LINC’s Very Involved Parents (VIPs) are at the core of our early literacy model. As advocates for their neighborhoods, VIPs shape the future of the next generation of readers and leaders through shaping their families and communities. By uniting in their shared passion for literacy justice, these parents form a sturdy support network for parents all throughout New York City.
At LINC, we believe this work is essential to honor. On October 23rd, 2020, we hosted our annual celebration for the many wonderful accomplishments of the VIPs throughout the year. Though we were unable to celebrate in person, we had the privilege of celebrating these community leaders virtually and were proud to do so.
The challenges that LINC communities faced in 2020 were daunting, as the literacy crisis was exacerbated by a systemic lack of public funding in many of the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19, these same neighborhoods where we have worked for 25 years.
LINC’s continued perseverance throughout the pandemic is largely due to the generosity and dedication of our VIPs, who responded to COVID19 eager to lend a hand and help other families stay safe and connected to one another. Thanks to relationships forged between parents in the VIP program, our families were able to rise to meet the challenges posed to their children’s continued education. Between consistent virtual programming children could tune into and regular check-ins with parents, VIPs worked together to bring hope and joy in the midst of a difficult year.
“During the height of the pandemic, there were days when even these four walls stopped talking to me and I felt alone. I was so grateful when I was invited to the WhatsApp group for our weekly chats. The parent-only programs are the highlight of my week because as my daughter says, it’s LINC for mommy! She knows that these sessions help me to do better. Connecting with other parents and exchanging ideas, sharing struggles and celebrating our gains has been such a gratifying experience. It proved that we are still a community! Our children are reading and our community is growing...I can’t wait to see how we all succeed in 2021!” --Gladys Gomez, LINC VIP
Our virtual festivities were full of heartfelt sentiments like these and included speeches personally thanking the 75 current VIPs, as well as pre-recorded videos of some of their children describing how impactful their parents have been to their family and community. VIPs Gladys Gomez, Michelle Cotto, and Robert Perkins spoke at length about their experiences in the program, and Assistant Principal Allison Krenn praised LINC parents in the Bronx for transforming the learning environment at Public School 85.
This year being a parent is harder than ever, and that means our communities need you more than ever. If you are an aspiring VIP, please contact LINC today.
Read more about the great things our VIPs are doing at www.lincnyc.org/vip.