When parents carve out time to support their schools, great things can happen. BAPA and the Southwest Organizing Project have brought a pilot Parent-Mentor Program to Barnard Math and Science Center, 10354 S. Charles Ave., in an effort to bolster family-school partnerships. Volunteers — called parent mentors — are trained in academic instruction, professional development, community engagement and leadership skills. They help teachers in the preschool and primary grades during the school day, working with individual students or small groups.
Offering a second pair of hands in the classroom, the volunteers free up the teacher to support other students. The nationally recognized model helps schools foster young students’ social and academic growth. It has a decades-long record of helping schools achieve higher test scores and graduation rates. By 2015, the program was working in 47 neighborhood Chicago Public Schools and 23 Illinois schools, and now it happily has come to East Beverly.