For those of you who have been following the Family Partnership blog (we know you are out there), you must be thinking “These protective factors are great! Is there is something I can do that can support my family with all five protective factors?”
Well my friends it’s time you know about Families and Schools Together, lovingly referred to as FAST.
What is FAST?
FAST an opportunity for families to gather once a week for eight weeks and do activities that help build and strengthen the family. Already have a strong family? That’s okay, you still get to carve our special time for your family and meet new families at the same time.
How does FAST help in all five protective factors?
We’re so glad you asked:
Social Connections- FAST carves out time for parent group, so parents can meet other parents in a relaxed environment and discuss things that are relevant to them and their children.
Concrete Support in Times of Need- FAST connects you to school staff and other people who know where to go in times of need.
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development- A great way to learn about parenting and child development is from other parents. We all have unique knowledge that we can bring to the table. FAST bring different parents together for this learning opportunity.
Social and Emotional Competence of Children- FAST includes fifteen minutes of uninterrupted parent and child talk time. There are simple ground rules set about the conversation that help children model appropriate social and emotional competence in a public setting.
Parental Resilience- When you are surrounded by a group of caring people in a supportive environment, it is a lot easier for you to feel like you can handle all the stress that life throws at you.
What do our families think about FAST?
Knox County had its first introduction to FAST this past year at Lynn Camp Elementary and they loved it! Just check out the smiling faces in the pictures below. They loved having dinner together, having family game time, and getting to know other families!
Where is FAST happing this year?
Families at the following schools can look forward to hearing more about FAST coming to their schools:
- Middlesboro Middle School
- Clay Co High School
- Clay Co. Middle School
- Owsley Co. Elementary
- Sand Gap Elementary
- Cumberland County Middle School
- North Laurel High School
- Perry Central High School
- And Lynn Camp Elementary can expect FAST in both the spring and fall!
“Learn to be your child’s expert: Being a great parent is part natural and part learned. Parent education makes your family strong”
Knowledge of parenting child development continues to grow and if parents can find ways to learn more about these topics, they help make their family stronger! The good news is that there is a lot of information out there to help you accomplish this goal. However that also means that not all of the information is useful. Check out this website from the University of Florida to help you evaluate the many resources available to you.
We would like to highlight a few online and app resources:
- http://www.joinvroom.org/ (Ages 0-5) There’s an app for that! Vroom is wonderful app that supports parents in taking every day experiences and making them learning experiences. Based on science and individualized, this app send daily information about child development along with specific tasks that promote learning and development.
- http://www.bornlearning.org/ (Ages 0-5) Born Learning is part of United Way Worldwide and provides information to help “turn everyday moments into fun learning experiences”.
- http://www.ahaparenting.com/ (Pregnancy and Birth-Teenagers)With articles like “12 Ways to Raise a Competent, Confident Child with Grit” and “How to Love Unconditionally When You’re Angry”, AhaParenting is Dr. Laura Markham’s website for offering specific advice from scientific background. As a trained clinical psychologist and a mom, her information also promotes parent self-care.
- http://www.parenttoolkit.com/ (Pre K-12th Grade) This website provides growth charts, tips and guides for parents of all school age children in areas of academics, health and wellness, and social and emotional development