26 May

PCD Graduation Celebrates Culture

Sixty children and parents graduated from our Parenting and Child Development early childhood program. The theme of the graduation was a celebration of cultures from around the world. Students, parents and LSA staff dressed in costumes typical of their cultural heritage.   The children will all be attending preK programs in the fall, developmentally on track to succeed in school.

Below are some photos from the celebration (click the left & right arrows to scroll through).

 

25 May

After-school group builds confidence in kids

A new initiative at LSA has done wonders building confidence and communication skills for children in our after-school program. The initiative involves socio-emotional groups for kids in grades K-3 that engage them in group discussions and activities around books.

The focus on socio-emotional development correlates with high academic achievement, increased motivation and engagement in learning. The goal of the initiative is to provide a space for children where they can build reading skills, feel comfortable working as part of a group and, most importantly, find meaning in what they read in a way that relates to their own personal experience. We believe this is how we will support a community of learners and a strong love of reading.

The program, which started in September, has been very popular among the children.  And, along with tutoring and homework help, the groups have helped the children improve academically, with 80-90% of the children showing better grades in math, ELA or both since the beginning of the school year.


We spoke with Jadie Vasquez, who has been managing the socio-emotional groups, to learn more…

Describe how the socio-emotional groups work.

In the past, the afterschool program only included tutoring and homework help. This year we decided to incorporate the socio-emotional group.

We designed it with AfterSchool KidzLit, because we still wanted the groups to have an educational component. Wendy [Wendy Miron, Director of the Parenting and Child Development program] and I had to get trained for it, along with the interns.  KidzLit gave us books along with instructions on how to do different activities that encourage the children to engage together.  The children are reading, they’re writing, they’re working in groups, they’re doing a lot of hands-on activities.  We have two groups separated by age, so both groups read the same book but do different activities that work best according to the children’s ages.

The main goal is to help children feel comfortable enough to communicate, either in a group setting or one on one.  It’s important that the children feel like they have a safe space. A lot of them don’t have that – a lot of them are loners in school.  They don’t talk to anybody. So we want them to have that sense of friendship, a sense of belonging to something, when they come here.  Then there is the educational part of it, which is learning how to work together, how to dissect a book.  Even if it takes a long time, we give them the chance to explore the world of the book and the artistic freedom to create something inspired from it.

How does that benefit the child emotionally?

It helps the children to open up socially and to be comfortable in a group setting, which, for a lot of them, was a very hard thing to do.  When we started in September, some of them didn’t even want to raise their hand, they didn’t want to tell you their name, they didn’t want to talk to the person next to them.

It was a rough road.  But now you can see the difference.  The children actually want to raise their hand and participate.  Now they feel part of this special group, where they feel safe, where they can talk about things happening in their lives.  So it goes beyond the book.  For example, if someone is feeling sad one day, we might talk about it – as a group!  The children learn to share their feelings, which isn’t easy at such a young age.  The books become a tool to help children open up.  And learning to communicate in general and to open up emotionally, in turn, helps them in school.

It’s been such an amazing journey to see them evolve the way that they have. The children that you least expected to open up are the ones that are above the stars right now, just loving this group.   When we’re on a break, they ask: ‘why don’t we have group tomorrow?’   Having them want to do it makes all the difference in the world.

How does the socio-emotional group complement the tutoring and homework help?

One great example is a small child, in kindergarten, who is in the program.  His tutor had a difficult time just getting him to speak with her.  It’s very hard to help a child when he doesn’t even want to talk to you or he’s very shy and doesn’t communicate.  When he did talk, it was only in a whisper.  I told the tutor: let’s give it some time.   So the first thing we did is isolate him and the tutor so that they could work together without distractions.  The second thing we did was work really hard in the socialization group to have him feel comfortable around adults and his peers.

Two months down the line – he had a complete 180.  Now the child is talking.  He’s speaking louder; he has the confidence to tell his tutor, ‘Okay – I want to do this now.’  He’s a completely different kid.  And I know that, in addition to the tutor working very hard and being persistent, the socio-emotional group had a lot to do with that, because he started feeling comfortable with the group.

He isn’t the only one this has happened with; it happened with two or three of the children. The socio-emotional group has been a big part of them opening up and being more vocal.

