Jennifer O’Hear officially became part-time director for United Parents at the start of 2017, and in February signed a contract between CG and Milwaukee Public Schools that includes organizing parents cafés in three schools during the rest of the school year.
The three schools where MPS is sponsoring CG’s development of Parent Cafés are Benjamin Franklin, Keefe Avenue, and Lloyd Barbee Montessori, all on the near north side. Lloyd Barbee is where United Parents held its first, and very popular, Milwaukee café in March just over a year ago.
United Parents has scheduled 14 cafés through the spring, including several schools and churches within the Catholic Archdiocese as well as at Stellar Collegiate Charter School on the South Side, where the café will be bilingual.
The cafés bring parents together in one room for a meal and conversation while their kids eat together and enjoy activities in another room. Common Ground’s vision for the cafés is to strengthen parents and families, help institutions such as churches and schools engage parents in meaningful and lasting ways, and develop parents as leaders so that they can join others to address issues in their surrounding communities.
“The magic of the cafés is peer learning,” says Jennifer. There’s no expert at the front of the room telling parents what they should or should not do.
Click HERE for more about parent cafes.