Wolfle Elementary School held two important parenting classes on April 10 and 17. The first was “Discipline … without Lectures and Losing It,” and the second was “Encouragement: The Real Secret to Helping Your Child Succeed.” ShareNet sponsored both classes.
“The classes were developed by looking at other types of parenting programs and consulting with Linda Segur, our presenter,” said Mary Blocher, Instructional Support Specialist at Wolfle. “We felt communication was the strongest need at Wolfle.”
Linda Segur, a therapist at Kitsap Mental Health Services, presented the classes. “I remember my own frustrations as a young parent,” she said. “I so wanted to do well, but quickly learned love was not enough. We know so much more now about how the brain develops and what a huge impact creating safe relationships has on healthy emotional functioning throughout life.
“To provide the high warmth, high structure parenting the research shows best prepares kids for the world they are growing into, requires thought and patience, and it helps to have an opportunity to talk about challenges, successes, and frustrations,” Segur continued.
Segur’s background includes Project Family, which provided the genesis for Kitsap Community Resource’s Parenting Place programs, the Navy family support program, Head Start, and the Early Childhood program at Olympic College.
Blocher has been in education 24 years, the last seven as the instructional support specialist in charge of the Title I and Learning Assistance (LAP) programs.
Washington’s Office of Superintendant of Public Instruction website indicates “Title I, Part A is a federal program that serves the unique needs of children — kindergarten to grade 12 — who struggle to learn. Title I programs and services enrich time at school with customized instruction and curricula that helps these students meet academic standards and take an active, engaged interest in what they learn and can do.”
Educators know success at home means success at school.
Blocher hopes “Parents will take away one or two strategies to help them be successful with their children at home. We have noticed that in many situations one parent seems to be the contact between home and school. These classes offered the opportunity for both parents to participate and learn shared skills together.”
Segur says she hopes the takeaway was that “Parents felt affirmed, informed, and inspired, and that the material covered expanded their parenting toolbox and increased their understanding of their child’s development.
“One of the biggest challenges of parenting is how to provide guidance that both addresses misbehavior and teaches children what to do instead. It’s easy to get caught up in simply stopping the behaviors you do not want; harder in the moment to remember that discipline at its root involves teaching and learning … and no significant learning ever occurs without a relationship based on respect for the child and yourself as a parent,” Segur added.
ShareNet serves all local Kingston schools through our Food to Grow On program, providing food to about 90 kids per week throughout the school year. The relationship with Wolfle goes beyond food: sponsorship of their summer session, their Clothing Closet, and now these parenting classes. The relationship has arisen naturally out of Wolfle’s needs (with more than 60 percent of the students qualifying for free and reduced lunches), and out of great communication with a terrific staff led by Principal Ben Degnin.
ShareNet and Wolfle will look for other ways to partner in the future. ShareNet believes in sharing the generosity the community has bestowed on us.
The belief, hope, good will, and learning are all palpable on a casual walk through the halls at Wolfle. We believe sponsorship of Wolfe supports early intervention, future success, and ultimately less reliance on social services.
Kitsap Great Give
Thinking of a donation to ShareNet or your favorite charity? May 6 is a great day to do it, because that’s the day of Kitsap Great Give, hosted by Kitsap Community Foundation and United Way of Kitsap County. The goal is to have donors contribute more than $500,000 to local nonprofits. ShareNet is a registered participant. All donations made on May 6 will help nonprofits gain a share of the incentive pools and/or prizes donated by sponsors.
Check out the website to see what it’s all about: http://www.kitsapgreatgive.org.
— Mark Ince is executive director of ShareNet.