Parents & Community
UCSN charter schools are “lighthouses” of resources for parents and community residents.
The structure of each school is complemented with neighborhood action and community involvement to support each school’s efforts at community building. UNO Charter School Network draws upon its long-standing network of community relationships with local churches, schools, and other community-based organizations, and works to build new relationships through the efforts of each school’s Parent Outreach Coordinator. As a result, the organization creates a new and effective base for parents of students to work towards common goals of healthy neighborhoods and strong families.
UCSN provides various programs that directly benefit community residents at the grassroots level, including English as a Second Language classes for the Spanish speaking community, health education initiatives that offer workshops to parents and local residents on positive lifestyles and preventive measures to keep families healthy, after-school programming conducted at all UCSN campuses — which is being modified to provide opportunities for students to visit area high schools as well as colleges and universities around Chicago — and a Learn and Serve program promoting community service so that students have direct contact with local businesses, leaders, and community institutions in order to create and facilitate neighborhood-based projects. Also, all 8th grade students are required to complete a service learning commitment in order to graduate. Working with state and local government agencies as well as foundations, UCSN seeks to expand its existing programs and bring similar initiatives to community members in the areas surrounding each campus, and seeks support from local businesses to promote these opportunities for residents and parents.
UNO Charter School Network’s volunteer program builds a sense of community and involves individuals on a network-wide basis, further contributing to a community-based culture not only at individual schools, but also across all UCSN schools. It encompasses parent commitment in the classroom and administrative assistance in the main office, as well as at volunteer opportunities at after-school events and activities.
UCSN’s parent involvement program, which has existed for over a decade, supports a school-based community across our schools, in that participating individuals learn about up-to-date topics that are relevant in their own neighborhoods on a monthly basis. Opportunities for field trips and workshops as part of this program are continually offered at our campuses. UCSN has existing relationships with various cultural and educational institutions based on its outreach programs to students, parents and community residents, and many of them are interested in serving UCSN students and parents through field trips and wide-scale events.