LSNA lead education organizer Joanna Brown estimates that more than 170 parent mentors and tutors, or parents who volunteer to help community children with school work and language difficulties, are working in the nine schools.
In the past seven years, the percentage of students in LSNA elementary schools scoring at or above national norms on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) has more than tripled from 20 to 70 percent.
Hong classifies the LSNA procedure for changing the nature of this relationship into three categories: induction, integration and investment.
Stephen Zrike, a former principal from the Boston Public Schools and now a chief area officer of the Chicago Public Schools, says he's never seen the kind of parent involvement that LSNA has made possible.
Zrike says that "taking it on the road," or getting teachers into the community, was a key to success in Boston and also in LSNA.
Parent support offered through LSNA also includes Friday professional development days conducted by coordinators at each school.
The Bilingual Education Program also believed in the organizing work of LSNA and the need to challenge the status quo in the Logan Square schools (Schultz, Gillette & Hill, 2008).
LSNA, CSU demonstrated a commitment to the vision that preparing community members to teach in the neighborhood schools was one way to work for change from within the schools and community.
By partnering with CSU, LSNA increased the social capital of the community members and expanded the breadth of their own network.
Although the relationship between LSNA and the Bilingual Education Program at CSU began with the initial conversations about the possibility of preparing community members to become teachers, the actual implementation of the grant started in August of 2000.
The recruitment of applicants and intake of their materials was initiated at LSNA and potential students received help from LSNA employees in obtaining foreign transcripts, translations of those transcripts and community college transcripts as necessary.
The initiatives of the LSNA
now include the Parent/Teacher Mentoring program, Schools as Community Centers, which helped Chicago receive a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, School-Community Partnerships and Links to Literacy/Family Reading and Math.