Housing unit parents get a lesson praising, disciplining children, aiding their schooling

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2005

It won’t be long before Barbara Newby’s grandson is old enough to read. In just a few short years, he’ll be making his way through the pages of his history, science and math schoolbooks.

Long before he reaches that point, however, Newby’s going to be ready. On Thursday morning, she headed to the main office of the Colander Bishop Meadows apartment complex to learn about the basics of reading to a child, praising, discipline and aiding education.

The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (SRHA), partnering with Suffolk Public Schools, has been holding parenting sessions at public housing communities around the city. After holding class for dozens of Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick residents, the group headed to Colander.

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&uot;We want to enhance learning for struggling students and their parents,&uot; said SRHA compensatory research coordinator Bettie Swain. &uot;We hope to promote parent involvement and literacy. We try to help parents with strategies to insure success for their students in school. Our focus is to go into housing units and bring materials that parents can use to help their students.&uot;

The program held its first session on Feb. 17 at Hoffler, where it will return on March 17. On March 24 and April 14, it will return to Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick, on April 21 to Hoffler and April 28 to Colander Bishop.

The event began with a power point presentation, and a 10-minute video entitled, &uot;Catch ‘Em Being Good,&uot; which advised parents on how to praise and discipline a child, and ways to justify or substantiate doing so. Darlene Dockery spoke on the Even Start program, which can aid parents in obtaining their GED.

&uot;Some parents don’t read very well, and want to learn how,&uot; said Swain. &uot;They want computer training and strategy sessions for homework.&uot;

In the audience, Newby was ready to put her new knowledge to work.

&uot;I want to help him get used to language,&uot; she said of her little one. &uot;I read to him and he gets attached to pictures and words. When he’s doing homework, I want me or my daughter to be able to help him.&uot;

A follow-up to the program will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday at Elephant’s Fork Elementary. For more information on the program, contact Swain at 925-6759.