Program Assists Student Parents

Olivia Rogerson plays with building blocks at the Child Development Center in Glendale, Calif, on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. She enjoys stacking the blocks and creating silly sentences. (Tess Horowitz/J110)

Tess Horowitz

Olivia Rogerson plays with building blocks at the Child Development Center in Glendale, Calif, on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. She enjoys stacking the blocks and creating silly sentences. (Tess Horowitz/J110)

Sheron Page, Staff Writer

Finger paints, building blocks, kiddie socks, nap time, toddler tools and baby drools. That is what’s happening on the top of the hill on the Glendale Community College Campus. In the corner of the lot you’ll notice a jungle gym, along with kids, tables and chairs.

This term, the Parent Education Preschool Program celebrates 65 years. The classes are a part of the college’s non-accredited program and it’s tuition-free. Thirteen courses are offered each semester- —  with some of them at night for parents who work late.

The director of the program, Barbara Flynn, a mother of two, has dedicated many years to being an innovating leader and parenting guru. This program is not daycare, but a course to prepare children for preschool. She has a staff of eight adjuncts who assist her in the daily programs, most of whom have gone through the education program with their own children.

“Many parents enjoy the interaction with other parents it a judge-free zone to ask questions,” Flynn said.

Parents attend two- to three-hour classes with or without their kids. Ages can range from newborns to infants to toddlers. In these courses parents learn the importance of not only being a parent, but becoming educated on how to adapt to family changes, lifestyles, growth and understanding one another socially and emotionally.

“It’s a wonderful environment to see children interact with their parents its an amazing feeling to see growth and discipline,” said Sofiya Nazari program secretary of 10 years.

Examples of philosophies taught are the practice of positive school parenting, successful toilet training, behavior tools and how to build self-confidence in oneself and child. “Society has showered our children with technology and it is no longer allowing children to be children,” Flynn said. “Catch your child being good.”

“As parents we are often so busy with emails, phone calls, and work we forget to give our children recognition just for being a child,” Flynn said. “It’s not always about what they are doing good, but it’s about how we teach them to do good.”

In 2011 GCC had a dilemma of budget cuts and the Parent Education Program was one of them. Each semester had 30 courses and now they have been cut by about 50 percent, with down to 16 courses per semester. Shortly after, the student parents formed a group that is known as the Glendale College Parent Education Association (GCPEA).

“Having this Association allows us to see fit into making sure our children and parents are getting the proper tools we need to further our knowledge in being better parenting as well as preparing our children for the future,” said Merrin Marra, a mother of two and member of GCPEA. “I love being involved and finding new ways in being a better mother. I love the trial runs of mimicking preschool hours.”

“As we celebrate 65 years of our program we would like to thank The Administrative whom have been extremely supportive,” Flynn said. “So many of the surrounding colleges aren’t offered free tuition parenting and student development courses with hands on experience. We will continue to teach and enjoy the journey of our parents and children as we all grow and learn together.”

If  interested in being a part of The Parent Education Program register online at www.glendale.edu.com for spring or winter semesters. For more information contact the office (818) 243-5196.