School resource coordinators Evelyn Conrad (from left), Tracee Eason and Debi Blankenbeckler display some of the material available to help parents raise their children.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
While children might not come with an instruction manual, the Columbia County School System has three resource coordinators and libraries of parenting information to help parents get the information and assistance they need.
Resource Coordinators Debbi Blankenbeckler, Evelyn Conrad and Tracee Eason each serve four to five schools. Helping pre-kindergarten children and their families is their primary responsibility.
"We address social, emotional and health issues that would prevent a child from being ready for kindergarten," Blankenbeckler said.
Parental concerns about how a child is adjusting to pre-kindergarten, the death of a loved one or pet, separation or divorce, major health or financial problems or changes in the family unit are just some of the problems they confront.
The three also hold parenting workshops throughout the year. One that has become popular with parents of children of all ages is Love and Logic. About 50 parents attended the seven-week workshops this year.
"It's not about what parents are doing wrong, it's to teach children how to be responsible so they can succeed in the real world. It adds skills to the parenting repertoire," Eason said.
Their libraries are chocked with Love and Logic materials to help parents of toddlers to teens. There is also information to help grandparents, stepparents and teachers. Parents can check out books, videos, CDs and cassettes at any of the three main resource libraries at Bel Air Elementary School, North Harlem Elementary School and Grovetown Elementary School. Each elementary school also has a mini-library.
For more information, contact Eason at 868-3698, ext. 217.
Some things Resource Coordinators for the school system do:
* Referrals for counseling (adult, child, family)
* Literacy training information
* Dental, vision or hearing needs
* Health concerns
* Employment information and referral
* Referrals for Christmas assistance
* Referrals for children with special needs (academic, behavioral, emotional, speech, etc.)
* Referrals for assistants including social security, child support recovery, WIC, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, free or reduced lunch program, food stamps
* Referrals for help with utility bills, clothing, furniture and food
* Parenting classes
* Referrals for GED, technical school or college, as well as financial aid, scholarships and career counseling
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