For Parents & Families

North Lawndale Programs

Explore our programs in North Lawndale, Chicago.

Parent University—Chicago West

Parent University Chicago West is a dynamic program inspired by the successful Parent University model launched in Savannah, GA. Parent University is a community collaborative that supports families. This initiative encourages parent involvement and participation in the education of our community’s children and youth. Our mission is to enhance parent education and empowerment within North Lawndale, fostering a community where parents can thrive and reach their full potential.

Program Approach:

  • Empowering Workshops: Through the proven Parent University model, we organize workshops driven by parents, designed to elevate education and empowerment throughout North Lawndale.
  • Collaborative Support: Partnering with North Lawndale stakeholders, we guide parents in accessing vital services. We work closely with providers to connect parents to valuable resources and manage various aspects of child caregiving.
  • Personalized Case Management: Our program offers dedicated case management support, addressing individual parent needs identified during the initial needs assessment at the workshop onset.
  • Tailored One-on-One Meetings: Engage in personalized sessions with parents to overcome barriers identified through the needs assessment, ensuring targeted support and guidance.
  • Resource Connection: We facilitate connections to community resources, aligning with each family’s unique needs to enhance overall well-being.

Parent Testimonials:

“Being able to connect with parents from our community and feel safe with expressing things for our daily lives as well as our children’s.”

“Lots of community connection, opportunities to continue to work with the community.”

“The kindness of people in general.”

“Opportunities to network and meet with other organizations/ agencies.”

“The sense of community and the different classes offered. I loved the massage!”

North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration

North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration is dedicated to providing vital support for North Lawndale families with young children aged 0-8. The collaboration’s mission is to ensure seamless access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs and services. Since 2013, the collaboration has brought together community organizations across North Lawndale to advance the mission and promote a ‘no wrong door’ approach for families to access ECEC programs. Its overall goal is to increase North Lawndale families’ enrollment in ECEC programs by leveraging community partners that are invested in the success of ECEC and creating a pipeline of coordinated referrals.

The collaboration has taken on creating this pipeline by adopting the Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS), which is the coordinated referral system in North Lawndale that is spearheaded by the North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration led by IAFC. IRIS will enhance the collaboration work and will be the referral system used across collaboration partners to advance the mission of promoting a ‘no wrong door’ approach for families to access Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs. IRIS will help increase North Lawndale’s enrollment in ECEC programs and create a pipeline of coordinated referrals. This will create a collaborative environment among partners for the betterment of families and achieve the goal of tracking and increasing enrollment, all while aligning the work that is happening in North Lawndale and fostering stronger collaboration.

Program Highlights:

  • Monthly North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration Meetings: Connect with families, share valuable community resources, and highlight upcoming events.
  • Targeted Marketing: Elevate visibility for North Lawndale’s ECEC programs and services through strategic marketing efforts.
  • Coordinated ECE Referrals: The Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS) is North Lawndale’s referral system for Early Childhood Education and Care, promoting a ‘no wrong door’ approach among collaboration partners.
  • Quarterly Community Resource Days: A platform for all ECEC programs to showcase services and bolster program enrollment.
  • Parent Ambassadors: Engage and empower parent ambassadors to facilitate communication and share event information among fellow parents.