Engaging Families for Student Success

A Day Just for Parents!

December 20, 2016


Chicago Parents and Turning the Page staff meet for our Winter Parent Leadership Conference in December.

While parents were at the conference, their children took a field trip to the Chicago History Museum.

Participants meet parents from other North Lawndale schools and built new relationships through the day. The conference focused on how effective communication can help parents lead. Parents learned how to best communicate their stories and ideas.

Ms. Andrea Shaw, a parent at LEARN Charter School, attended the conference.

“It was really enlightening, really good for self-image, Ms. Shaw said. “That day was our day as parents to think about things we don’t have time to reflect on.”


Ms. Andrea Shaw and her daughter Ajoyia

Parents started the day with an activity called “The River of Life”. Each parent pictured how their life would look as a river and drew it on a large piece of paper. They drew big choices as different streams and challenges as rapids or rocks along the way. Each parent had a unique past full of individual accomplishments and difficulties. Everyone presented their river and discussed how their past experiences shaped who they are.

“It helped me reflect on all the great things that are in my life, instead of just making a list of all the bad things,” Ms. Shaw said.

She mapped out the big events in her life and could better visualize all she’d accomplished.

Ms. Shaw thought “Oh wow, I’ve done all of this!”

Parents spent the rest of the day learning how effective storytelling and communication can help them motivate others and make positive change.

When asked what she would say to a parent thinking about attending the next leadership conference, Ms. Shaw said “I would tell them that it’s something they don’t want to miss. It will benefit them not only mentally but also emotionally. It gave me a new outlook on life.”

The next Chicago Parent Leadership Conference will be on Saturday, May 13th. For more information about the conference contact Turning the Page Chicago at 773-362-8598.