Has it made a difference for the kids in school?

Absolutely.  We believe that it makes a difference not only here with the tutors and at home, but also at school.  It’s all connected.  If you don’t want to speak to the teacher, if you don’t want to communicate with your peers, if you have trouble working in groups, that’s going to affect you in school.  Those are all things you have to do at one point in a school setting.

So when the kids get that practice here and start to feel that it’s okay, it gives them more courage to do it in school.  Now – all of a sudden – the kindergarten student who wasn’t speaking, comes in here and speaks to everyone. In school, he’s talking to the teacher, something that he was having difficulty doing.  It’s all a domino effect.

Children show off the books they created together in the socio-emotional afterschool group.

Are you tracking results?

We have collected report cards from the beginning. Since September, about 80-90% of the students have done better in math or literature or both.  The kindergarten student I mentioned started the year with ones and now he’s getting twos and threes.  I share that information with the tutors so that they know what’s happening and we’re all on the same page.

How did the book project come about?

My vision was to do something they could work on as a group.  Because really, that’s what the socio-emotional group was about, to be able to work together and see themselves as a team.  Everyone gets an assignment and everyone gets to vote and make decisions together.  We helped give them structure and started the ball rolling.  They took the time and figured it all out together. They drew together, they wrote the book together.  It was an amazing process watching them take the lead.  They were very proud of themselves, and it felt like this was something that really showed how hard they worked throughout the year.

24 May

#LSARecommends Summer Reading for Kids!

Reading Nook

#LSARecommends: Prevent the Summer Slide

Warm weather means school is out, and children may slowly forget what they learned during the school year. In order to combat the dreaded summer slide, we are presenting a social media campaign called #LSARecommends.  Staff are recommending children’s books and helpful tips to make sure learning continues into the summer months.

According to the Children’s Literacy Initiative:  “When children don’t read over the summer, they can fall 2 years behind by 5th grade. It’s always important to support your child’s learning at home, and over the summer this is critical.”

Reading aloud together is a wonderful family activity that can help prevent summer slide and prepare preschool-aged children for school.  For children and parents, reading together promotes bonding, advances literacy and inspires imaginations during the dog days of summer.

Follow the #LSARecommends campaign on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

Here are some of our staff’s favorite read-aloud books:

Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

 

Cuentos de la selva (Jungle Tales) by Horacio Quiroga

 

The 21 Balloons by William Pene duBois

 

Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint Exupery

 

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

 

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

 

Monstruo triste, monstruo feliz (Sad Monster, Happy Monster) by Ed Emberly & Anne Miranda

 

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

 

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

 

 


 

Submitted by Caroline Ziccardi

10 May

National Nurses Week and Q&A with Jennifer Chaparro

We Salute our Nurses During National Nurses Week!

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week.  At LSA, we have a fantastic team of home visiting nurses who go above and beyond to improve family health.   We salute our nurses and thank them for their dedication to serving the community!

Above: LSA’s nurses – Suzanne Deliee, Brigida Lapadula, Susanne Lachapelle, Patricia Hayes and Jennifer Chaparro.


In honor of National Nurses Week, we asked Community Health Nurse Jennifer Chaparro to share some of her thoughts about nursing.

Q&A with Jennifer Chaparro RN, BSN – Community Health Nurse at LSA

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for a community health nurse is anything but typical.  In a nutshell, regular tasks that I find myself doing every week include completing routine paperwork, communicating with healthcare providers and insurance companies, and the bulk of my time involves visiting patients in their homes.

What is a typical home visit like?

A community health nurse can never know what to expect when visiting a new patient.  Each patient is a unique individual: culturally, emotionally, socially, and physically.  This is just as true for their healthcare needs: one person’s health needs differ completely from another’s.

At LSA, we see a wide array of patients.  We provide home visits for newly postpartum mothers and their infants.  We provide health assessment and monitoring, newborn education and breastfeeding support.  In addition, we provide wound care to children and adults, help families manage their child’s asthma medications and symptoms, and help women manage their blood pressure after experiencing severe preeclampsia.  We see extremely premature infants requiring cardiac surgeries and older adults who are wheelchair bound and need education in managing their diabetes — and every patient in between!

