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When it comes to learning, parents are often the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives. Your children will look to you to help them develop the skills necessary to be successful in life. In order to help them achieve their goals, our staff wants to help you take the first steps to achieve your goals.

Parent Outreach provides workshops and special events for parents at their child’s Early Head Start or Head Start sites. The activities are research-based and designed to help families transcend their current circumstances and build a better future not only for themselves but for their communities as a whole.

Free services for parents and caregivers responsible for a child in the Early Head Start/Head Start programs

The Parent Outreach Program is a Center for Literacy initiative within the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Parent Outreach provides workshops, resources, and special events for Head Start families and community based organizations. The Parent Outreach Programs are researched based programs designed to help Head Start families transcend their current circumstances and build a better future not only for their families but for their communities as a whole.

The mission of the Parent Outreach division is to strengthen families through financial literacy, family literacy and educational/employment readiness workshops. The goal of our organization is for parents to gain a new set of skills that will help them turn obstacles into opportunities. We do this through the following workshops and events:


UIC Center for Literacy Parent Outreach Program is in collaboration with Rush University College of Nursing the developers of the Chicago Parent Program. Our parent outreach program has adopted the curriculum and is now facilitating workshops to support and offer additional resources for the families were serve.

The Chicago Parent Program is a 12 – session evidence-based parenting program created for parents of young children (2-5 years old) and designed to meet the needs of a culturally and economically diverse audience.

With so many parenting programs in existence, why choose the Chicago Parent Program?

There are five very important qualities we think set this program apart from the others.

  1. The Chicago Parent Program was developed in collaboration with parents of young children to address those issues of greatest concern to parents.
  2. The Chicago Parent Program is guided by a strong theory, supported by rigorous research, and listed on the SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
  3. The Chicago Parent Program uses over 160 video scenes of parents raising children in the real world, managing challenging situations at home and in public. We use these scenes to help guide parent group discussions and problem-solve different ways to handle common parenting problems.
  4. There is no one correct way to raise children. The Chicago Parent Program is structured in a way that is respectful to parents’ ideas and values.
  5. Since 2002, the Chicago Parent Program has received outstanding evaluations from parents, educators, health care providers, and agency leaders. It is being used in agencies across the country including the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, Baltimore city Public Schools, and Head Start.


Chicago Parent Program 12 Session Overview

The Purpose of the Chicago Parent Program is to help parents be the best parents they can be and, in the process, promote healthy development in their children. We do this by:

  • Helping parents clarify what they truly value as a parent.
  • Helping parents identify the behaviors they want to reinforce in their children.
  • Providing a range of strategies parents can use to reinforce those behaviors and advance their childrearing goals.

Program components

Parents learn in many ways for that reason, the Chicago Parent Program uses many different strategies to teach parents new information. These include:

  • Video vignettes
  • Group discussion
  • Making lists to help parents clarify their childrearing goals and values
  • Role-play exercise and group activities
  • Weekly practice exercises
  • Weekly hand-outs

Topics Covered

  • Child-Centered Time
  • Family Routines and Traditions
  • Praise and Encouragement
  • Using Rewards for Challenging Behaviors
  • Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
  • Different types of Commands
  • Threats and Consequences
  • Ignore and Distract
  • Using Time-Outs
  • Reducing Stress
  • Problem-Solving
  • Putting It All Together

Take charge of your money. Learning how to manage your income is not only an important life skill that you can pass along to your children but it is also critical in our current economic times. In the FLIP- Financial Literacy Training Workshops we will work with you to increase your knowledge of financial literacy strategies and improve your ability to communicate with your children about important financial matters.

Fun Fact: A budget is not the same every month. Your budget is actually an estimate of spending over a given period of time that may change from month to month. You should adjust your budget as often as needed, as your savings goals and spending need change.

We offer the following financial literacy lessons:

Become your child’s greatest teacher. Through our FLAME (Family Literacy Aprendiendo Mejorando Educando) Family Literacy Program, parents are empowered to become knowledgeable participants in their children’s education. We provide interactive workshops that focus on providing parents with literacy tools to use with their children and include topics such as Children’s Writing, Teaching the ABCs, and Creating Home Literacy Centers. In addition, workshops connect parents to valuable community resources and encourage them to be active participants in their child’s school.

FLAME workshops for all:

  • Parents and Teacher Get-Togethers
  • Parents and Homework
  • Creating Home Literacy Centers
  • Children’s Writing
  • Teaching the ABC’s
  • Math at Home
  • Book Sharing
  • Talking leads to learning

Dads Reading Daily  (DRD) offerings:

  • FLAME Workshops
  • Mini-Conferences
  • Male Gatherings

Fun Fact: Did you know your child is actually learning to write from the first time they put pen to paper?

Gain the skills to get the job. Our Parent Education and Employment Readiness Program (PEER) are designed to help parents of children in Head Start prepare for the future. PEER workshops provide parents with the skills needed to prepare for success in work or school. The PEER curriculum is divided into the following three modules:

Module A: Post-Secondary Education Readiness

  • Educational Pathways to Careers
  • Financial Aid & Applying to School

Module B: Job Readiness Skills

  • Creating a Resume & Reference Sheet
  • Cover letter & Thank You Letter Development
  • Job Search Strategies & Networking
  • Interview Techniques & Dressing for Success

Module C: Workplace Success

  • Barriers to Employment Success
  • Professionalism & Workplace Ethics
  • Soft Skills in the Workplace
  • Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Fun Fact: Did you know there are two different ways to write a resume? Your resume can be written in either a chronological or functional format.


Dads Reading Daily Conferences (DRD): Conference with interactive workshops provided for all male role models/mentors of Early Head Start and Head Start children, requested by specific Head Start sites, but available to all Head Start sites.

Mother’s Day Conferences: Conference with interactive workshops provided for the female role models/mentors of Early Head Start and Head Start children, requested by specific Head Start sites, but available to all Head Start sites.

Money Bonanza: A kid friendly carnival that promotes financial and family literacy among Head Start families, through games and activities, during the nationally recognized AmeriCorps Week. These events include, but are not limited to the following money savvy games and activities:

  • Duck 21
  • Money Tree
  • Memory Match
  • Tic Tac Toe

All participants of Money Bonanza receive prizes and resources (coloring books, crayons, Center for Literacy FAST Programs Brochure, Center for Literacy Newsletter, etc). All games and activities are offered in both English and Spanish.


Donna Hampton
Program Coordinator
Michael Hampton
Maria Martinez
Jesus Bernabe
Program Male Involvement Assistant
Antoinette Brown
Samuel Moore
Sergio Rodriguez
Gail White
Rosa Alvarez
Unshell Felder


Click on each link below to access the following resources:

Connect with Parent Outreach Program Today!

Call 312-413-3820 for more information.