Partner Spotlight: Enlace

May 25, 2017
Bright Promise's partnership with Enlace Chicago will be entering it's third year this summer.

Bright Promises Foundation began our partnership with Enlace Chicago in 2016. The mission of Enlace Chicago is to make a positive difference in the lives of residents in the Little Village area by fostering a physically safe environment in which to live and by championing opportunities for educational development and economic advancement. 

Enlace runs several education programs including a parent mentorship program. Enlace serves as the anchor organization for Community Schools and coordinates all types of programs for 9 commuity Chicago Public Schools including Eli Whitney Elementary, Madero Middle School and the full Little Village Lawndale High School campus.

Students in Enlace Chicago
After School Program

Bright Promises partnered with Enlace to work with Chicago Public Schools in Little Village to transform them into community centers. One of the main goals of our partnership is to provide SEL support for students, to develop mentorship programs and for community residents of all ages to understand education systems and develop SEL, self-awareness and life skills throughout Enlace programming.

Parent SEL trainings began in November, 2016 and have involved more than 150 parents so far. As a result of these trainings, parent participants are able to identify activities for their children that support SEL skill development such as after school programs, leadership opportunities and positive youth development initiatives. Parent participants are also able to reinforce SEL development at home in every day interactions and through intentional activities. 

The parents and caregivers who have participated in these trainings so far report on the significant benefit they have already noticed:

One parent shared that she learned "how to control my emotions by seeing things from a positive perspective, developing a daily ritual of starting the day in a peaceful manner.  I also learned how the brain functions and impacts our emotions.

One mother at Madero Middle School asserted that the workshop helped her realize that whenever she is stressed out and yelling at her kids to get ready, she can see now why they give her an even harder time.  She noticed that her husband stays calm most of the time and that they are much better behaved around him. She said she understands the connection now between her emotional state and how her kids interact with her.

Another mother from the Parent Mentor Program who provides instructional support in classroom indicated that she had a better understanding of why some of the children in her classroom behave in certain ways – that they may be reflecting the stress from their home.  She indicated that seeing it from that perspective would help her feel less upset with that child.

A mother from Little Village Lawndale High School Campus commented that the workshop made her feel better about the fact that she likes to have some quiet time each day, and sometimes go for quiet walks.  She said that she thought maybe it was ‘wrong’ to want some quiet time for herself, but after hearing ideas from the workshop about self-regulation, she sees that those quiet times are what help her stay calmand that her being calm will actually benefit her children.

Caregivers participating
in Enlace SEL trainings

Other activities completed as a part of this partnership include:

The development of additional tools, resources, and assessment materials ensure that the positive change that is being generated by this partnership continues long after Bright Promises initial investment and will continue to benefit many more children for years to come.