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FREE PARENTING CLASSES RECOGNIZE CULTURAL DIVERSITY WEEKEND SESSIONS ON HANDLING STRESS PLANNED INTO MID-NOVEMBER.

Byline: Daily News

LANCASTER - A yearlong series of free parenting education classes and seminars will be sponsored in the Antelope Valley beginning this week by the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring.

The nonprofit organization received a $500,000-a-year grant from the Los Angeles County Children and Families First Proposition 10 Commission, which distributes tobacco tax money.

The Antelope Valley was targeted for the grant proposal because of economic, demographic and geographic factors that can cause additional stress on parents and can lead to increased child abuse, said Kerby T. Alvy, the center's founder and executive director.

``The necessity to travel to and from work can mean less time with children and increased stress from the drive itself,'' said Alvy. ``We will give parents a way to learn new parenting skills while traveling which they can then put into practice when they arrive home each evening. The parenting classes and seminars will be scheduled on weekends, which will also make them more convenient.''

The classes and seminars are only for parents and child care providers of children age 5 and younger enrolled in child care in the Antelope Valley, the organization said.

In addition to the free parenting classes, the project will incorporate specific materials into the program for the Antelope Valley that address the problems associated with long commutes. Free parenting education programs will be made available on compact discs, which can be checked out at child care centers.

The center's parenting classes also recognize the valley's cultural diversity and include two culturally adapted parenting education programs: ``Effective Black Parenting'' and ``Los Ninos Bien Educados,'' which will be taught in Spanish.

Both programs were developed by Alvy and the Child Caring Centers multicultural staff, and are taught by Child Caring Center instructors nationwide.

Child care centers, including Head Start sites, will also be distribution points for information on upcoming classes and seminars as well as a place to get additional free Spanish and English parenting education materials that the center will make available.

The free materials include parenting programs on CD and video, a booklet titled ``The Power of Positive Parenting: 10 Guidelines to Raising Healthy and Confident Children,'' and a record-keeping system, ``America's Youth Passport Health and Safety Record,'' for keeping track of children's medical histories with tips on understanding what to expect as a child grows and develops.

As an added incentive to attend and complete classes, parents are entered into a drawing to win a home computer, DVD player or other prizes aimed at helping children excel at school and encouraging time spent together as a family.

The first class will be ``Los Ninos Bien Educados'' and conducted on 12 Wednesdays, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., beginning this week and lasting through Nov. 14 at Linda Verde Elementary School, 44924 Fifth St. E., Lancaster.

With a $10 refundable reservation fee, parents receive free child care, snacks for parents and kids, and parenting educational materials.

The second class of the season, ``Effective Black Parenting,'' will be held for 15 Saturdays, from 9-11 a.m., beginning this week and running through Dec. 15 at the Yucca Head Start, 38440 2nd St. E. in Palmdale.

The ``Early Childhood System for Effective Parenting'' class will be held 10 consecutive Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. Sept. 8 through Nov. 10 at Pinecrest School, 2320 E. Ave. R, Palmdale.

Aimed at professional child care providers, a seminar called ``Getting Parents On Your Side'' is expected to be held sometime in September. It will be free and includes lunch and a prize drawing.

Parents and child care professionals should call the center at (800) 325-CICC to make reservations. Class sizes are limited and are expected to be full within a week of the start date, so early enrollment is encouraged.

Additional classes and one-day seminars will be announced later.

The Center for the Improvement of Child Caring is a 27-year-old community service, research and training nonprofit organization. It has trained more than 5,000 instructors nationwide and distributes parenting and child development programs, books and tapes through its Parent Training and Family Life Catalog.

The organization is governed by a volunteer board composed of civic, business, religious and professional leaders.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 20, 2001
Words:701
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