Birth To Three Changes Its Name to Parenting Now!
By Minalee Saks
Thirty-four years ago, I was one of three women who co-founded Birth To Three. We wanted to find a way to support parents like ourselves in the challenging and rewarding early years of child-rearing. We also knew that such a program for parents would help prevent child abuse. We received a federal grant, and we were off and running.
About 93,000 Lane County parents and children have participated in our programs. As our community has changed, so has Birth To Three. We are a reflection of the changing needs and diversity in family life, including more families with two working parents, more unemployed parents, more configurations of what it means to be a family, and the growing community of Spanish-speaking families.
Over the years, Birth To Three shifted from mothers meeting during the day to mostly evening groups with a mix of genders and couples as well as parents of every age from 12 to 61. At first, we met in parents’ homes; now, our groups meet at Birth To Three or community locations. Our office moved from one of our homes to an apartment on Franklin Boulevard to Dunn School to Parker Elementary to our very own building on Centennial Loop in Eugene.
For many years, we have sold our parenting curricula to other organizations in the United States and 18 international locations. Through our entrepreneurial division, we provide training to parent educators who come to Eugene or bring us to their locations. The resulting funds are used to help support Birth To Three’s local programs.
Meanwhile, our Birth To Three groups have expanded to support parents of children who are older than age 3. Our Make Parenting A Pleasure groups may have children as old as 8.
Throughout our changes, though, one thing has remained true: Birth To Three believes that every child should be raised by nurturing, skilled parents.
Because we work with families who have children beyond age 3, we have outgrown our name and, because our focus is on parenting, we want to align our name with our mission. That’s why we’re changing our organization’s name to Parenting Now!
Our new name highlights the importance of parenting education for families and society. Our mission and our commitment to families with young children remains the same. Parenting Now! will continue to provide the parenting education services our community knows and values.
Skilled parents create families that thrive. We’re honored that Birth To Three has been a part of the lives of so many local families, and we look forward to bringing Parenting Now! to many more.
Minalee Saks is the executive director of Parenting Now!, formerly Birth To Three. Parenting Now! is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families through parent support and education. Explore this site or call 541-484-5316. Family Info Line is also available; call 211, extension 5, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org