Editor’s Note: Welcome to School Talk, a monthly guest column looking at education and parenting issues in South Philly. If you have concerns, ideas or other thoughts about the state of schools and ways to keep improving them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, we have Rachel Howe of the South Philly Parents Resource Center.
So there’s a new theory that preparing your child to do well in school (and in life) has little to do with playing Mozart to your fetus in the womb or drilling her on baby flashcards. This “grit” or “resilience” theory (check out Paul Tough’s new book or Angela Duckworth’s research) is about teaching kids- even babies – to deal with stress and failure, so that they’re confident enough to keep taking risks and eventually learn to fix their own mistakes. But it’s awfully hard to support your kids through those hard situations, let alone approach really useful risks, when you’re stressed out from work, parenting, and life in general.
That’s where the South Philly Parents Resource Center comes in.
The center provides support and education to help parents connect to each other and their community, learn how to take care of their own needs as well as their children’s needs, and envision the family they want to create, including children who will be successful in school and in life. If parenting is a job (and it sure is!), think of the SPPRC as professional development.
Some of the activities, with minimal participation costs over the last few years, have included Spanish Playdate, pre-natal yoga, new moms groups, support for parents of autistic children, an early childhood education forum, toddler nutrition, regular moms and dads nights out, and work-life balance workshops for couples. There’s also a great plan to turn the Kids South of Washington list-serve into a full website with forums, easily searchable archives, a community bulletin board and other online tools.
Some of our other ideas include starting natural birthing classes, breastfeeding support, toy and clothing exchanges and forums on school choices. But SPPRC would love to get your input, so take a minute to fill out this very short survey. If the SPPRC sounds like a valuable resource, please take the time to join us in creating it for our community.