The ultimate goal of the home visits is to provide health monitoring, education and support to families in order to promote stabilization of their immediate health concerns and foster independence and successful self-management of their long-term healthcare needs.


“It is truly a blessing to be able to tend to these premature babies, helping educate their parents on how to care for them, and easing any fears or anxieties they have regarding the future of their babies.”


How do visiting nurses make a difference in the lives of the people they help?

Visiting nurses provide another means of support, especially for underserved families in our community.  People can become lost in the ever-changing, complex healthcare system, whether it be due to a language or cultural barrier, lack of education, or issues with insurance or documentation status.  This, in turn, can lead to a mismanagement of their health and an increased incidence of preventable complications, which can further lead to unnecessary hospitalizations.  By providing nursing visits in the patient’s home, visiting nurses can help to identify barriers that are preventing a patient from reaching their healthcare goals, while also providing compassionate care and education that is free of bias or prejudice.  It is important that patients have the opportunity to learn about what they can do to take better care of their health and that of their families.

How does being a nurse enrich your life?

Being a nurse enriches my life by providing me with new experiences and learning opportunities every single day. With every new patient comes a unique diagnosis or health problem.  At times, these health problems can be serious or rare, which requires me to do intense research so that I can be better prepared to provide accurate information for the patients that are affected.  These new experiences allow me to expand my knowledge and be well-rounded in my field so that I can help to educate patients who are affected by all kinds of health issues.  New information, diagnoses, and treatments are being discovered on a daily basis in the evolving world of healthcare, and it is crucial for nurses to remain up-to-date in order to provide the best education and support for our patients.  The learning never stops!

I have so many stories of my interactions with my patients that it’s difficult to just choose one.  Personally, I enjoy visiting first-time mothers and their infants.  Some of these moms are young teenagers, still children themselves thrust into motherhood at a young age.  Helping to educate these teens to transition into motherhood while also watching their beautiful children grow makes me feel so grateful that I am able to share this experience with them.  Helping to ease their fears, educating them on newborn health, and watching these teens become supportive young mothers makes me very happy that I can be a part of this process.

I also enjoy my interactions with premature babies.  A lot of premature infants have serious medical issues that need to be monitored or complications that need meticulous care.  These babies can be born in the hospital weighing a mere one or two pounds and remain hospitalized for weeks, even months.  It is truly a blessing to be able to tend to these premature babies, helping educate their parents on how to care for them, and easing any fears or anxieties they have regarding the future of their babies.  I especially love seeing them towards the end of care, watching the transformation the babies undergo from weak, fragile infants into bubbly, bouncy, happy babies.  Seeing the pleasure and expertise that their parents’ accumulate over the course of several weeks of home visits is just another added bonus to the experience.

26 Apr

National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week, and here at LSA we are counting our volunteer blessings!

We have an amazing group of dedicated, passionate volunteers who support nearly every program at LSA.  From after school tutors, to homework helpers, early childhood classroom assistants and food pantry and thrift store helpers (to name just a few), our volunteers are truly invaluable to the services we provide to our East Harlem neighbors.

75 volunteers are currently supporting LSA. We know we really can’t do the good work we do without them!

We are celebrating all week on social media by highlighting some of the amazing volunteers who help us serve the community, like Fran, the volunteer tutor in the photo above.   Read about her and other volunteers below.

We’ll be celebrating again on June 9th, at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening.

From the bottom of all our hearts here at LSA, THANK YOU volunteers, for all you do!

 

 

14 Apr

NBC4: Immigrant Hunger Pains

April 13, 2017 – Immigrant families from LSA programs spoke with NBC4’s Melissa Russo about their fear of receiving food stamps for their U.S. citizen children in light of a greater fear: deportation.  The NBC4 I Team story shows scenes in LSA’s food pantry and classrooms.

Staff at LSA have been working closely with families concerned about shifting immigration policies, including conducting “Know Your Rights” workshops and connecting families to free legal consultation through partner organizations.  In addition, we are assuring families who are struggling with food insecurity that they can feel safe visiting our food pantry for assistance.

Watch and read the full report below:

NBC4 New York I-Team: Fearing Deportation, Immigrant Families in Tri-State Are Forgoing Needed Food Benefits

“It scares me because I start to think they have all my info and then at any time they can grab you and then what happens to my kids?” one mother of eight says.

