Collinwood Branch Library hosts Teen Parent Day
A very large “Thank You” goes to the Collinwood Branch of Cleveland Public Library located at 856 East 152nd Street (216.283.4400), Director Ms. Jeffries and especially to Children’s Librarian, Caroline Peak for organizing a Day Out for GRADS students from Collinwood High School.
GRADS is an acronym for Graduation, Reality And Dual-role Skills. The school year 2011-12 marked the twenty-first year that Collinwood has offered GRADS for young teen parents. GRADS is a drop-out prevention program which allows students to network with each other, gain skills and encourage each other in good parenting practices as well coping strategies for the dual role of parent and student. GRADS, locally and state-wide, has been credited for increasing the number of students who remain longer in school and for higher graduation rates. Mrs. Judy Mengel is the teacher/coordinator for GRADS (216.451.4152).
On May 8, 2012, GRADS students gathered at the Collinwood Branch Library for a day of learning, food and fun. Mrs. Peak introduced students to services offered by the library and had a vast display of books and toys available for students to use for interacting with their children in learning and enrichment activities.
Mrs. Peak also directed a series of Lap Sit exercises which are fun as well as valuable “teachable moments” for parents and children.
Ms. Tammi Swails, Family to Family Supervisor at Murtis Taylor Human Services Center presented information about her parent education program. She also presented each parent with a gift bag containing books, a stuffed animal and learning activities for parents and children. Anyone interested in learning more about her programs may call 216.283.4400.
A Fashion Show event featured GRADS parents strolling with and introducing their children. Every individual child was unique and beautiful but by popular vote, Taniya Johnson was recognized as favorite infant. Carletta Rivers and Damarie Brigitzer were recognized as favorite toddlers by popular vote of all students and leaders present.
Angela Gober-Williams, Community Health Worker from the Moms First Project at MayDugan Center was present to meet and work one-on-one with pregnant students and new moms. Ms. Gober Williams may be reached at 216.631.5800.
Several GRADS students participated in a Peer to Peer Discussion: “Tips on Making it Work” in which they spoke of their experiences so far as parents and offered encouragement to parents of younger children.
During and after a chili and hot dog lunch completed by “Dirt Dessert,” a presentation was given by Sandra Nosse from Cleveland Public Library about “Toddler Story Time.” Mary Denihan, Senior Public Information Officer with Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency updated us on current laws concerning Child Support. Mrs. Denihan may be reached at 216.443.5287.
A fun and informative time was had by all. Thanks again to Mrs. Peak and all the staff at Collinwood Branch Library for preparing and hosting this event.