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Logan Square Parent Mentor Stories Project

KP Parent and Students

Kelvyn Park students interview Parent Mentor

During the first semester of the 2004-2005 school year, LSNA worked with the Social Justice Academy to develop the Logan Square Parent Mentor Stories Project, which provided a means for students to master narrative writing while conducting first hand research. Kelvyn Park students met regularly with LSNA Parent Mentors to take down their stories. Discussions between these freshmen students and neighborhood parents were exciting and moving. The resulting publication was researched, written, designed and assembled by the students in the Kelvyn Park Social Justice Academy. The purpose of the project was to create a publication of Parent Mentor stories that can be used in neighborhood schools and community spaces to promote literacy and serve as a catalyst for discussions about community issues.

There were multiple aspects of student learning in this project. First, students were able to demonstrate their mastery of the narrative writing and research skills they’d developed in their classroom work. In addition, the students learned from the process of interviewing and writing the inspiring life stories of adults in their community. Finally, the students learned the process and the skill of self-publication from idea to production to distribution.

The project benefitted the students not only as an educational enrichment opportunity, but also for the relationships they developed with adults in their community. Further, LSNA Parent Mentors received the validation of sharing their experiences, reflecting upon their work in the community, and serving as a role model for youth.

Cover of Parent Mentor Book

The primary showcase of the collaboration was in the publication itself, of which several hundred copies had been printed for distribution in the school, in neighboring schools, through LSNA and other community spaces. Also, parents and students planned a publication release party, where project participants met in a community space to share their stories through oral readings with families and other community members.