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History and Mission

Avondale Neighborhood Association

 Founded in 1962, LSNA initially explored ways to improve economic conditions in the Logan Square neighborhood. LSNA soon began to connect economic, political, social, cultural, and education programs into a broad strategy to positively impact the neighborhood. In the 1970s and 1980s, Logan Square became majority Latinx, with the local public schools 90% Latinx and 95% low-income. At the time, many perceived the schools as distant and unwelcoming. LSNA saw strong schools as fundamentally interconnected with community well-being and viewed them as a community resource (see: “A Match on Dry Grass,” by Mark Warren and Karen Mapp, 2011).

 LSNA worked closely with school leaders, including principals, to help transform schools as community centers, with deep parent involvement. “[LSNA] pioneered the development of full-service community schools, with after-school programming for kids, and educational programs (GED, ESL, citizenship classes) for parents and community members. The approach centers on promoting parent involvement” (see: In 1995, for example, LSNA founded the Parent Mentor Program to train largely low-income, immigrant parents as leaders in their local schools to provide tutoring and other support in the classroom. Over the years, LSNA has opened community learning centers, created workplace training programs, helped attract more affordable housing to their communities, fostered economic development, planted neighborhood gardens, and implemented a number of community safety programs.

LSNA is now a multi-issue community organization, directly serving more than 6,500 residents across the Logan Square, Hermosa, and Avondale neighborhoods of Chicago and impacting tens of thousands more through nationally-recognized issue campaigns and programs. LSNA today represents 38 member institutions, including churches, schools, block clubs, and social service agencies. Since 1994, LSNA's work has been directed by its Holistic Plan. This plan is revised each year by the community and currently contains five issue areas: housing, economic development, education, immigration, and wellness and recreation.

 In February 2010, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Resolution No. 925 to “honor Nancy Aardema, Executive Director of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) in Chicago, for her twenty years of service to LSNA.” 

 In 2010-2011, LSNA’s housing work generated coverage in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, La Raza, and on Chicago Public Radio.

 LSNA’s Active Living Logan Square Partnership was covered by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (December 2009). 

 In December 2009, Annenberg listed LSNA as one of 12 examples of “Communities Building Smart Education Systems.”

In October 2009, LSNA’s Monroe Community Learning Center won the Dimon Distinguished Community Schools Award.