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Schools organize professional development for parents

José Guerrero and Carlos Millán

José Guerrero and Carlos Millán present to parents in Chicago.

On Friday, October 19 the Pilsen Education Task Force (PETF) in Chicago held their 12th Annual Pilsen Education Summit, targeted for parents and educators in the Pilsen neighborhood. This year’s theme was social-emotional learning and family support to create awareness around mental health and prevention of and response to child abuse. The title of the summit was Safe & Sound Promoting Healthy Families: Safety & Self Advocacy.

The PETF is composed of area grammar school and high school administration, university representatives, parents, and other Pilsen organizations. The PETF works on issues that concern the community on all grade levels.

Carlos Millán, education coordinator at The Resurrection Project, and José Alfredo Guerrero, program coordinator of Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline (CTEP) and the National Center for Urban Education (NCUE), presented two workshops titled “Neuroscience: Building Safe Spaces for Learning” in Spanish for the community’s parents.

In the Spring of this year, Millán and Guerrero participated in a training session on neuroscience and mindset led by Stefanie Faye Frank that was largely focused on neuroplasticity and growth mindset. The Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline, along with their community-based organization partners, use what they learn from these trainings to lead professional development seminars for Chicago student teachers in the fall and spring.

According to the NCUE website, one of the pillars of the NCUE is reciprocity with school and community stakeholders that participate in the work of creating and fostering the growth and development of urban teachers. The summit, Millán feels, was a great opportunity for reciprocity with the community of Pilsen.

“Our parents are the biggest stakeholders of our schools and communities,” Millán said.

Millán and Guerrero presented to approximately seventy parents, mostly mothers, in the span of both sessions.

“It was an opportunity to educate parents about very important subjects and to learn how we can better help our kids learn,” said Guadalupe Carreon, parent mentor coordinator for Orozco Community Academy.

Parents in Pilsen community attend Education Summit

Other workshop topics offered to parents included growth mindset, self-care, understanding anger, and parent education about common reactions to stress and trauma.

The summit drew close to 180 parents from the community and they were met with opening remarks from Chicago Public School’s CEO Janice Jackson. Each parent had the ability to attend several workshops throughout the day.