Through our experience in working with youth, we have found that parental involvement and input is critically important to a child’s success. The S.E.N.S.E.S. Parent University provides resources for parents to support their child’s academic success, and personal growth. The first step to developing the schedule of parent programming is to conduct a needs assessment. Parents are asked what types of services would be most helpful to them and their families, and the data is collected, analyzed and incorporated into the program development process. Our goal is to provide for intergenerational transfer of information, where the students have the opportunity to teach their parents modern computer and technology skills. Parents are empowered to teach their children advanced life skills based on the understanding of the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents (40 Protective Factors). Additionally, programming to support strong parent-child relationships include:
Parent/student science projects
Parent/student cooking challenges
Parent/student sports tournaments
Parents are also invited to attend monthly event nights that offers job fairs, CPR/First Aid training, and other services which were determined by parent surveys and communication.
The Parent University curriculum focuses on:
● “Parents as Teachers”: Provides parents with a clearer understanding of how children learn, and ways to stimulate and support their child's educational growth.
● “Parents as Leaders”: Provides parents with the opportunity to develop skills necessary to assume leadership roles in their schools and community.
● “Parents as Learners”: Provides parents the opportunity to build upon their own skills for personal and professional development.
● "Parents as Advocates": The S.E.N.S.E.S. Foundation focuses on facilitating the parent’s capacity to be a better advocate for their child. This includes supporting academic progress and directing the parent to resources available to ensure their child is academically proficient.
Parent Scholarship Program
Parents expressed interests in developing their academic and career goals. The S.E.N.S.E.S. Foundation recognized this need and took action by developing a Parent Scholarship program. In 2016, the S.E.N.S.E.S. Foundation offered two parents a full-scholarship to the Trocaire College Surgical Technology Program, which the parents successfully completed. Other parents have requested to be considered for the Parent Scholarship Program and the S.E.N.S.E.S. Foundation is exploring various avenues to make this happen. We would like to continue and expand the Parent Scholarship Program in 2017. The community could assist these efforts by partnering with S.E.N.S.E.S. and our fundraising efforts such as our upcoming scholarship Gala, "It takes a Village" on January 1, 2017.