Author - Laura Baginski


South Side School Fair: Know before you go

The NPN South Side Preschool & Elementary School Fair is just days away! Here are all of the details you need to help you prepare before you arrive on Saturday, Sept. 10, in order to have a great school search experience.


Want to personalize your search criteria? You can do this with My Directory. Choose up to 30 schools, view them on a map, and save them to a custom PDF to print and bring with you to the fair. 
Check out the exhibitor list to see wh...

Posted on September 07, 2016 at 12:12 PM by Laura Baginski

9 questions parents should be asking schools

Whether you’re attending the NPN School Fair or you’re going on a school tour, asking the right questions of a school representative is one of the most important ways of determining whether a school is right for your child. 

But what should you ask? Below are some of the most common questions parents ask when chatting with school reps, along with why their answers are so important.

1. What is the education philosophy?
You’ll want to know whether it lines up with what you believe a...

Posted on September 07, 2016 at 11:00 AM by Laura Baginski

Tips on how to soothe your crying infant

Photo credit: Flickr/acheron0

Most expectant parents understand that after their baby is born, she will cry. A lot. But how do you cope with the stress of hearing your baby cry, and how will you know whether your baby's crying is normal? 


Nancy Mork, LCSW, of the Erikson Institue's Fussy Baby Network, offers some great insight on infant crying below. 


How do you know if your child has colic, rather than a normal baby who cries a lot?

All babies cry, but some certainl...

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 1:15 PM by Laura Baginski

Finding a cure for pediatric cancer neuroblastoma |

When Patricia Tallungan's 6-year-old son Nick started complaining his back hurt, she didn't think much of it. But after a visit to the pediatrician and an X-ray, her family's life changed forever. Her son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a little-known cancer she hadn't even heard of at the time. Four years of grueling treatments later, Nick lost his battle.

But Tallungan's battle had just begun. She turned her grief into the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation, which provides ...

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 1:16 PM by Laura Baginski

Education in Chicago: What can be done?

What's the state of education in Chicago, and what can be done to make sure every child gets access to the same opportunities? Those were the questions guiding Tuesday evening's panel discussion, Letters to the Editor Live: Chicago Education in Crisis, presented by the Chicago Sun-Times and Neighborhood Parents Network. 

The panel—comprised of Sun-Times reporters and columnists Lauren FitzPatrick, Dan Mihalopoulos, Mark Brown and Mary Mitchell, as well as NPN's Amy Johnson and Tiffany ...

Posted on August 10, 2016 at 1:10 PM by Laura Baginski

Please welcome our new executive director

Photo credit: Tricia Koning Photography

We are thrilled to introduce you to our new Executive Director, Elizabeth Knutson! She will be joining the NPN team on August 8.

A mom of two girls living in Ravenswood Manor, Knutson has most recenty worked as Director of Marketing for the American Planning Association and the YMCA of Metro Chicago. 

“I feel beyond fortunate to work for an organization with a mission I personally embrace,” Knutson says. “My husband and I are committed to...

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 1:51 PM by Laura Baginski

NPN exclusive: Kids' classes with Pearachute |

Pearachute is a monthly membership club that makes it easy for parents and caregivers to discover, book and drop into the best kid classes in Chicago, all at the touch of a button.

Pearachute offers flexible access to over 100 of Chicagoland’s top-rated kids’ locations, including Lil' Kickers, My Gym, Bubbles Academy, Goldfish Swim School, Little Beans Cafe, Language Stars and more. Members can choose from hundreds of classes each week right from their phone - no forms, no phone calls...

Posted on June 22, 2016 at 9:57 AM by Laura Baginski

Write for the Parent to Parent Schools Issue |

Have you received the Toddler Issue of Parent to Parent yet? If not, it should be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, check out this pdf version. Kudus to our new managing editor, Lauren Viera, for doing such an incredible job, and for the fantastic writing from our awesome members! 

Which brings me to: writing for the September issue, which will focus on schools. We're looking for first-person, personal accounts from our members on the following school-related topics:

How you pro...

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 8:32 AM by Laura Baginski

Find parent support, advice & community with NPN

Being a parent is hard. And, let's face it, being a parent in Chicago is even harder.

Not only is it tougher to find a supportive parenting community in an enormous city (good luck breaking into the mommy cliques on the playground!), but Chicago parents also have to contend with the, er, challenging school system in addition to other big-city issues like crime, a high cost of living and insane traffic. Luckily, Chicago is also home to gorgeous parks, fantastic schools, beautiful librar...

Posted on May 05, 2016 at 10:48 AM by Laura Baginski

Mother's Day gift ideas in NPN's Online Silent Auction |

Photo credit: M. G. Kafkas/Flickr

Oh, no! You didn't forget that Mother's Day is next Sunday, May 8, did you?

If you're stumped on what to get your mom, or want to give your loved ones a not-so-subtle hint on what you want for that special holiday, check out these amazing gift ideas available in the NPN Online Silent Auction presented by British Swim School:

2 BYOB art classes at One Strange Bird
1 month of unlimited classes at The Dailey Method
4 blowouts and shampoo from...

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 11:25 AM by Laura Baginski