East End House Launches Powerful Parenting Workshop Series
October 19th marked the first night of Powerful Parenting, East End House's new nine week course for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-4. The class was a huge success, with 31 parents in attendance. The course drew participants from several of East End House's core programs as well as from the greater community.
The evening started with time for parents and children to play together with staff available to answer questions and facilitate activities. Parents and children then shared a tasty, healthy meal prepared by East End House's Food Specialist. After dinner, parents left their children with East End House staff and headed to the presentation. Each two hour Powerful Parenting session is designed to give parents strategies to develop a strong foundation for their child’s future learning. Workshops are facilitated by Sam Healy, L.I.C.S.W., East End House's Senior Director of Child and Family Services, who has been working in the field for over 20 years and has presented on these topics to parents and teachers in numerous venues. There will also be expert guest speakers. The first session was entitled "How the Brain Works, How Children Learn." Parents learned that 85% of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. Research shows that the most important influence on the development of babies, toddlers and preschoolers is the quality of their interactions with primary caregivers. The class was very well received, with one parent saying, "I enjoyed this class and look forward to putting into practice what we learn each week." At the end of the seminar, parents were given a reusable shopping bag filled with apples, cider, and the recipe for the dinner they ate, along with nutritional information.
In the upcoming weeks, Powerful Parenting will build upon the skills parents already have and offer more information about child development, positive discipline, TV and media influences, and how to keep children healthy. Parents will learn specific techniques to refine the quality of responses and interactions that will help children reach their highest potential.