Mckay Elementary School has been a SWOP member institution for over 10 years as a participant in the Parent Mentor Program. In early Spring of 2022, Chicago Connected Organizers Briana Washington and Imaltzin Astorga began rolling out digital literacy initiatives to the parent mentors at McKay, walking them the through Basic Computer Skills, Email, Microsoft suite and Internet Basics lessons. As of May 12th, 2023, the English digital literacy classes have officially concluded with the parents walking away with 30 certificates total from the different subjects they participated in, tested for, and passed.
Briana describes her time at Mckay as a very fruitful experience and seeing the excitement of the parents with each certificate earned being a refreshing feeling. “Thinking back to my experience in Springfield when we were rallying for funds for the Parent Mentors, this has allowed me to have a greater appreciation for those kinds of pushes. They are excited to be in our schools and excited to continue to grow as professionals through the different means offered to them.” Briana stated, reflecting on the year spent with the Parent Mentors.
Michele Dees, a Parent Mentor at Mckay Elementary, shared her experience about the digital literacy classes. “It was hard work and at some points, I felt like giving up, but I was determined to get these computer skills so that I could teach my son. I wanted to be able to be independent when it comes to using technology and not have to rely on others or wait for someone to be available to help me.” The other Parent Mentors echoed this experience, stating that since taking these classes, they have more confidence in themselves to be able to handle their business, apply for jobs and browse the internet.