by Kathy Lozano, Parents’ Academy Director
Parents’ Academy builds family success with creative courses that give parents insights and support in their goal of building stronger families. Since the launch of “Positive Discipline Toolbox” workshop in late January, 70 parents have participated in the 8 week program. Along the way, friendships and connections have formed and an opportunity for ongoing support was developed. Workshop graduates have a monthly support group where they can bring their challenges, concerns and questions to an open brainstorming session with their parent coach, Kathy Lozano, and other graduates. No family topics are off limits and discussions are lively!
Rather than an 8 week workshop that is “over and done” at graduation, parents began asking for an ongoing connection and other courses they could join to build on the skills they were learning. Families stepped forward with offers to help others and a desire to build a community of families who believe in positive parenting. The “Family Success Team” has developed organically as parents stepped forward to support and encourage others. The first special event sponsored by the Family Success Team was a family picnic at Conception Park in June.
Plans for fall include expanding “Positive Discipline Toolbox” to 10 weeks, adding a “Level 2” course for graduates and developing a parent/ peer mentorship program. Parents’ Academy will pilot a new course that parents and children will take together called “Family Pack” which will include concepts and activities for strengthening parent and child communication and connection. As one parent stated, “Through Parents’ Academy, I have learned so much and I have changed the way I interact with my kids. But when I leave class, my kids are the same. I wish my kids understood what I have learned so we could work together. ” From this request, often echoed by other parents, the concept for Family Pack was born.