the school-based Community Learning Center.  The Parent Mentor Program at Monroe flourished as parents went through basic leadership training and worked with children alongside teachers in the classrooms. The program at Monroe was featured in national education conferences and held up as a model on a morning television news show. Under Maria’s leadership, several parent mentors from Monroe became community leaders and achieved their personal goals. In fact, six current LSNA staff grew out of parent mentor cohorts at Monroe, having been encouraged and nurtured by Maria. 

LSNA recognized the great leadership assets of this working mom with four children and deep roots in CPS. Maria became an ideal candidate for our Grow Your Own Teachers Program, a partnership with Northeastern Illinois University that trains local, low-income, minority parents to become certified bilingual teachers. It wasn’t easy for Maria. Going to school part-time while working full-time at LSNA took her a little longer than traditional full-time students to finish her degree.  As an adult immigrant to the United States, completing courses and exams in English also posed a huge challenge for her until her academic English grew stronger. However, in July, Maria became a fully certified bilingual teacher.

Maria quickly had several job offers, but the most appealing invitation came from the school where it all began – Logandale Elementary School.  Principal Evelyn Roman, who is also an LSNA Board Member, remarks: “I hired Mrs. Maria Alviso because she has such a good rapport with parents and students and because she is another great product of LSNA’s Grow Your Own teacher program."

Maria continues to engrave meaningful paths in our local community by also guiding two parent mentors in her first grade classroom. “It has been so great to see how parents grow and transform through LSNA.  I always knew how empowering it is for the parent mentors, but now I know first-hand how empowering it is for the teachers, too!” Maria explains.  “I am so proud of what LSNA has accomplished. I was always a fan.  Now I’m more like a disciple!”

Can  I count on you to share Maria’s story, become a fan like her, and help LSNA to generate deep and lasting footprints in our society this year?

Here are just a few ways in which your tax-exempt donation can be used:

  • $500 pays for a parent mentor to receive training and provide a minimum 100 hours of assistance in the classroom;
  • $250 buys one "Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors" early childhood education session for 20 parents and children;
  • $100 pays for a CTA card or childcare for a Grow Your Own Teachers candidate to attend classes;
  • $50 helps an elementary school student receive after-school homework assistance and tutoring;
  • $25 covers refreshments and supplies for bi-monthly Café y Conversaciones with parents and teachers at our community schools;
  • And as always, your gift can assist us with vital unrestricted funds – funds that allow us to act when circumstances necessitate, ensuring that our programs continue to run successfully. 

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Nancy Aardema, Executive Director

You may donate online here or with cash or check made out to Logan Square Neighborhood Association and mail it or drop it off at 2840 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60618.    All donations are tax-deductible.