Metro East non-profit trains parents to become teachers
“Teachers understand that parents who are actively involved in their children’s education produce a better educational outcome.”
EAST STREET. LOUIS, Ill. — A non-profit organization in Metro East is working to bring parents and adults into the classroom.
The Parent to ParaPro Pipeline program, through Community Development Sustainable Solutions, has partnered with East. St. Louis Schools to train and recruit more educators to schools across the state.
The program has several phases, starting with involving adults in mentoring. Then, after 100 hours, or about one school year, participants move on to the next level of training. The process is designed to slowly bring people to the point where they become actively involved in the class.
As of now, organizers say there are 21 parents in the program, six more have already made their way to work in Metro East classrooms.
“I really like being hands-on and working one-on-one in small groups with these students,” said Whitney Roberson, a parent and educator. “We are able to fill these gaps.”
Roberson has a paralegal background. During the pandemic, she left that role to focus on her children learning at home. Now she wants to make sure other children get the care and attention they need to succeed in life.
“It’s so important, it’s something I really noticed when I was doing virtual learning with my seven-year-old son, he’s in second grade,” Roberson said. “It’s amazing how much work they have to do on their own during virtual learning. I know there aren’t enough parents who have the option of staying home with their children to virtual learning. We are able to fill these gaps and provide additional one-on-one training to children who need it.”
Parent of Parapro Pipeline CEO Stephanie Taylor said the program is important for educating the next generation of leaders.
“Teachers understand that parents who are actively involved in their children’s education produce a better educational outcome,” Taylor said.
Taylor said this program is the only one like it in Illinois. Taylor is helping other districts across the state set up similar programs in the future. She said it has already helped address the statewide teacher shortage.
This is an accredited learning program for people who want to pursue a career in teaching.