Growing Strong Families Program
In one week, as the Fremont County Growing Strong Families Parent Educator, I wear many hats.
One day I can be a member of a 19-month-old’s Grammy-winning band playing hand cymbals or maracas, or explore the unknown land of the dinosaurs with a 4-year old.
Another day I might be a jungle explorer collecting samples of nature with a 32-month old.
I may also work side-by-side with a world-class 4-year-old chef preparing trail mix, and helping him publish his own cookbook.
Or, it may be a less adventurous, but just as important day, holding a newborn or playing peek-a-boo with a 6-month old.
Whatever hat I wear as a Parent Educator, I deliver valuable child development topics to parents and other caregivers important in a child’s life. All it takes is a bit of imagination and willing children to play along.
Growing Strong Families is a monthly home visitation program funded by the Corner Counties Empowerment Area and Iowa State University Extension in
All families with children prenatal-age 5 are welcome to participate. Anyone living in
Families must meet only two criteria for program eligibility – 1) have a child under the age of 5, and 2) live in
Funding for this program allows the Parent Educator to visit families monthly, bringing them child development information, age-appropriate games and skill-building activities. The end result is a stronger family, well-developed child, and a child ready to enter school and succeed.
Screenings are a vital part of the Growing Strong Families program. They give the Parent Educator and parent a sequential picture of how each child is developing and showing progress. These screenings begin at 4 months of age, and continue until the child turns 5 and ages out of the program.
If progress isn’t being seen in a child, the Parent Educator can refer families to specialists or other organizations that can perform additional evaluations to help the child.
A major aspect of Growing Strong Families is a referral source for families. We can help connect families with community resources and any additional help they may need.
Growing Strong Families is modeled after the nationally recognized Parents As Teachers program. We enhance that curriculum with research from
There are four areas of focus in the program – motor skills, social interaction, intellectual abilities and language development. All activities and discussions focus on these areas, trying to improve, encourage and strengthen each.
Parents are the best teachers their children will ever have. Growing Strong Families helps parents become the best teachers they can be for their children.
We want to see all parents succeed in parenting and all children succeed in life. If you would like to be involved with Growing Strong Families in
If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going deep-sea fishing with a 26-month-old….hope they are biting today!
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