Story Provided by Multnomah County's SUN Service Program and P-3 Coordinators
Dora Lisa Chavez (P-3 Coordinator) and Supervisor Maria Eugenia combined 3 sites that included: Salish Ponds, Fairview Elementary and Alder Elementary School to host language specific Parent Education classes. They used the Make Parenting a Pleasure (MPAP) curriculum to guide conversations and discussions on specific topics. The classes took place 2 times a month virtually for about an hour (many times more). There are 13 chapters in the curriculum that cover topics from: self care, positive discipline to stress management and more.
This provided space for parents/caregivers to connect with other parents/caregivers and program staff to talk about what is happening in their lives. Participants processed and held space for each other during the pandemic. They had about an hour+ of content, discussions about it. To close the class Dora Lisa would have a raffle where 1 caregiver would win a self care basket. 20 families participated and for the Spanish class they had 10 caregivers.
This space empowered parents/caregivers. Maria Eugenia and Dora Lisa Chavez who facilitated these groups would get a lot of requests to continue with the classes when the content of the classes came to an end. MPAP classes were so powerful and they heard a high need from Latino families so MPAP Spanish classes were offered again to all the sites. Many families attended the summer long session that took place over the summer of 2021. The families who were not able to attend the summer class were excited that they were going to offer the Parent Education class once again during the academic school year. Many of which were returning families. Families were able to connect with each other via Zoom and also form relationships outside the class, where their children would have social distance playdates. Since the class, Dora Lisa has received a lot of feedback from families including those who have moved on. They have all expressed much gratitude about the class and have let her know they used the exercises in their parenting to this day. A mother shared with her that the deep breathing technique has helped her when any situation arises. They will be starting up classes again in the month of November and are proud of this success.
Salish Ponds Elementary-Reynolds School District
P-3 Coordinator: Dora Lisa Chavez
Partner Agency: Metropolitan Family Service