To quote the popular African proverb, when it comes to raising children and preparing them for lifelong success, it truly “takes a village.” But these villages can be better equipped for this responsibility — and communities can be strengthened for generations — thanks to research-based parent-engagement tools and strategies that bridge gaps between parents and early learning providers.
On July 8, the Bainum Family Foundation partnered with DC Family Home Care Providers, Inc., an association of home providers primarily located in the District of Columbia’s Wards 7 and 8, to host a Family Engagement Learning Network Café. This event introduced the Parent Café model to 26 providers and parents with the goal of engaging them in meaningful conversations about what matters most — strengthening families. Sharing their challenges, experiences and advice in a warm, open environment, participants had a rare opportunity to connect on a personal and professional level with others in similar situations.
With their first Parent Café under their belts, event participants can attend the Foundation’s Parent Café Training Institute in August — putting them on track to continually work together within the home provider association, host their own Cafés for the home provider association and better serve children and families living in Wards 7 and 8.
“I wasn’t expecting such a rewarding experience,” said Gloria Green, President of DC Family Home Care Providers, Inc. “The providers and parents I spoke with after the Café all said the same thing — it was emotionally and spiritually uplifting. And the Bainum Family Foundation’s time and commitment made it all possible. This is just the beginning for us, and we look forward to our future work together.”
Learn more about the Parent Café Model and the Foundation’s partnership with Be Strong Families by reading this blog post from last December (“Parent Cafés: Creating Conversation, Community and Positive Outcomes”).