Parent leaders have made real change in Chicago, in Illinois communities and statewide, and across the nation.

COFI parents have implemented innovative policy solutions and programs that are drawing national attention. Here is a partial list:
  • Won the removal of “zero tolerance” language from the Chicago Public Schools, replaced with a philosophy of “restorative justice”
Parents sit at a makeshift press table clapping. A group of happy children stand behind them in white shirts that say Give Me Recess and Let Me Out
Parent leaders advocate for the return of recess to Chicago Public Elementary Schools
  • Won the return of recess in Chicago for 266,000+ elementary students
  • Trained more than 500 parents on restorative justice  in the schools
  • Helped revamp and simplify the City of Chicago’s preschool application process
  • Eliminated suspensions for young students 2nd grade and younger in Chicago
  • Parents’ recommendations infused into 3 federal grants to the State of Illinois on improving access to quality early learning programs
Head Start Ambassadors conduct outreach
  • Created the Head Start Ambassadors program which has knocked on over 364,000 doors and reached well over 150,000 families across Illinois about the importance of early learning and available resources
  • Eliminated asset limits for public aid recipients
  • Lowered the maximum number of days a student can be suspended from 10 to 5 in Chicago
  • Won hundreds of thousands of dollars for playgrounds and afterschool programming
  • Helped pass Minimum Wage increases
  • Created a Food, Solar and Vaccine Ambassador programs that connected families to free summer meals, solar opportunities and COVID vaccinations and information
  • Ended the suspension of driver’s licenses due to municipal debt and lowered fees and fines, particularly for those with hardship exceptions
  • Banned silent lunches in Chicago Public Schools
A group of parent Peacekeepers wearing matching blue shirts
Parent leaders gather to reflect on and celebrate their accomplishments with Parent Peace Centers
  • Created the Parent Peace Center model and operated Peace Centers in schools across the city – providing services to 500+ students
  • Testified in the U.S. Congress on school culture and discipline
  • Removed 82% of police from Chicago high schools
  • Improved the environmental health of schools
  • Created fitness classes and walking clubs
  • Created and won support for the Walking Preschool Bus program
  • Got payroll cards regulated
A legislator and parent leader, celebrating winning Children's Savings Accounts in Illinois, stand together
State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas and POWER-PAC IL Co-President Liliana Olayo celebrate funding Children’s Savings Accounts
  • Won a new state Children’s Savings Account program
  • Piloted a Matched Savings Circle with parents
  • Expanded financial literacy programs