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Parenting classes launching at IHS

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Parents of Isabella High School students have a new resource starting Sept. 1 as the school launches parenting classes, hosted by Care Net of Chilton County.

The eight-week course designed for parents of children ages 2-18 will meet on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the IHS auditorium with childcare provided.

The session on Sept. 1 will focus on understanding children.

Other sessions will focus on understanding children’s behavior, building self-esteem, communicating with children, helping young children learn to cooperate, effective discipline and nurturing emotional and social development. Each session will be an hour long.

The program uses the “Kids With Boundaries” curriculum.

A meal will be served before the session begins. The classes and meal are free.

Isabella high school counselor Amy Ballew said the parenting classes will be led by Ashley Liveoak of Care Net.

“I think that’s huge for the community,” Liveoak said. “It brings the classes to the parents, hopefully (making it) convenient since it is at night.”

In a classroom across the hall, Ballew will lead the children in activities and lessons that line up with what the parents are focusing on that week.

Liveoak said the organization was “grateful to the school for opening their doors to us.”

She hopes that the partnership with IHS will be a pilot program that will lead to partnerships with other schools.

Those planning on attending the parenting classes are asked to email Ballew at saballew@chiltonboe.com, so the school can make sure there is enough food for everyone.

The idea for hosting the classes started with Pastor Andy Mims of Mulberry Baptist Church, who is also a bus driver for the school.

“He reached out to Care Net as a pastor just thinking about things that we can do for our community,” Ballew said.

Ballew attends Mulberry Baptist and said the church usually offers parenting classes once a year.

“We just know what a huge benefit it is for our members, and I can just say personally what a huge benefit it is for me to take a parenting class about once a year,” Ballew said. “Parenting is a skill that you need to work on for your whole life. I have just found that to be true.”

She said the classes are not just for parents that are having problems, but can also be a way to prevent problems in the future.

Ballew tries to encourage her students to attend a parenting class before they even have children as preparation.

“To me, that is the most important job you could ever have — being a parent,” Ballew said.

Care Net also has parenting class opportunities open to all parents at its office in Clanton. For more information, contact Care Net at 205-755-6767 or stop by the office at 5 Village Square in Clanton. Office hours are Tuesday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  and Thursday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.