Being a parent can be a pretty thankless job.
So, imagine how hard it must feel being a single parent who doesn’t always have the available resources and necessities to make ends meet and provide for his or her child’s needs and wants.
Guilt over having less for their children may detract from parents’ belief that parenting efforts are worthy of thanks.
If anything, they may feel they aren’t doing enough. But many single parents, each and every day, make sacrifices and overcome barriers in trying to nurture their families, despite the demands on their time and energy.
At the Area Housing Commission’ s Moreno Court campus last week, we recognized and paid homage to several moms who are making the sacrifices to consistently attended Studer Community Institute’s Parent Outreach Program designed to assist them in being better parents and helping their children reach developmental milestones.
The simple, but significant occasion was a way for us to give the parents a token of appreciation and show that despite the difficulties and challenges, they deserve commendation for caring enough to make a better life for their children.
At Moreno Court last week, seven mothers and grandmothers earned a Certificate of Excellence for participating in and completing at least eight sessions in the weekly outreach program.
The certificate ceremony highlighted their dedication and commitment to improving their quality of life through their efforts to help build better and stronger brains in their babies.
We especially thank Sonny’s BBQ for graciously providing a complimentary lunch as we gave kudos to the mothers, fathers and grandparents who have taken the steps to participate in our enrichment program.
The SCI Parent Outreach Program is designed to work directly with parents to engage them in day-to-day activities and build on what they already know and do: talk early and often with their babies and toddlers.
Since July, the parent program has focused on helping parents use the power they have to build their babies’ brains through words and interactions.
The weekly sessions offer training and tips to build strategies and skills in early learning initiatives for parents of children under 4 years old in Area Housing campuses at Moreno and Attucks courts.
Nearly 40 parents have attended at least one session at both campuses. Six to 10 parents regularly attend the sessions at both locations each week.
The Housing Commission already works with social service providers to assist its tenants in developing necessary coping and problem-solving skills for daily living. Our partnership has gone a long way in helping to meet that goal.
Of the Area Housing Commission’s nearly 1,000 residents, more than 250 are children between birth and 3 years old. We want to reach as many as possible to improve kindergarten readiness in our county.
In Escambia County every year more than 1,000 children who start kindergarten already are behind. This can lead to higher crime, more teenage pregnancies, lower wages and loss of jobs. We have to find ways to change this, and we can. Every child is our child.
Reaching children in their earliest years can help ensure that they get the healthy and strong start they need to begin school ready to learn and grow. Offering parent outreach programs at the Area Housing Commission complexes is a great place to start.
American philosopher and psychologist William James is noted for saying: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
We all want to be valued for who we are and recognized for our contributions and accomplishments.
Whenever we receive a heartfelt appreciation from others for something we have done, it boosts our spirit, passion and purpose.
It further builds our self-confidence, self-esteem and our entire self-image. All because appreciation satisfies our craving of feeling valued.
Thank you, parents for caring enough to care about making your children’s lives better and improve our community’s overall quality of life.