Parent University is considered a successful program in Chatham County that has seen improvement and progression of parents, and so leaders have moved to begin the program in Liberty County.
The basis of Parent University, according to the Chatham County School District’s website, is a community collaborative that supports families, and the initiative encourages parent involvement and participation in the education of the community’s children and youth.
Liberty County Parent University Administrative Assistant Tracy Jefferson said the program is open to every type of parent — foster parents, guardians, grandparents, biological parents, adoptive parents — essentially any adult that takes care of a child ranging in ages from birth to 18.
“The success has been phenomenal,” Jefferson said. “We’ve reached over 2,000 parents who have completed all the training and graduated from the program. It’s a great program that brings them together. I think that it will do tremendous work in Liberty County. This program is so needed.”
The program utilizes state certified trainers, as well as community partners to come and provide training on a myriad of different topics. Some include computer operations, healthcare and nutrition, childcare classes—whatever the parents dictate as most needed. The parents attend the different sessions and receive different training, she continued.
Demmentrice Jefferson, has been a certified trainer for four years at Parent University. He wanted to bring the initiative to Hinesville and Liberty County, so he and the Executive Director Michael O’Neal are partnering together to hold the event, she said.
“Demmentrice Jefferson is hosting the event, and Michael O’Neal is the keynote speaker that night,” Jefferson said. “Michael will work to help mentor Demmentrice through the process.”
The kickoff program is 1-4 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center. Jefferson said the program is a chance to engage parents and get their thoughts through breakout sessions, icebreakers and mini training experiences.
“The kickoff will give us the foundation to go back to the partners we work with and create the programs that are most needed,” she said. “We need the parent involvement.”
There will be free childcare offered during the event, and all parents are invited to come for refreshments, games, and prizes.