Parenting can be a daunting task but educators in Edmond are giving parents the tools they need to help their children succeed even before they enter the school system.
“It is good to be educated on relevant issues,” said Lacey Dobson, a parent attending an Early Bird class at Will Rogers Elementary School.
Early Birds is a readiness program that gives parents and grandparents the ability to learn tips on the best way to prepare them for entering the school system. The program is a partnership with Smart Start of Central Oklahoma.
“It is all about empowering parents to be the best teachers to their children,” said Laura Cudmore, a pre-K teacher at Will Rogers Elementary.
Each year, classes are offered during the fall, winter and spring, and are completely different every time. Parents receive books, toys and other instructional material on how to increase purposeful play. They also receive information on child development, discipline and self-care.
For Dobson, she also attended other similar programs and said that when she moved to Oklahoma, she was glad to see that it was offered.
The 90-minute free classes are separated into different age groups and currently offered to parents with children two to four years old. Most classes occur during the evening.
The district is planning to expand the Early Bird program by offering Spanish only classes and prenatal to age two, said Elizabeth Ging, the early childhood instructional facilitator.
“Sometimes you feel all alone out there as a parent and we are here to help,” Ging said.
Parents who implement the instruction will often have higher-performing children once they arrive in pre-K for kindergarten, Ging said.
In January, there will be classes for parents of children 2 to 3 years old on the 14th and 21st. Then on Jan. 8th, 11th and 16th there will be classes for parents with children 3 to 4 years old. On Jan. 16th there will be a class for parents of 4 to 5 years old.
In late March and April, the spring classes will be conducted at various elementary schools.
Individuals interested in the free program can register at smartstartcentraloklahoma.org/early-birds or email firstname.lastname@example.org.