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Smart Start Rowan holds picnic celebration

There was food, fun and fellowship this week as Smart Start Rowan hosted more than 70 parents and children to a picnic to celebrate the success of the organization’s parent education programs. Parents from the Circle of Parents and Parents as Teachers programs were invited to the celebration held Wednesday at Salisbury City Park.
Smart Start Rowan’s mission is to promote and support programs for parents with young children ages prenatal through five years. Smart Start implemented the two programs this year.
Circle of Parents is a weekly support group that is free to parents and grandparents of young children that live in Rowan County.
“Our objective this first year was to operate four individual groups — Circle of Parents for families with children ages prenatal to five years old, Circle of Parents for Spanish speaking families, Circle of Parents for teen parents, and Circle of Parents for grandparents raising grandchildren,” said Laura Villegas, Smart Start Rowan’s director of programs.
Parents as Teachers is a free home-based visitation program that provides information on child development, parenting and resources. Smart Start offers these programs in both English and Spanish.
“The successes of this year would not have been possible without the support of many of our community partners. Community agencies have embraced our mission to support parents with the tools they need to be successful,” said Clara Marts, who is the parent outreach educator and Circle of Parents facilitator.
Sherry Vechery, parent educator and facilitator for Circle of Parents said the program is an opportunity for parent to “get together, learn child development concepts, form friendships and become informed about programs that are happening in the community.”
Although Parents as Teachers is a year-round program and will continue during the summer, Circle of Parents takes a break during the summer, but will return in the fall. Anyone interested in enrolling in these programs contact Smart Start Rowan at 704-630-9085.

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