By Melissa Russo

Some needy immigrants in the tri-state area are giving up free food from the government and charitable groups, saying they’d rather risk hunger than deportation.

Several local anti-poverty groups tell the I-Team their immigrant clients are asking for help getting off the food stamp rolls because they fear accepting the benefit will expose them to scrutiny from federal immigration officials.

Like many families with mixed immigration status, the parents are undocumented, from Mexico City, but their three young children were born in America. As U.S. citizens, the children are entitled to $345 a month in food stamps; the benefit will run out at the end of April.

Speaking in his tiny kitchen recently as he prepared burritos for his children, the father told the I-Team he works 70 hours a week in below minimum wage jobs. He says the food stamps have helped him feed his children for the past year. The couple doesn’t have the money to buy the food needed to feed their whole family without the help of the food stamps, but the parents say they want to stay off the radar of federal immigration officials.

“I buy food for my kids. Not for us, for my kids,” the father said. “But right now I am scared because I hear a lot of things around New York.”

Several families tell the I-Team they’d rather eat fewer meals than risk being separated from their children if they face deportation.

Another mother without papers who calls herself “Kristina” has eight children, several of whom are U.S. citizens and qualify for food stamps. She says the community-based non-profit LSA Family Health Service talked her out of canceling the benefits, but she remains fearful.

“It scares me because I start to think they have all my info and then at any time they can grab you and then what happens to my kids?” she says.

Local programs for the poor are conflicted about how to advise their needy clients on this subject. Wengler says he’s not comfortable assuring families that accepting benefits won’t harm them down the road.

“We just don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says.

Recent statements by President Trump have fueled the fear, including one that said “those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially.” A draft of a White House executive order leaked in February called for potentially expanding the list of benefits by which an immigrant could be defined as a public charge and thus be deported.

A spokesman for the NYC Human Resources Administration, the local agency that administers the federal food stamp program, tells the I-Team their data does not reflect a trend of people discontinuing their benefits. According to HRA, the federal government does not possess a list of local food stamp recipients even though it is a federal program. City officials insist they have no plans to turn over any such lists. But such reassurances only go so far. The I-Team has learned some immigrants are afraid to even accept groceries from community-based food pantries that have no connection to government.

At the West Side Campaign against Hunger, housed in the basement of a West 86th Street church, the freezers are full of tilapia, turkey and fresh produce. Spanish-speaking, grateful grandmothers wheel shopping carts and suitcases from all five boroughs to access the free, nutritious staples offered to the low income clientele. But in recent months, Gregory Silverman, a chef who runs the pantry, has noticed what he describes as an alarming trend.

“We have customers calling on a regular basis asking to have their information taken out of our databases,” he said. “They’re not willing to come in because of fear. And translating the message to them to say, ‘It’s okay,’ is not really that easy.”

Silverman says dozens of clients a week have pulled out of the program, despite staff explaining their database is not viewed by immigration officials.

The NY Common Pantry in East Harlem, which doles out enough groceries to provide about seven meals a month to its customers, has also noticed a downturn. Jose Garcia, a retired father from the Dominican Republic, says this pantry “helps his budget.” Garcia says he no longer encounters some of his fellow immigrants on the food line. He says he worries about some of them who are collecting bottles and cans instead to make ends meet.

“They afraid they getting arrested,” he said.

Some anti-hunger programs in New Jersey describe a similar situation. At the Christ Church Food Pantry in New Brunswick, director Judith Kuldinow says she has lost dozens of immigrant clients.

“It’s sad that in this day in age that people don’t have enough food. That’s exactly why we’re here,” Kuldinow said. “And now we’re one of the people they’re afraid to come to.”

The Trump administration did not respond to a message seeking comment left Thursday morning.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New York declined comment and referred questions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). A message was left.

—–

Source: I-Team: Fearing Deportation, Immigrant Families in Tri-State Are Forgoing Needed Food Benefits | NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Immigrant-Identity-Fear-Deportation-New-York-Hunger-Children-Investigation-Food-Stamp-Apply-Benefits-419375124.html#ixzz4eELq9GNU

10 Apr

Something Fantastic!

Something Fun!

