With a $10,000 project grant donated by the Potts Family Foundation and a new program called Single Mothers Academic Resource Team (SMART), the Child Development Center and Lab School at OCCC, part of the Family and Community Community Education Center (FACE), will improve the lives of infants and toddlers of at-risk families.
The Families of Promise grant outline states the project will focus on education for infants and toddlers, parents of infants and toddlers and childcare professionals.
The topics covered will include various workshops including Developmental Benchmarks of Children Birth to Thirt-Five Months, Creating a Nurturing Environment for Infants and Toddlers, Positive Behavior and Guidance Techniques and Providers as Partners.
There are two four-month training sessions being offered starting in the fall. The first session will be held from August through November. The second session will be held from January through April.
A new SMART program, funded by the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma, started July 1.
To participate in SMART, participants need to be single parents from OCCC and have at least a GED.
Mary McCoy, OCCC Child Development Center and Lab School director, said SMART’s goal is “To improve parenting skills, create a systematic change in the lives of single parents and help single parent finish college.”
The department is in the process of hiring a coordinator, McCoy said.
Childcare will be provided during training, she said.
The staff at the FACE Center exhibited their excitement about all the new changes beginning this summer, carrying into the upcoming school year.
The FACE Center will now have five infant and toddler classrooms, Child Development professor Cecilia Pittman said.
“The FACE Center is expanding and adding more classes with more children,” Pittman said.
She said OCCC approved opening another infant/toddler classroom.
The infant/toddler age group is the most popular, she said.
For more information on the Families of Promise or SMART assistance or additional information on workshops, contact the FACE Center at 405-682-1611, ext. 7561, or stop by their location at 6500 S Land Ave., between 7 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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