chapter  12
12 Pages

More than services: Community organising and community schools


On a typical weekday night, the Monroe Elementary School in Chicago’s Logan Square neighbourhood is a hive of activity.1 Parents, children and community residents fill the halls and classrooms. Some adults take Mexican folkloric dance classes while their children get help with their homework. Other adults are learning English or pursuing their General Education Development (GED). In one classroom, Chicago State University faculty teach a group of mostly Latina parents enrolled in a college degree programme that will lead to bi-lingual teaching certification. Upon graduation, the parents plan to take positions as teachers in schools such as Monroe in this neighbourhood. In another room, a small group of teachers and ‘parent mentors’ plan literacy-oriented home visits that they will conduct together at the homes of other families.