April 9, 2017 – Forty five children from LSA families enjoyed a fantastic evening on Broadway at our Something Fun! family fundraiser.  The event raised close to $20,000 for our programs.

The event included lunch and games at Dave & Buster’s restaurant on 42nd Street.  After lunch, guests crossed the street to watch Something – a performance at the New Victory Theater by the Liberi Di Physical Theater group.

Our deep thanks go to the many event sponsors whose generous contributions sponsored tickets for LSA children and supported our organizations.

Click the arrows on the left or right to scroll through photos from the event.

20 Mar

We have a new CEO!

Reada Edelstein

We are pleased to announce that Reada Bunin Edelstein has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of LSA Family Health Service. Reada was appointed CEO by the Board of Directors in February 2017 after serving for over two years as LSA’s Chief Development and Communications Officer. She served as Interim CEO from August 2016 through February 2017.

Reada brings to the position over 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and resource development. She came to LSA in November 2014 from the Center for Social Inclusion, where she was Director of Development. Prior to that, she led her own full service event firm and served as Associate Executive Director of Communications and Development for the YWCA of the City of New York. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Adelphi University and completed two years of family therapy from the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

Most recently, Reada was part of a small team made up of senior management and Board members that led the agency through a strategic review, helping to position the agency for innovation and growth in response to the changing needs of the community.

Reada plans to lend her expertise to preserving our mission and helping the agency position itself for the future. She states:

“Our commitment to East Harlem, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the City, remains undiminished. We will continue to serve the community, with a special focus on the needs of immigrant families.”

Reada replaces Traci Lester, who stepped down from her role as Chief Executive Officer in July 2016.

07 Mar

Before PreK

Parenting and Child Development program

Photo by Micah Rubin

LSA’s early childhood program empowers parents, nurtures healthy child development

Wendy Miron, director of our Parenting and Child Development program, teacher Miriam Pena and home visitor Jennifer Ferreira met recently to share how the program prepares both children and parents for a successful experience in preschool.  The program includes home visits twice a month and participation in group socialization classes twice a week with the aim of empowering parents to nurture health child development. The goal: keeping at-risk children 0-3 developmentally on track during the most critical years of brain development. 

WM: Wendy Miron, Director, Parenting and Child Development
MP: Miriam Pena, Teacher, Socialization Program
JF: Jennifer Ferreira, Home Visitor

 

Building Trust, One-on-One

WM: Everything that we do is based on the five priorities – language and literacy; play and exploration; attachment, security and separation; self-regulation and emotional development; and connection to resources. That has really helped to make sure that everyone is working on the same goals with the parents. It might look different, because the home visitors are working with the parent and the child in the home and the teachers are working in the classroom setting, but everybody’s focusing on the same things.

JF: As a home visitor, I meet one-on-one with the mother and the child. The home visit gives an opportunity for the mom to speak up more. They’re in their own homes, and they don’t feel intimidated by anyone. It allows the home visitors to motivate and encourage the moms to know their rights and inform them as much as possible. That connects with the language priority – because if the mom is expressing herself more in general, she’ll be able to express herself more to her child. Encouraging the mom, motivating the mom, making her feel confident will also reflect on the child. It’s a domino effect.

MP: And I feel like having that one-on-one interaction also motivates moms to advocate for themselves. The mom can express her needs and the home visitor can guide her in the process of what to do next. The home visitors are there to push parents so that they can advocate for themselves and hopefully, later on, for their children.

One of the things happening now because of the political situation is that a lot of the kids are being bullied. I have a mom who has a child that is 6 years old. He was being bullied at school because of his background. You know, “you’re an immigrant, you need to go back to Mexico” – that sort of thing. It got to the point where the child was being aggressive at home and at school. He was feeling like he wasn’t wanted.

The mom didn’t feel she had the right to advocate for her child. So I connected her with a home visitor. The home visitor was able to say, “Its okay. You can speak for your child. He’s feeling this way. You are his advocate. You need to advocate. You need to defend him.” It was very important to have that home visitor encourage the mom to actually be heard and say it’s okay to speak up and voice what I feel – and to mirror what her child can do for himself.

