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 Monday, June 27, 2005
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Class gives pointers for parenting




Above, Jennifer Berrier tries to help her son, Layne, 5, with a science experiment Tuesday at the Madison Early Childhood Learning Center.


Daniel Melograna/News Journal photos

Left, Kristy Isaac helps her son Christopher Patznick, 2, with a volcano experiment Tuesday at the Madison Early Childhood Learning Center.

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MANSFIELD -- Yvette Givand, director of the Madison Early Childhood Learning Center, 103 Bahl Ave., chose three speakers, who are on three different paths but had the same goal, to address their peers during the closing ceremony of the Creative Parenting Relationship Training Program, which concluded in May.

"The reason why I chose them (is) they really took interest in the workshops and brought back their homework assignments," Givand said, noting they each came from different backgrounds and had different parenting issues.

The keynote speakers included Jennifer Rose, a divorced parent with two young children, Gretchen Davis, who has a blended family, and Joanne Parks, a grandmother and a foster parent. "I really thought they did (a good) job of sharing with the rest of the graduates how the class helped them," Givand said.

Despite the buzz of a possible tornado, the ceremony went on as planned. "We should have named this class parenting with nature," Givand joked. She pointed out how they had survived a couple of ice storms when the parenting workshops started this winter.

The graduates, who had gathered at 5 p.m. on June 14 in a classroom in the basement of the facility to receive their certificates, also took a test before the talk.

Davis, the mother of an infant and a recent high school graduate was the first to address the audience. With speech in hand, she said the program was a wake-up call for her. "This class has been really helpful for my husband and me. I recommend it for anyone," she said before she took her seat.

"I can't thank you ladies enough for offering this to my husband and me."

Joanne Parks of Mansfield didn't have a handwritten speech prepared, but she had a lot of meaningful things to say.

"I really enjoyed this class and I plan on teaching a parenting class at my church or in the community," said Parks, who noted her kids are grown but you are always going to be there (for them).

Jennifer Rose, was a little more impromptu, which she referred to her off-the-cuff manner as she addressed the group. "I just hope that we are able to take these kids we have and turn them into reasonable adults who can deal with the world," she said as she appeared totally relaxed.

She also made a few remarks about the double duties of single parents and allowing her kids to be able to make some of their decisions on their own.

"It's not (always) going to work out the way I want it to," she said.

Givand and Kirkendall also gave the graduates a few words of advice before Givand handed out their certificates. She advised the graduates not to just put their workbooks away but to continue to use them.

Kirkendall had similar advice. "Keep your folder and savor it, use it over and over," she said as she told the group their parenting was still a process in motion.

Help your children learn how to be respectful and fun to be with, but they have to do it own their own, she advised.

"I really like applauding all of you," Givand said, adding she would be looking for the pay off of the classes.

For parents who are interested in learning more about Parenting With Dignity materials which served as framework for the Creative Parenting Relationship Training Program held at Madison Early Childhood Learning Center can log on to the Web site with the same name.

rfeagin@nncogannett.com (419) 521-7220

Originally published June 27, 2005

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