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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives congratulate the 420 dedicated and
4path-breaking parent mentors for their daily commitment to
5working with early childhood students; and
6    WHEREAS, Decades of research confirms when families are
7involved in their children's education, children perform
8better in school, attend school more regularly, complete more
9homework, demonstrate more positive attitudes and behaviors,
10graduate from high school at higher rates, and are more likely
11to enroll in higher education; and
12    WHEREAS, Illinois is proud to be home to the nation's
13leading model for parent engagement-the Parent Mentor Program;
15    WHEREAS, In only 6 months, through an Illinois State Board
16of Education grant to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
17Refugee Rights, the Parent Mentor Program has expanded
18successfully to 13 communities throughout Illinois - Aurora,
19Bolingbrook, Chicago Ridge, East Moline, Moline, Skokie, and 8
20communities throughout Chicago; and
21    WHEREAS, Strong partnerships have been formed between



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1local schools and the following community organizations: Arab
2American Family Services, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council,
3Casa Guanajuato, Developing Communities Project, Enlace
4Chicago, Family Focus Aurora, Logan Square Neighborhood
5Association, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Niles Township ELL
6Parent Center and Open Communities, Northwest Side Housing
7Center, Southwest Organizing Project, Southwest Suburban
8Immigrant Project, and The Resurrection Project; and
9    WHEREAS, These community organizations have recruited and
10trained over 420 parent mentors, mostly immigrant and African
11American women, to work directly with students in the classroom
12for 2 hours per day every day; and
13    WHEREAS, The dedication of parent mentors has cut the
14adult-student ratio in half and increased individual attention
15to more than 10,000 low-income early childhood students every
16day, particularly in Illinois' growing student body of English
17language learners; and
18    WHEREAS, Over 420 teachers in high-needs positions benefit
19working side-by-side with a parent mentor on a daily basis and
20benefit a deepened understanding of the community in which they
21teach; and
22    WHEREAS, 44 school administrators from across the State



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1have testified that the Parent Mentor Program has become so
2integral to their schools that their "teachers can no longer
3imagine their classrooms without their parent mentors"; and
4    WHEREAS, The Parent Mentor Program has an 18 year track
5record of improving test scores and increasing high school
6graduation rates based on the model programs of Logan Square
7Neighborhood Association and Southwest Organizing Project; and
8    WHEREAS, The Parent Mentor Program is a leading immigrant
9integration and women's leadership model, offering a ladder of
10opportunity and opening doors for parents-mostly immigrant and
11African American women-into education, careers, and public
12life; thus changing their own family's whole trajectory; and
13    WHEREAS, The Parent Mentor Program offers parents not only
14an opportunity to volunteer or attend a workshop, but to
15develop as leaders to transform their lives, schools, and
16communities; and
17    WHEREAS, The Parent Mentor Program is a cost-effective
18program, costing approximately $200 per early childhood
19student; and
20    WHEREAS, Communities downstate and throughout northern
21Illinois are eager to bring the Parent Mentor Program to their



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1schools; therefore, be it
4we express our support for appropriating the Parent Mentor
5Program for Early Childhood Education at $3.5 million through
6an Illinois State Board of Education grant to the Illinois
7Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; and be it further
8    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
9presented to the Illinois State Board of Education and the
10Parent Mentor Program.