Turning the Page (TTP) has been engaging public school families to become more active participants in their children’s education in Chicago’s North Lawndale community since 2014. Located in Nichols Towers on the Homan Square campus TTP has served more than 1,500 North Lawndale families.
TPP programs include Community Nights, Author Visits, Summer Learning Trips, and First and Forever Meetings. During Community Nights parents and families gather to participate in workshops, share a free meal, and get sent home with free books for their personal libraries. Author Visits and Summer Learning Trips connect families with professionals in their community to share their work in literacy, art, STEM, and education. Parents then have access to one-on-one meetings with TTP staff to discuss strategies learned in group activities and to address their family’s individual needs.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TTP has pivoted our programs into online formats. Recently, renowned children’s book author and illustrator duo Candace Fleming and Eric Rohman began a series of workshops with our families. In these virtual meetings, Candace and Eric talk with parents and children about what goes into creating a children’s book and they lead participants through exercises so they can create their own. Summer Learning Trips also transitioned online, broadening the scope of where our families can “travel.” A highlight of this summer’s program was a behind the scenes tour of the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. Most importantly, TTP has made our staff and our educational resources available online through Mobile Meetings and the launch of our Digital Hub. Both of these programs ensure that parents are able to connect with TTP staff members and other parents wherever and whenever they need. TTP also adjusted our book distribution program to comply with social distancing guidelines, while still ensuring that families can grow their home libraries with age-appropriate books.
Funded by Chicago, IL (December 2020)