CF/RIC Innovation Lab Provides Parent Education
Laurilim Rosado with her children, Kaydden Rosado, 7 months; Kathlim Tirado, 4; and Karlim Tirado, 9.
Laurilim Rosado is focused on building a life of opportunity for her children. Doing so, she said, starts with being the example she wants them to follow.
Rosado, a Central Falls mother of three, has embraced continued learning through Parent College, a family-focused education program designed by the Central Falls School District and Rhode Island College.
“Through this, we can share what we learn with our children and look forward to better futures,” Rosado said, addressing fellow participants at a recent recognition ceremony. “We can teach our children the importance of being someone in life.”
Parent College is part of the CF/RIC Innovation Lab, a holistic partnership designed to create a vibrant shared community where new models of learning, teaching and services are developed, piloted and researched.
Parent College provides workshops taught by RIC and Central Falls faculty, staff and students as well as many community partners on topics including English as a second language, financial literacy and healthy lifestyles.
The program also provides free healthy meals to participating parents and their families on site in Central Falls schools. Eight-five Central Falls parents completed classes this spring.
Central Falls Schools Superintendent Fran Gallo said that this year’s successful programming and participation has served as inspiration to expand Parent College with additional classes.
“Parent College was a dream that took shape and form,” Gallo said. “These parents came to learn and showed us that learning strengthens families.”
Programming was developed by Gallo in collaboration with Patricia Martinez, executive director for the Central Falls Center for Family Support and Student Development, and Jenifer Giroux, interim assistant vice president of the Office of Professional Studies and Continuing Education at RIC.
Giroux said that this year’s parents and service providers would be surveyed to help plan next year’s programming over the summer.
“We put this year’s successful program together in a short time, so imagine what we can do going forward,” Giroux said.
Rosado, whose family moved to Rhode Island from Puerto Rico two years ago, took a Zumba exercise class and attended a workshop on developing healthy lifestyle habits. She also took part in the program’s Non-Violence Institute, which addressed, among other topics, problem solving through calm verbal communication.
“We are more confident and less stressed as parents,” Rosado said. “I did this to be a part of my daughter’s life in school and of building up the schools.”
Central Falls parent Valerie Espinosa completed six Parent College classes, including a computer class.
“I am so happy that we were offered these programs,” she said. “We learned a lot of skills that we need to help teach our kids.”