STONINGTON – A mother to three daughters — a kindergartener, second-grader and fourth-grader — Alicia Dawe knows the issues parents face.
“Being a parent is the hardest job in the world,” said Dawe, the principal of West Vine Street-West Broad Street Schools. “Lots of things come up and you need support in many areas.”
Dawe has created the Family and Community Collaborative, or F.C.C., for parents whose students attend the two elementary schools. The F.C.C. is a series of monthly workshops designed around specific academic, social and emotional issues.
The interactive, evening sessions are a way to help families manage needs they encounter throughout the year, she said.
“I wanted to give the families of Pawcatuck a free monthly workshop,” Dawe said, “and they are centered on hot topics that we face as parents.”
Topics have included Title I and “Social Thinking,” a workshop that introduced strategies for parents at home on how to help students regulate their behavior.
Upcoming workshops will focus on “Safety” on Feb. 13, which Chief J. Darren Stewart of the Stonington Police Department will present; “Cozy Family Reading Night” on March 13, “Planning for Summer Camp/Summer Experiences” on April 10 and “Healthy Eating” on May 8.
“These are things that impact parents,” Dawe said. “Conversations are erupting after the workshops, too, so parents are swapping stories and learning from each other.”
Dawe said the workshops are drawing upwards of 20 parents, and providing a way for the West Vine and West Broad parents and the community to connect.
In November, Leanne Theodore, of Stonington Human Services, offered the workshop, “After School Homework Club and Other Opportunities.”
“We are so grateful that Principal Dawe included Human Services within the workshop series,” said Theodore, who is the human services manager and youth and family services administrator at the department. “Even though we mail out a bi-annual program guide to all Stonington residents, some families still are not familiar with the breadth of services we offer.
“From after school enrichment and recreation programs to free counseling services and energy assistance — the workshop provided a venue to connect, one-on-one, with families that may otherwise not have reached out to us.”
Childcare is available during the workshops. For more information on the Family and Community Collaborative, visit the West Vine Street-West Broad Street School website or call the campuses at 860-599-5832 for West Vine, and 860-599-5633 for West Broad.