(Note: After the Oregon Country Fair and the Jill Heiman Vision Fund gave a grant to Parenting Now! to help us provide another Crecer group, this article was written for the OCF newsletter. Your donation to Parenting Now! can help us continue to provide more Crecer – and other – parenting groups!)
Crecer Helps Families Grow Roots
On Wednesday evenings in West Eugene, 20 Hispanic parents and their children gather to eat and talk, and to learn parenting skills. They are part of a parenting education group provided by Parenting Now! with the assistance of a grant from the Jill Heiman Vision Fund and the Oregon Country Fair.
The Crecer (“to grow up”) group begins with dinner, which supports the families, gives them time to socialize, and provides examples of eating nutritiously on a budget. One of the children crosses her legs in a lounge chair and scoops up spoonfuls of a dessert of plain yogurt and chopped bananas.
After dinner, Ana Maria Dudley, the group’s professional parenting educator, gathers the adults while most of the children go to another room for developmentally appropriate activities. They are supervised by trained staff and volunteers. All of the staffing is provided by the grant.
Ana Maria begins by reading a story from the curriculum. The parents share their experiences and offer suggestions to each other. They listen to Ana Maria’s ideas. The room is full, but everyone is attentive.
Crecer, a 12-week program for families with children up to 8 years old, is culturally sensitive and delivered in Spanish. Our Crecer program uses the Haga de la Paternidad un Placer® curriculum, which is our Spanish-language adaptation of our nationally recognized curriculum for highly stressed families. For more than 35 years, Parenting Now! has provided local parenting groups, including Crecer.
Back at the group, parents take notes and study the handouts. Children come in and out. A mother nurses her baby. Families continue to arrive, and chairs are pushed back to make the circle larger.
Thank you for making it all possible.