Program That Empowers Parents is Expanding

Published 07/09 2014 06:01PM

Updated 07/09 2014 11:01PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Parenting can be stressful, but it can also be fun. For many parents, having support from Parents as Teachers has been helpful.

"As a first-time parent going into this, you really don't know anything so it's nice to have that kind of extra support system there," stated Leah Klein, a first-time mother.

Parents as Teachers provides child development knowledge and support to parents and caregivers.

"That professional kind of coming along side you in this journey helps you reflect a little bit on how you were parented as a child how you want to parent your child," said Debbie Kunz, director of Parents as Teachers in St. Joseph.

In 2009, the program suffered major cutbacks since then, the agency has only been able to visit 1,200 families annually. With $150,000 now available from the St. Joseph School District, more families can be served.

"We have several generations of impact already in our community and having more money so that we can reach even more people just means that that impact can be greater," said Kayte Langner, educator for Parents as Teachers.

The group is not only a way to keep parents involved, it also improves communication between parents and schools. Experts say it's important parents keep a healthy relationship with their children.

"Every parent has the ability well, is gonna impact their child I mean that's bottom line fact. So let's make sure that impact is positive," added Kunz.

The agency hopes the lessons taught are life-changing for kids.

"We're going to send children to school that are more prepared for school and families that are more open to that school relationship," added Langner.

"The information and the knowledge that they've provided me with I can do more for her. When she gets into doing things because we've already worked on all that stuff because there was somebody there to work with me to teach me," said Klein.

Parents as Teachers are also looking to hire more educators as well as a secretary. To learn more about the program, click here.

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