VOCEL

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Through the Powered by VOCEL program, VOCEL identifies, trains and supports parent leaders — everyday moms and dads from some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods — to lead weekly classes for their peers and their young children based on VOCEL’s groundbreaking Child Parent Academy. Parents see how young children learn through play, and how robust back-and forth communication builds a child’s brain. They share and overcome challenges together. Meanwhile, the parent leaders themselves gain a new sense of their own power and leadership, with ripple effects that spread across their families and communities. Since piloting at a single school on the Southwest Side in 2020, Powered by VOCEL has now trained 36 parent leaders, who in turn have supported nearly 200 families and ensured that their young children are prepared to thrive in school.