Casa Guanajuato Parent Mentors

January  24, 2013

     A new program to connect parents with their children's schools begins next month in the Illinois Quad Cities. With money from the state, Casa Guanojuato in Moline is organizing the "Parent Mentor Program for Early Childhood Learning" based on an 18-year old program in Chicago.

     Bridget Murphy, from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago, says in 1995 the association began recruiting parent volunteers to act as classroom aides. They can give kids much-needed individual attention in low income and immigrant neighborhoods. Each day in the Logan Square neighborhood, 120 parents tutor children in the schools. And since the program began more than 15-hundred have participated.

     One of the people who'll help implement the program here is Stephanie Jordan, director of bi-lingual and E-S-L programs for the Moline and East Moline school districts. She says this is the kind of help schools desperately need. Jordan says the first parent mentors will begin working in two weeks - with eight each at Ericson Elementary School in Moline and Hilcrest Elementary in East Moline. And she hopes more volunteers and more schools will be added soon.