ENGLEWOOD — Next week, Aldena Brown, a 39-year-old Englewood resident with seven children, will complete her GED classes at the Parent Engagement Center at Arthur A. Libby Elementary and Middle School on Loomis Street.
"I enjoy coming here and taking GED classes while my kids are in school," said Brown, who has a daughter who is a sophomore at Malcolm X College. "I told my daughter that I will soon catch up with her."
Brown is one of dozens of parents and caregivers who have so far benefited from the opening of Parent Engagement Centers at public schools across the city in a partnership with Microsoft designed to increase the tech literacy of moms and dads. Nine centers have already opened and another three will be ready by the spring.
"I think this is a great program and wish it was around when I was in high school," she said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel lauded the program at a press conference at Libby on Monday.
Each centers offer courses in basic computer skills, as well as an opportunity for disadvantaged parents and caregivers to complete their GED or improve resumes.
"My goal is to create a community where parents are not pushed away but encouraged to be involved in their children's education and improve their skills," Emanuel said.
Sade Cook, 22, also attends GED classes at the school. She started going when her daughter was enrolled at Libby.
"This is a good program for those of us who messed up in school when we were younger but now want a second chance to improve our lives and the lives of our children," Cook said.