Donald C Parker Early Education Center

Donald C Parker Early Education Center is a public school located in Machesney Park, IL. It has 620 students in grades Prekindergarten-Kindergarten and 37 teachers.

Fluid soffit lines and flooring transitions in bright hues define and divide the classrooms into interest/activity areas. A new Multi-Purpose Room with a warming kitchen serves as a cafeteria during the day and a gathering space for parents, staff and community after hours.

Educational Programs

Located in Machesney Park, Donald C Parker Early Education Center serves students in prekindergarten through kindergarten. The school has 620 students and 37 teachers. Its teacher:student ratio is higher than the state average. The school has a diverse student body, with 33% of the population being minorities. The principal, Elizabeth DuPre, believes diversity will benefit the kids at her school. She has implemented various programs to promote parent involvement. These include the Parker Parents Convention and Family Math, Science and Literacy Nights.

During “center time,” the 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds in Rising Stars work on puzzles, identify shapes, develop motor skills and learn to share with their classmates at Donald C. Parker Early Education Center in Loves Park. These activities may look like play to the untrained eye, but they’re a vital part of learning for the kids in this Harlem Unit District 122 school. The school has 41 projects funded on DonorsChoose, and its teachers have been recognized for their creativity.

Parent Involvement

Parents play an important role in their children’s education. Studies show that when teachers and parents work together, students achieve higher academic achievement. These relationships are especially important for early learning. Parents can help their children develop positive attitudes towards school and learn about the curriculum. This is known as active parental involvement.

Schools that succeed in engaging parents go beyond narrow definitions of parent involvement and envision parents as partners in their child’s education. They offer many opportunities for parents to participate in student activities and provide information about the school’s curriculum and programs.

However, some barriers prevent parental involvement. Minority families are less likely to attend school meetings because of language and cultural barriers, and they often distrust schools based on negative past experiences. Many of these families have low socioeconomic status and cannot afford transportation or childcare. Schools should consider offering family-friendly sessions, providing childcare, and using translators to encourage participation. They should also promote their activities in local media.


Donald C Parker Early Education Center serves 620 students in grades Prekindergarten-Kindergarten and has 37 teachers. Its student-teacher ratio is 17:1. The school has a diversity score of 0.51, which is lower than the state average of 0.68. Its teachers have had 41 projects funded on DonorsChoose.

MACHESNEY PARK — It takes a special person to clean up, with understated panache, a building that holds more than 600 3- and 6-year-olds. But that’s exactly what Bruce Henning has been doing for decades at the Parker Educational Center in Machesney Park. The school honored him Wednesday in a short ceremony that elicited applause, whistles and screams of support.

It was all for him, the man who removed vomit from classrooms and walked miles around lunchroom tables. He was awarded a plaque and the cafeteria was named after him. His students waved posters and signs in his honor. “I love you, Mr. Bruce,” Josiah Francis, a kindergarten student, told him as the audience laughed and applauded.


Donald C Parker Early Educ Center is a public school in the Harlem Unit School District 122 located in Machesney Park, IL. It serves 620 students in grades Prekindergarten-Kindergarten and has 37 teachers. Its student-teacher ratio is 17:1. Its diversity score is 0.54, meaning that it is less diverse than the average Illinois school.

A dedicated school staff works diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of children. Elmwood School s principal, Don Barnickle, pioneered the nongraded primary program and cooperative teaching techniques. He gave workshops on the subject and served as a consultant for other schools.

It takes a special person to clean up after more than 600 3- to 6-year-olds, and Bruce Henning does it with understated panache. Henning, who has worked at Parker for 40 years, was honored Wednesday with a short ceremony and cheers from the school’s students. They waved posters and signs with his name on them.

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