Cape Gazette

MES Strengthening Families Program recognizes parents

Dec 14, 2013
Source: Submitted Students and siblings (l-r) Justice Powell, first grade; Mariya Powell, second grade; and Brianna Butler, third grade, smile for the camera at the completion ceremony for the Strengthening Families Program.

In November, Milton Elementary School held a completion ceremony for 11 MES parents who participated in the Strengthening Families Program.

This program is funded through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant and is a unique collaboration between the school and Children & Families First. SFP is an extension of the school’s after-school program, FAME, and includes a family literacy skills component.

The goal of the program is to work with children and families on a preventative basis through education and early intervention, thereby increasing their academic and behavioral success in the long run.

The program is a series of six weekly sessions using an evidenced-based parenting curriculum. It provides dinner, transportation, and child care for younger children to promote parent attendance.

There are three components to the program: 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 skills. 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 school's reading specialist, attended the dinner portion several times to hand out children’s books and speak to parents to promote reading skills and support quality family learning time.

Principal Kevin Mumford said to date, the program has graduated nearly 35 MES families, and they are in the last year of the five-year 21st CCLC grant. The school hopes to renew the grant so it can continue to help many more MES parents and children. “We are proud of each and every one of our parents. Each parent who attends and participates shows how committed they are to ensuring the academic and social success of their child,” said Mumford.

MES will be holding another six-week program in February, and fliers will be sent home with students.


Attending the Strengthening Families Program completion ceremony are (l-r) MES reading specialist Shay Eli, Principal Kevin Mumford, MES parent William Butler, and Cape Supervisor of Alternative Education Ed Waples. (Source: Submitted)
Attending the MES completion ceremony are (l-r) Mark Conway; Zymere Smith, fourth grade; and Sonya Sheppard. (Source: Submitted)
Friends Aquajadai Williams, fourth grade, and A’mya Guy, third grade, enjoy the evening. (Source: Submitted)
MES participants in the program include Ian Hicks, fourth grade, in back;  in front are A’mya Guy, third grade; Jasiah Lewis, first grade; Jada Lewis, fifth grade; and fifth-grade teacher Sandy Allen. (Source: Submitted)
Reading specialist Shay Eli, left, stands with MES parents Valerie Hicks and Craig Pettyjohn. (Source: Submitted)
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