A community group in northwest Chicago has turned hundreds of hesitant parents into capable classroom helpers, role models and leaders by tapping into strengths many don't realize they have.
Two current volunteers join Avondale-Logandale Principal Evelyn Roman and former mentor Tami Love in talking about how they first became involved in the program and what they’ve gotten out of the experience. For more information about the program, read the story.
“I wanted to become more involved. I wanted to volunteer … It’s been a fantastic experience for me.”
— Tami Love, former parent mentor at Funston Elementary
Love worked as a parent mentor in Chicago about two decades ago, when her twins were young. She recalls her hesitation before she got involved at her kids’ school.
“We’re all connected. We communicate all the time … we made friends.”
— Maria Tigu, parent mentor at Burbank Elementary School
Tigu, a mother of three from Romania, talks about the social connections she formed by getting involved at Burbank Elementary School in Chicago.
“I feel like I can make an impact in a positive way so these kids don’t get misled.”
— Pedro Rodriguez, parent mentor at Avondale-Logandale
Rodriguez, a parent mentor at Avondale-Logandale and the father of an eighth-grader at the school, talks about the message he hopes to communicate to students.
“(Parents) are fully trained. They’re more than capable of helping any teacher in any classroom at any grade level.”
— Evelyn Román, principal at Avondale-Logandale
Román, in her third year as principal, discusses the qualifications of parents in the school’s mentor program.