Anne Arundel Community College’s Parenting Center has received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County to develop a Parent Academy, which will be piloted this fall for 40-60 low-income families in the Fort Meade area.
The Parent Academy is a partnership among AACC’s award-winning Parenting Center, the Kids in College program, the Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ Office of School and Family Partnerships and Heritage Community Church in Severn. The pilot program will serve low-income parents and their children entering the 5th grade in schools that feed into Meade High School.
The Academy’s goal is to increase parenting skills, strengthen family relationships, support positive goal setting for youth and increase the self-sufficiency of participating families. The education-based program will culminate in a family fun event on the college’s Arnold campus. This event will provide exposure to higher education, reinforce the skills acquired through the yearlong program and give families an opportunity to have fun together.
The grant comes through the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County’s new “Ladders to Success” initiative, which it launched in fall 2009 as a way to invest in nonprofit organizations that provide opportunities for disadvantaged or vulnerable county residents. The foundation is an independent, tax-exempt organization established in 1998 to provide scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations countywide.
The Parent Academy will offer parent education in both English and Spanish beginning in September. Topics to be covered include effective behavior management, parent/child communication, increasing parental involvement in a child’s academic achievement, increasing parents’ knowledge of and ability to access community resources and creating a family budget.
To be selected, parents must have a child, who qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch, entering 5th grade in the Meade feeder system and be recommended for the Academy by the school guidance counselor or Heritage Community Church. Preference will go to families whose 5th grader is the oldest child.
AACC’s Parenting Center, established more than nine years ago, has successfully delivered “Parenting the Middle School Child” throughout the county and routinely partners with agencies, nonprofits and schools to deliver quality instruction on a variety of parenting topics. The Parenting Center has also been actively involved in a number of countywide initiatives addressing youth suicide and gang awareness.
For information on the Parent Academy or AACC’s Parenting Center call 410-777-2159 or visit www.aacc.edu/parenting.