“Even if we may not see it as directly related to child development, connecting parents to resources that alleviate some of their challenges can allow them to focus on the developmental priorities and making sure that the children are learning.”  –Wendy Miron, Director of Parenting and Child Development

WM: Sometimes when we talk about what the early childhood program does we focus on developmental milestones and making sure the kids are meeting those, but it’s so much more than that. We incorporate everything that’s going on in the environment for the families. Even if we may not see it as directly related to child development, connecting parents to resources that alleviate some of their challenges can allow them to focus on the developmental priorities and making sure that the children are learning.

We really work on building trust – not just assuming that people are going to trust us because we’re service professionals – but really building the trust and learning to understand who they are and valuing them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak English or you’re undocumented or you’ve never gone to school. We really value who you are and what you bring. I think that probably sets the program apart – and that’s why we have a waitlist. We’re never short of clients.

Preschool Prep, Starting at 6 Months

WM:  One of things we do is help parents understand what Head Start is. It’s easy to assume that families know what Head Start is, but if you’re coming from another country you might not. Whereas a family may have waited until kindergarten to put their children in school – because maybe the parent didn’t feel ready or they thought that the children were too young – by coming here, a lot of the families have been able to start their children’s education in Head Start.

MP: Our program starts with babies. We have three groups of children – the groups are 0-9 months old, then 10-19 months, and 20-36 months. With the 20-36, the focus is more on activities where the child and mom are together but there will also be occasions where they separate. We’re doing activities where the children will be with a teacher on one side of the room and moms and the other teacher will be together in a separate area of the room. Or, for example, the other day we had a workshop. Some of the children felt safe enough to stay in the classroom while the moms were in nearby room for the workshop. We do activities like that to get parents and children ready to separate when the time comes. And like Yolanda, it’s usually not the kids who have a hard time separating. It’s often a mom or dad who says “I’m not ready” or “is he going to be okay?”

Because I usually work with the youngest group – the babies, I usually focus more on moms. I ask: “How has it been for you?” “How do you feel?” We talk a lot about attachment and the importance of bonding with their children.

Earth Day Activities

A toddler explores a new texture and develops motor skills

WM: With the program priority of play and exploration, teachers and home visitors focus on talking to the parents about their experiences as children – what did they play with or how did they play, how do they understand the importance of play.

With literacy – even if a family has very low literacy, we emphasize the importance of having books around and exposing children to books, or we show parents how they can share a book even if they don’t know how to read. And we talk about how, in addition to early literacy, reading promotes attachment and self-regulation. That’s how the five program priorities come together, because a parent and child might be working on language, but by being able to express their needs they’re also working on self-regulation, because if you have more verbal ability to express your needs and understand your feelings, then you’re probably better able to self-regulate. I think it’s great the way the priorities come together in everything that the program does.

Parenting & Child Development Graduation

Graduation day for children in the program.  LSA staff help families transition to preschool.

JF: When it comes to schools and children, research shows that children from Spanish-speaking families are more likely to be delayed in speech when they enter kindergarten. For our program to focus on very young children, providing their families with the resources they need so that when their children enter school they can be ready – it’s amazing. There are not a lot of programs that start from 0-3.

WM: –and work with the parent. I think that also sets us apart. It’s really a two-generation approach. We’re working with the parent and we’re working with the child at the same time.

MP: Most of the programs that are like ours, either you have to pay or you have to have papers to qualify for them. And we welcome everybody here, whether you speak Spanish or you don’t, whether you are working or not, we just welcome everybody.

WM:  Another thing that sets us apart is that we have the resources of the other programs at LSA. Of course, we make referrals outside the agency, but I think it’s helpful to refer families to programs right here in the building if, for example, families need the food pantry or legal assistance or a mom is pregnant. That also makes the program strong. It is a holistic approach that we take. It really helps parents, they feel comfortable to get the resources. And we work really well together, and that also helps.

I think that’s one of the strengths of this program. I worked at a Head Start before and, you know, you can plan great workshops, but you have to be able to get the families there. This program helps parents understand that it’s really beneficial for them to access resources. So, in addition to the home visits and socialization groups, we may have a fire safety workshop or a “Know Your Rights” workshop or a special education workshop. Parents come to learn the value of attending them, and hopefully that understanding is something they will take with them when their children move on to PreK or Head Start.