Like everyone, the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly shifted my family’s world. My four children began learning from home, like all 340,000 students in Chicago’s public school system. My work as a parent liaison at DePriest Elementary, along with my children’s experiences, showed me firsthand that access to the internet — already a critical need before the pandemic — was compounded in communities like mine.
I shared these major concerns with Kids First Chicago (K1C), where I serve on the Parent Advisory Board.
The K1C team listened to me and hundreds of other Chicago Public Schools (CPS) parents, and then they rolled up their sleeves and got to work on finding a solution.
From appearing with my family in the Chicago Connected promotional video (which was retweeted by President Barack Obama!) to serving on Chicago Connected’s guiding team, I have been involved every step of the way. Together K1C, CPS, the City, parents like me, and many other public and private partners worked together to bring this groundbreaking initiative to life.
As parents, we know our children best and are best positioned to see what they need to succeed — especially in times of crisis.
The success of Chicago Connected, which is well on its way to providing 100,000 students with free internet access, is proof positive that parent voice is essential to ensuring that the district and the city serve our children equitably.
I’m glad to have a seat at the table as we work together to ensure that all kids have access to a high-quality education.
Austin Community Area Parent