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Adolescent parenting program helps young mothers

AMY WADSWORTH

Guest Columnist

Michelle Spinner had Carson when she was 16 years old.

Having been in the Adolescent Parenting Program in Lincoln County for three years, Spinner said the program has helped her get to where she is today.

“Overall the program has made me be a better mother,” Spinner said.

Spinner, now 20, is working at a local bank and is loving the field. She plans to make it a career.

Spinner cherishes her relationship with Jessica Towery, the APP coordinator. She said she has become a mentor for her and she appreciates the once a week visits that she provides.

“She has been the perfect support — she has really matured me,” Spinner said.

The Adolescent Parenting Program is open to Lincoln County residents under the age of 21 with a child or children aged birth through five. It provides support and services at no charge.

Part of the program includes peer group meetings, which helps teens with education, helps build self-esteem, and helps with social skills.

“We are a sound board and support for these girls,” said Towery.

Each peer group meeting has a different topic, which may include guest speakers.

Towery also offers home visits every month, which help the parents with goal setting, parenting, education, independence and employment.

Many of these teen women do not have transportation and Towery can assist with that as well. Transportation can help the women with local doctor’s appointments and appointments at the Employment Security commission.

Many of the parents are referrals from the Department of Social Services and the school system but everyone is welcome.

The program is funded through the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

For more information contact Jessica Towery at 704-736-8781.

The May Peer Group meeting will be held on May 29 from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at the Sunrise Community Center, 118 Deaton Avenue, Lincolnton. Call Towery for more information. There will be a guest speaker from the NC Department of Health and Human Services discussing the topic of newborn hearing screenings and speech.

Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator for the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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