Logan Square Community Heroes Honored

On March 26th and 27th 1000 people from all over the country came together at the LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Getting It Done: New Tools for Communities conference. This was an exciting opportunity for Chicago’s communities to showcase the innovative projects and initiatives that are changing the way community development is done nationwide. 

LSNA with the Southwest Organizing Project presented at a workshop on the topic of Community Engagement and Organizing. Shirley Reyes, Parent Mentor Coordinator at Mozart Elementary School, joined NCP Director Susan Adler Yanun to co-facilitate this workshop. 
 Logan Square was also a tour location where 80 people came to McAuliffe Elementary School to learn about LSNA’s work with schools. One tour participant from Bloomington, IN commented, “Wow!  I am a little ashamed to admit my bias, but you all blew my stereotype of an urban school right out of the water! Parents, teachers and students are engaged and working together to help kids in ordinary and extraordinary ways.”

Another important component of the conference was to honor Community Heroes from each of the NCP communities. In Logan Square, David Pino, principal of McAuliffe Elementary School, and Mayra Casasola, president of the Lorington Tenants Association, were honored with this award. 

David Pino, Principal of McAuliffe Elementary School and Community Hero

David Pino was chosen because he has gone above and beyond to incorporate non-traditional programs into McAuliffe that holistically address the needs of the community’s children, such as the LSNA Parent Mentor and Parent Tutor programs. The school has also partnered with the Healthy Eating by Design and Active Living by Design programs to promote nutrition education and physical activity in addition to allowing the school to stay open in the evenings as a community learning center. 

Mayra Casasola, President of the Lorington Tenants Association and Community Hero

Mayra Casasola is a community hero because she helped form and successfully led the Lorington Tenants Association in their fight to save their homes from being converted into condos, preserving affordable rentals apartments in Logan Square.  David Pino and Mayra Casasola are true community heroes whose hard work and dedication are invaluable assets to improving and strengthening the quality-of-life of Logan Square families.