By Mckenzie Moore
As a resource for the community, the Delta Pregnancy Resource Center (Delta PRC) is offering a “Learn and Earn” program in which parents and expecting parents can take a series of classes and earn a free car seat after completing five. The curriculum takes place through the BrightCourse program, and has now moved to a virtual format, making it even more accessible for parents throughout the county. The program was also recently changed to include classes for both infants and toddlers.
“It was just a few months ago that we’ve got two curriculums. We just try and tailor it to the needs of the client,” said Sheri Fisher, Delta PRC Director. “Some of the classes are the same, but some are more age-related. ...The classes really aren’t that long, and there’s a worksheet that will go along with each lesson. We go over them in class, all the classes are one on one and there’s no group setting, so if you have questions, that’s never a problem.”
The classes include CPR Training (infant), Eye Contact Means Love (both), Childhood Immunizations (both), Getting Your Baby to Sleep (infant), Toddler Development Milestones (toddler), Car Seat Safety (infant), Tantrums (toddler) and Whining (toddler). The classes range from 11 minutes to 39 minutes, and are all free of charge. Appointments are generally scheduled once a week for no more than 45 minutes, and there are currently no income requirements.
“Education is power, and we’re really just trying to meet their needs, not only of a free car seat, but also helping them realize that lots of jobs and careers have continuing education, so why shouldn’t parenting be something you continually learn and add to?” Fisher said. “We’re supported by the community, churches and some fundraisers we do throughout the year. We couldn’t do it without the community, so we’re passing these resources along to people that need them.”
Other programs, such as life skills classes, one-on-one parenting classes, baby supplies and mentoring and support groups are also available through the Delta PRC, as well as an upcoming diaper drive event in early October. The organization has been trying to make its programs and resources more accessible to communities throughout the county, including offering small gas cards for those who may not have the money to drive to Delta and making classes available on a remote basis.
“We have been trying to reach out more to people. Since our towns are so far apart, we try to meet clients where they’re at,” Fisher said. “If it’s December and the roads are icy, since we’re streaming our classes, we can shoot them a text or email with the link, and the worksheets are paperless now. That’s really neat.”
Although the Delta PRC is a faith-based organization, Fisher said all people are welcome and the goal is to provide resources and education, not to pressure anyone. While filling out a registration form, clients can indicate if they would like to include spirituality in their program or if they would prefer not to.
“We are no different from other people in the community,” Fisher said. “We’ve been there, done that, and we need to pass on what we know to those young moms out there. We’re trying to be good stewards to the money and resources the community gives us, so that we can give it back out. We’re trying to be what people are needing in this time when their children are young.”
More information about the program can be found by calling the Delta Pregnancy Resource Center at 970-874-5733 or following the organization on Facebook @DeltaPregnancyResourceCenter.