Elgin Area School District U-46's parent leadership institutes will receive an excellence award Wednesday from Reflejos Publications, a media company serving the suburban Latino market for nearly 30 years.
The district's African American Parent Leadership Institute and Hispanic Parent Leadership Institute provide leadership training and guide parents to become more active participants in their child's education. More than 100 parents have graduated since the groups were established in 2010. Alumni include Veronica Noland, a U-46 school board member, and Corey Dixon, an Elgin City Council member.
Participants must attend 16 Saturday morning sessions over two school years and district meetings, and complete a family engagement project.
"The parents who commit to the parent leadership institutes become strong advocates for themselves, their children and other families and serve as a vital link between the district and the greater community," said Karla Jiménez, U-46 coordinator of family and community engagement who developed the program and has led classes since its inception. "Once they graduate, they are eager to help other parents become more involved in our schools and overcome similar challenges they once faced."
Reflejos' Reflecting Excellence ceremony is 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Stonegate Conference and Banquet Centre, 2401 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates. The program includes South Elgin High School junior Andrea Michel singing traditional Mexican songs, including "Cucurrucucú Paloma" and "La Malagueña."
Reflejos Bilingual Journal was founded in Elgin in 1990 as a community paper. In 2000, it became a subsidiary of Paddock Publications, which publishes the Daily Herald, and began expanding into Kane, McHenry, Northwest Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Will and Lake counties.