BY Tonya Roza
Ezra Baker School
Goals, objectives, and activities
Each year, for over ten years, I have been teaching parenting classes, utilizing the S.T.E.P. program-(Systematic Training for Effective Parenting). S.T.E.P. is a researched, highly effective course that has been in existence for over 30 years, and is translated into several languages. Each series is six weeks duration, one time weekly for approximately 2 hours. The course is well attended, highly well received, and I often have a waiting list. To ensure participation, we have, in the past, provided childcare and transportation free of charge. We also offer pizza to the parents and their children.
I have often used my own money to purchase workbooks as the material is copyrighted and cannot be duplicated. In past years, we were able to contract with Dominos pizza for reduced price pizzas. This is no longer the case as resources have been entirely depleted. While Dominoes continues to offer reduced rate pizza pies to our school district, we no longer have the funds to purchase food.
Ideally, I would like to be able to teach the course in the spring. I will have a maximum of 12 participants each round as is recommended by the S.T.E.P. program. Each parent needs access to their own workbook, and each workbook is approximately $14, depending upon how many are ordered. Childcare will continue to be offered free of charge thanks to a pool of volunteers I have secured. The grant money will help only to purchase workbooks and cover the cost of the food.
I received this grant in 2012 and was able to offer this course to families, free of charge. The attendance rate was high (as it often is), drop-out rate low, and parents report many healthy changes in family dynamics in as few as three or four weeks. I am hoping to be able to offer this to families again this year.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
There is a pre and post test which helps parents to see areas of strength, skills acquired, and concept knowledge.
Parents are able to meet with me anytime before, during, or after the course for review.
Benefit to the students and the school
Parent support is an area in which the Cape is lacking. Some agencies offer parenting classes, but many are mandated and therefore personal investment can be minimal. Some parenting classes are offered in the community but are terribly cost prohibitive. Dennis is an impoverished community, with over 50% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. With poverty comes substance abuse, housing crises, and general stressors to a family. These stressors affect children’s ability to access their education. By providing concrete parenting support to families, these stressors can be ameliorated or lessened, thereby increasing an individual’s ability to parent.
Budget (Please detail how funding will be used. Itemize as appropriate.)
A grant for $500 would cover the cost of pizza and books for two sessions, as I have some workbooks left over from last year.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable.)