Envision Community Services was awarded a grant to conduct a Parent Mentors Program (PMP) through the Parent Engagement Institute (Southwest Organizing Project and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association). ECS’ Parent Mentor Organizer, Juana Medina, has recruited and trained 4 parent volunteers to assist teachers in their classrooms for four hours a day at Dore Elementary, providing teachers and students alike with much-needed support. A prominent focus of the Parent Mentors program is the professional development of parents and assisting them to pursue their dreams. This goal strongly aligns with ECS’ guiding principles; considering the economic impact of the current pandemic and subsequent widespread unemployment, ECS seeks to assist parents who may be interested in pursuing a career in education, may have limited work experience or employable skills, have goals to re-enter the workforce, or want to become more civically engaged and involved in their communities to enhance their professional skills and secure positive outcomes following the program’s conclusion.
A curriculum has been developed for weekly workshops and seminars focusing on professional development, as well as providing space for wellness-centered activities such as yoga for the parents.