The Parent Café is funded through a $5,000 grant by the Governor’s Office of Children’s families, and encourages parent engagement through small group discussions.
Providing child supervision and dinner, the Parent Café allows parents with children of all ages to share struggles and triumphs with other parents.
“It makes people feel better when they know that someone else is going through the same things,” said Angela White, program director of Parent Cafe.
Ashworth Middle School recently played host to the most recent Parent Café. The event was catered by Big John’s Barbecue and after families finished their meals, children were ushered to another room by a Gordon County School Advocate to participate in fun activities such as arts and crafts and games, while parents adjourned to the media center to begin the session.
Approximately four to five parents, some with spouses and some without, were seated at one of three tables with a table host.
Cindy Cochran, with Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County, began the program by discussing the rules, which include not passing judgment or repeating what was said outside of the program, among others.
Door prizes were given out before the group discussion began. Each table host presented a question to the small group for discussion and in an allotted time frame of 5-7 minutes, parents discussed questions such as, “What do you want your child to think of you as?” or “What do you think you are to your child?”
At the conclusion of the allotted time, parents would move to a different table to discuss different topics of discussion.
Tony Waters, with Gordon County School Advocates explained the initiative is a collaborative of all Gordon County School’s and provides an atmosphere for parents a parent teacher conference might not.
At the conclusion of the event, each family went home with a brand new board game. The Parent Café at Ashworth was the second time the program has been offered, but the first for 2013 has been set for Jan. 28, to be hosted at Belwood Elementary. According to Cochran, parents with children of any age are encouraged to attend the event.
For more information contact Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County at 706-625-3311 or online at http://www.preventchildabusegordon.org/contact.