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Originally published Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM

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Education Lab video: Parents as mentors

A community group in northwest Chicago has turned hundreds of hesitant parents into capable classroom helpers, role models and leaders by tapping into strengths many don't realize they have.

Two current volunteers join Avondale-Logandale Principal Evelyn Roman and former mentor Tami Love in talking about how they first became involved in the program and what they've gotten out of the experience. For more information about the program, read the story.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

“I wanted to become more involved. I wanted to volunteer ... It's been a fantastic experience for me.”

— Tami Love, former parent mentor at Funston Elementary

Love worked as a parent mentor in Chicago about two decades ago, when her twins were young. She recalls her hesitation before she got involved at her kids' school.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

“We're all connected. We communicate all the time ... we made friends.”

— Maria Tigu, parent mentor at Burbank Elementary School

Tigu, a mother of three from Romania, talks about the social connections she formed by getting involved at Burbank Elementary School in Chicago.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

“I feel like I can make an impact in a positive way so these kids don't get misled.”

— Pedro Rodriguez, parent mentor at Avondale-Logandale

Rodriguez, a parent mentor at Avondale-Logandale and the father of an eighth-grader at the school, talks about the message he hopes to communicate to students.

This player was created in September 2012 to update the design of the embed player with chromeless buttons. It is used in all embedded video on The Seattle Times as well as outside sites.

“(Parents) are fully trained. They're more than capable of helping any teacher in any classroom at any grade level.”

— Evelyn Román, principal at Avondale-Logandale

Román, in her third year as principal, discusses the qualifications of parents in the school's mentor program.


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