Families Invited to Participate in Virginia Tech Parent Education Programs

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 12, 2004 – Local families are invited to participate in a series of programs that promote positive parent-child interactions on Monday, April 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Wallace Hall Atrium on the Virginia Tech campus. Registration will be held at 4 p.m. in Wallace Hall just prior to the sessions. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include supervised activities for children, refreshments, and door prizes.

The sessions have been developed and will be coordinated by Virginia Tech students enrolled in the course, "Parent Education and Practice" taught by Tammy Henderson, assistant professor of human development. Henderson started this program three years ago and collaborated with Cathy Jacobs, director of family and work/life resources in Virginia Tech's Office of Personnel Services.

"We are making every effort to support families and give students opportunities to demonstrate and use their competencies and skills," says Henderson. "This program allows parents to interact with their children and other parents. It provides the students with professional experiences and allows them to give back to Virginia Tech and the surrounding communities."

Programs include understanding infant and toddler development for children from nine months to three years of age. A mother-daughter bonding program focuses on the "shaping of a woman," specifically targeting girls age six to 12. Another session focuses on elementary school-aged children who face physical and/or developmental challenges.

The Virginia Tech students will also address methods to promote healthy family development for transcultural and transracial adoptees and their parents. Nutrition and health promotion in general is another topic, with a session targeted to helping adolescent girls who are in the beginning stages of an eating disorder.

There is also a program for teenagers and their parents with information and activities to promote positive self-esteem, sexual identity, good health and nutrition. Another session, entitled "Outdoor Excursions," is designed to assist families whose teen drug users are at risk of becoming a repeated offender. In addition, there is a session that provides meaningful and stimulating activities for older adults in assisted living and adult day services.