Start young, get parents involved

We support Chicago Public Schools’ call for parental involvement in education in its five-year action plan [“Byrd-Bennett wants to get CPS students prepared for college,” June 10].

We know from more than a century of work in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods that parental involvement is an integral part of the student success equation.
What Chicago Commons’ parents may lack in resources, they make up for in will and commitment: 100 percent of our early education parents participate in twice-a-year home visits designed to ensure that learning continues at home and complements school-based teaching. Another key driver is monthly parent committee meetings run by the parents themselves.
When parents have a voice and are empowered to use it, children’s lives are transformed.
Our children heading to kindergarten in the fall demonstrate that success is possible: 91 percent exceeded readiness in literacy; 90 percent exceeded readiness in social, emotional and gross motor skills; 89 percent exceeded readiness in the language and cognitive domains; and 81 percent exceeded readiness in math.
When we create a support system committed to education at every touchpoint in a child’s life, students succeed, and so do our communities and our city.
Betsy Altman,
Interim Executive Director, Chicago Commons