Home » Issues » Education » Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Parent and family empowerment set the stage for navigating systems and acquiring resources for cultivating a rich foundation for early learning experiences and school readiness.

The Forum is currently offering programming in the following areas:

Making Positive Connections That Will Last a Lifetime

Longstanding research finds that birth to age five are among the most important years in influencing a child’s foundation for learning. This workshop will focus on helping parents support their child's areas of development: cognitive, language, physical and social-emotional. Latino parents will be equipped to support their children and boost their school readiness by turning daily activities into learning experiences for their children.

Supporting Children’s Mental Health

Research strongly correlates economic adversity with student academic risk and social-emotional difficulties. A student’s basic needs and socio-emotional health must be fully supported if they are to learn. Given that ELs are likely to be low-income, considerations for supporting their emotional well-being are paramount. This virtual workshop will help parents identify stress factors unique to their experience and describe stress management skills, including those that can be used remotely and in-person. It will also help parents establish a daily routine to promote wellness at home to support their child’s learning. In addition, parents will be informed of mental health and community resources.

Housing Rights for Immigrant Tenants in Illinois

In this workshop, immigrant parents and families learn about their housing rights and protections as tenants in Illinois, regardless of immigration status, including but not limited to the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act (ITPA), access to translation/interpretation services, the eviction process, repair rights, and protections against discrimination as renters. 

The Current Immigration Context & How it Affects Immigrant Families in Illinois

Since the Biden administration has taken office, there have been several proposed legislative efforts and executive actions issued to undo the immigration obstacles created over the previous four years. In this workshop, immigrant parents and families will learn about current and proposed immigration federal laws and rules, as well as state laws, protections, and programs for immigrants. This presentation aims to provide families with accurate and timely information to ensure they are equipped to make informed decisions regarding their use of public programs and their well-being.

For more information on these workshops, contact Sarah Cartagena.


Workshops formerly offered by the Forum remain available upon special request:

Advocacy 101 training

The Advocacy 101 training is designed to provide an overview to staff of educational organizations and families on the importance of advocacy, particularly as it relates to engaging elected officials. This training provides an overview of the importance of advocacy, the budget and legislative process in the state of Illinois, and communication tools that can be utilized to build buy-in around particular issues in education.

Family well-being workshop

As changes to federal immigration regulations climbs to the forefront of the public eye, families affected by these changes are faced with the uncertainty of their status. This uncertainty has heightened the fear and stress experienced by families across the state.

The Forum offers a workshop to engage families and staff grappling with family well-being in the current socio-political climate. The workshop provides an overview of the changes to immigration regulations federally and in the state of Illinois, its implications on families across the state, and resources available to support families in distress.  These workshops are available in both Spanish and English.