Research has shown that the first 5 years of life is a crucial period in the development of skills that will carry a child through the rest of their life.
And parents play a critical role during this period. From teaching early literacy skills to social and behavioral skills is extremely important during this time.
Several local agencies have received grants from The Gerber Foundation to help guide parents through this important phase of learning.
Catholic Charities of West Michigan received grant for several programs, including the Muskegon and Oceana Healthy Families programs that provide one-on-one and group counseling aimed at expanding the parent’s knowledge of childhood health, connecting them with community resources, and encouraging family well-being in a variety of ways.
The Muskegon Teen Parent Program is similar in scope but focused on teen parents who are often trying to learn the ropes of parenting with limited resources.
Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse received grants for the Adults and Children Together program (ACT) to help develop parenting skills and The Period of Purple Crying which provides information to new parents about the period in infancy when infants tend to cry for no apparent reason. The goal of this program is to prevent shaken baby syndrome.
Bethany Christian Services received a grant for a unique Coaching Family Connections program designed to teach parenting skills on an intensive individual level over a 24 week period to ensure families stay together and children succeed.
The Gerber Foundation supports a variety of youth activities and programming in Lake, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. The next deadline for grant requests is September 15.