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VIP program seeks to educate parents

AMY WADSORTH
Guest columnist

Parenting can be rewarding and challenging.
In order to be the best parent possible, the Very Important Parents Program can help you do just that.
Belinda Bogle, Parent Educator at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service said she loves it when she sees parents learn new skills.
“It all comes back to what I call the foundation of parenting,” Bogle said. “Children learn from what we model to them.”
The Very Important Parents Program provides families with children ages 0-5 with information to demonstrate developmentally appropriate parenting practices that support positive parent/child interactions. VIP is an effort of the Gaston Cooperative Extension Services and funding is provided through a grant from the Partnership for Children of Lincoln and Gaston Counties.
Parenting Matters is a class that is offered by VIP that emphasizes six areas that include: care for self, understanding, nurturing, motivating, advocating and guidance.
Former participant, Diana McDaniel, of Gaston County just finished the Parenting Matters program with her husband Andrew. The class is offered to parents in eight two-hour sessions over a two-month period.
McDaniel said it was something she sought out to do for herself.
Having four daughters’ ages 3 months, 2, 5, and 9 she said the program taught her about the developmental stages and behaviors.
“I wanted to learn more about different ideas on parenting and make myself a better person and parent,” she said.
The program is free and open to anyone. In addition to the eight sessions, parents receive mailings and phone calls to offer support and the opportunity to attend parent meetings for on-going family support.
Parenting Matters follows the National Extension Parent Education Model, which focuses exclusively on what parents can do to enhance the well-being of their children.
Want to participate in the program? It is offered in both Lincoln and Gaston counties.
Contact Bogle at 704-922-2122 or belinda_bogle@ncsu.edu.
Want to learn more about the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties?
The Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties is your local Smart Start agency. You can reach us at 704-922-0900 or visit us online at www.pfclg.com. Our vision is a community where young children will reach their health and educational potential.
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Amy Wadsworth is Public Information Coordinator with the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties.

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