End of Year Wrap-Up

2014 National Meals Summit

“We are all here because we don’t want to see any of our children hungry.”
On December 15, Tara Williams addressed the 2014 National Meals Summit with an audience of 270 people from 48 states. She shared her experience as a mother, volunteer, and leader in Chicago’s Englewood community where she does peer to peer outreach with families about summer meals. COFI helped her find her voice. COFI’s Food Ambassador program – coordinated with the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign has tripled participation in Chicago’s meal program in some communities.

Mayor’s Commission for a Safer Chicago

“This is not only a place for our young people, but it’s also a beginning for more parents to say, ‘Hey, I can do that, I can be involved.”
On December 16, POWER-PAC leaders and COFI staff joined the Mayor’s Commission for a Safer Chicago for a press conference on restorative justice as a strategy for reducing youth violence and making our schools and communities safer.
The Parent-Run Peace Center at Wells High School was highlighted as a model for schools across Chicago. Here is the video shown at the event. (The COFI/POWER-PAC Peace Centers are mentioned around 2:20 to 2:50 minutes in the video.) Congrats to the Elementary Justice Committee!

Early Learning and Restorative Justice

On December 16, POWER-PAC’s Early Learning Committee and the Southside United Parent Roundtable (a chapter of POWER-PAC) hosted a community forum on “Starting Restorative Justice Early” for early learning practitioners and parents. The Early Learning Committee is also thrilled to hear that Illinois was selected as one of 18 states to receive Pre School Development Grants to add full-day 4 year old slots throughout the state – a goal that POWER-PAC has pushed on for years. Illinois will receive $20 million a year for four years.

Parent Leadership Training Graduations

Illinois Action for Children Dec Graduation
Graduates from The Pilsen and Little Village Innovation Zone
In the past month, COFI held more parent leader graduations then any year before with more than 120 parents graduating just this fall in the Chicago communities of Austin, Englewood, Little Village and Pilsen and out of Chicago in Aurora and East St. Louis!

December Veto Session Legislative Victory

On the heals of the POWER-PAC’s successful advocacy in Chicago for ‘Raise the Wage’, POWER-PAC joined partners in the Illinois Asset Building Group in celebrating Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (SB2758) approved by the Illinois General Assembly. POWER-PAC, a member of IABG, helped educate lawmakers on this bill last May while in Springfield. Congrats all!