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LSNA & SWOP Statewide Program Kick-off on Thursday, January 17 at 9:30 am

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For more information, contact:

Joanna Brown,

Nationally Recognized Parent Engagement Program Expands Statewide

“Parent Mentors” grows from Logan Square to 13 communities, Aurora, Moline, Niles

  • WHAT:  The renowned Logan Square Neighborhood Association “Parent Mentor” program, highlighted in the Today Show “Education Nation” program and subject of three books, is expanding across Illinois.  With a grant of $1 million from the Illinois State Board of Education the Parent Mentor program will expand to 44 schools in 13 communities across Illinois, including Chicago, Aurora, Moline, Niles, Bolingbrook, and Bridgeview. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) administers the expanded program.

Through the Parent Mentor program, parents, primarily low-income mothers, are trained and placed in public school classrooms to work with students four days a week, and come together one morning a week for professional development.  This Parent Mentor model has improved student test scores and built strong relationships among parents and staff while empowering parents to become strong leaders in their community.

Schools with Parent Mentor programs on the LSNA model have solved the much-discussed problem of low parent engagement in low-income schools.

The Parent Mentor Program was developed by Logan Square Neighborhood Association in 1995 and was adopted by South West Organizing Project in 2005.   LSNA and SWOP now run the program in 19 of their neighborhood schools.  The two organizations recently joined forces as the Parent Engagement Institute to help other community groups replicate the program's success.  

  • WHO:   Participating in the Kick-Off celebration will be the 40 new organizers and parent coordinators hired by 13 community organizations to implement the program in 44 low-income schools, representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education, principals, community organizations and staff from the Parent Engagement Institute.  Representing ISBE will be ISBE Board member Vinnie Hall and Reyna Hernandez, ISBE Assistant Superintendent for Early Childhood and English Language Learners.  
  • WHEN:    Statewide Program Kick-off on Thursday, January 17 at 9:30 am                   
  • WHERE:    Arturo Velasquez Institute at 2800 South Western Avenue, Chicago 

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit


    News! The LSNA Parent Mentor Program is featured on NBC's Education Nation. 
    For a press release, click HERE.
    For LSNA Case Study Video, click HERE.
    For LSNA Stakeholder Video Interviews, click HERE.
    For Case Study Pdf, download (PDF)HERE

LSNA & SWOP Statewide Program Kick-off on Thursday, January 17 at 9:30 am

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 South Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608

Keywords: LSNA, parent engagement, parent mentor, Parent mentor program