Launch of Parents Forum for Youngstown school parents - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Launch of Parents Forum for Youngstown school parents

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

There's a movement in the Youngstown School district to basically help parents when it comes to raising their kids.  It's hoped that this assistance in child rearing will help children succeed in school.  And here's why.

For a five year span - statistics in Ohio schools show an average 
of 23 disciplinary events per 100 students.  

Looking at that same time frame for just Youngstown City Schools and the number jumps to 137 incidents per 100 students. 

The "Parent's Forum" is a peer support program for parents. 
It helps those in the Youngstown City Schools take a look at their own parenting practices, and then work to improve them.

The Founder of the Parents Forum, Eve Sullivan says, "The key element is talking about emotions and managing conflict."

Sullivan says when her oldest son went down a bad path with alcohol, other parents and families helped her family turn things around and that's when she realized how valuable a peer support program could be.

Patrick O'Leary is the Coordinator with the Early Childhood Program at Youngstown State University, "This is for all parents, so this is not just for any particular group of parents."

But the main question is how do you get Youngstown elementary school parents to attend?  A major problem for years has been apathy, or single parents overwhelmed with responsibility.  That's why the group reaches out to them "individually."

Linda Hoey is the Chief of Family Engagement with the Youngstown City School District, "So what we do is we try to assist them into figuring that out and sharing our own life experiences.  Because me being a single mom, raising four kids by myself there's a whole lot I can offer to a parent.  I am that parent.  I was that parent."

So how does the program work and what are the chances for success?

"Parents are going to go to some workshops and then they'll have follow-up through smart phone apps or emails that try to help them try to understand best practices in parenting today, and then provide feedback today on how things are going in their own lives," O'Leary said.

The ultimate goal, to make sure their children make the grade and make good choices to keep them out of trouble.

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