For more than a quarter of a century, the not-for-profit organization Be Strong International has helped children and parents improve their relationships through a variety of programs and initiatives. Recently, through a partnership with The Children’s Trust, Be Strong International has now brought that expertise to bear as part of The Parent Club. Be Strong is among the organizations that give 90-minute workshops that present families with tools and strategies to help build healthy and caring relationships among parents and their children.
“The Children’s Trust gave us an opportunity to work with parents and give them knowledge that will help them understand (their children) a little better,” said Darryl Auberry, the program director for Be Strong. “Parents can come and learn about different child raising techniques for children from 0 all the way to 17 years of age,” added Parent Club facilitator Ezra Carias “It gives an opportunity (for parents) to talk and interact, and sometimes they can learn from one another, “Oh, you’re doing that. That’s great, I’m going to try.’ Like that.”
The pandemic forced the workshops to go to a virtual format, but Be Strong didn’t miss a beat. “In the midst of all that has gone on with pandemic, we are extremely grateful that we were still able to impact parents with our parenting program during these difficult times, said Executive Director Michelle Shirley. Perhaps more than ever, parents appreciate the platform. “There’s a lot of frustration and stress when you are locked down and in the house. When you are angry, instead of yelling at your children, sometimes it’s take 5 and (take a) walk to relieve that stress. Then you come back and try it again,” said Tamika Brown, who participated in the workshops.
“We’ve gone from informative to transformative, and now you see parents saying, ‘I took what you were giving us and we were able to apply it and my family is better and stronger.’ There is no greater reward than that.” Auberry said.
Be Strong International was honored as one a Champions for Children Program of the Year last year by The Children’s Trust. To watch a video on the program, visit www.TheChildrensTrust.org/Champions.