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Community Healing Centers receives $535,000 for Parents as Teachers from The Learning Network

Community Healing Centers is receiving $535,000 to provide the Parents as Teachers program to area families with children ages 0-3.

Parents as Teachers is a national program that equips parents to assist children ages 0-3 with achieving short and long-term education goals. The grant will place parent educators into the community, meeting with parents in their homes, for one year beginning this month.

The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo and the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region are making the grant to provide countywide coverage for this program.

Community Healing Centers (www.communityhealingcenter.org) will partner with several other organizations to provide these services, including the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency (KRESA), Comstock Community Center, Advocacy Services for Kids (ASK), Catholic Family Charities, and the Douglass Community Association.

“Beyond connecting the dots, this consortium is weaving a beautiful fabric of parents, neighbors, partners, and children,” says Sally Reames, executive director of Community Healing Centers. “We are all in this together, speaking a common language, problem solving on the spot, cheering each other on, and learning as we grow.”

“PAT engages families and shares skills that lead to an optimal parenting experience for infant and parent alike,” adds Reames. “It is nurturance that lasts a lifetime. We are so excited to have the team and the tools to make this successful national model happen in Kalamazoo County.”

According to Reames, Parents as Teachers will provide individualized and intensive parent education, assistance in forming connections with various community resources, and other support services. Targeted outcomes include serving more than 500 families by the end of the first year, monitoring of family involvement and bi-monthly measurements of each child’s progress, and monitoring parent skills in helping their children navigate challenges to quality pre-kindergarten experiences.

Amy Slancik, community investment officer for The Learning Network at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, says “This grant is aligned with our goals for impacting kindergarten readiness throughout Kalamazoo County and complements our many countywide collaborations.”

“School readiness must begin at the earliest age possible, and this collaboration targets that critical stage of a child’s life,” says Matt Lynn, director of Community Impact for UWBCKR. “Because the need stretches beyond borders, this partnership will have a positive impact for kids across the county.”

The Parents as Teachers grants are the latest effort in early age education. In June, The Learning Network granted $542,412 to Kalamazoo Ready 4s for an early childhood initiative by the Northside Committee to provide support for 3-year-olds and their families residing in the Northside and Douglas neighborhoods. At the same time, UWBCKR announced education grants of $1,812,860, mostly targeting early age literacy and school readiness.