Cape Gazette

MES strengthens families

Five-year program graduates 43 parents
Apr 16, 2014
Source: Submitted MES parent Mark Corbishley and son Brandon Corbishley join school social worker Gloria Ho at the Strengthening Families Progam.

Milton Elementary School concluded its Strengthening Families Program April 1. This program was in the last year of a five-year federal 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant. A partnership between the school and Children & Families First of Delaware, the program is an extension of the school’s after-school program, FAME, and combines it with a family literacy skills component.

The spring session saw the program completed by nine parents.  The program has graduated 43 MES parents in the last five years. The goal is to work with children and families through education and early intervention to teach skills that increase the students' academic and behavioral success.

The program is a two part-series of seven weekly sessions and provides dinner, transportation,and child care for younger children to promote parent attendance. There are three components: parenting skills, children’s skills and family skills.

The program teaches parents fundamental principles of effective behavior management, communication skills and stress management.

Children learn skills to understand their emotions and develop problem-solving strategies. In the final component of each session, parents come together with the children to practice the skills they have each learned in their respective groups.

Shay Eli, the schools’ reading specialist, attends several dinners to promote reading skills and support quality family-learning time.

School Principal Kevin Mumford said the school has applied to the Department of Education to renew the grant for another five years to continue the FAME program and Strengthening Families Program. "It benefits our children so much and supports the parents in helping their child,” Mumford said.

This collaboration between the school and Children & Families First is the only such program in existence in Kent and Sussex counties.


Attending the year's final Strengthening Families Program are in back (l-r) MES Principal Kevin Mumford, student Ny’Asia Floyd, and parent Marquita Floyd. In front are parent Jacqueline Floyd, student Ki’Arah Floyd, and Children & Families First supervisor Hattie Bull. (Source: Submitted)
Principal Kevin Mumford, in back, welcomes students and families to the Strengthening Families Program. In middle row are (l-r) parent Ella Gray, parent Ashley Jones, sibling Ti’onah Allen and parent Walter Gray; in front are student A’mya Guy, sibling Jeziah Copes, and student Malik Green.
Attending the Strengthening Families Program are (l-r) Children & Families First supervisor Hattie Bull, grandparent Liscinda Forestieri, student Aidan Crossan, student Oran Crossan and Principal Kevin Mumford. (Source: Submitted)
Gathered for the final meeting of the Strengthening Families Program are in back (l-r) parent Krystal Park, Principal Kevin Mumford, parent Jim Park, and Children & Families First supervisor Hattie Bull. In front are students Chloe Park and Kali Park. (Source: Submitted)
Parent Jamie Davidson and student Serenity Davidson attend the final Strengthening Families Program session. (Source: Submitted)
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