Embracing Families. Changing Lives. At Sheltering Arms, we approach family engagement – and all of our work – through a two-generation lens.
That is to say we don’t just serve children or parents, but families — two or more generations of them. We don’t just offer information – we actively promote responsive parenting and leadership skills through coaching. We don’t simply offer referrals for things like education, healthcare, economic success and employment – we offer training, workshops, help families access educational opportunities, and make introductions to partner organizations and professionals to help meet their needs beyond what we offer. It’s a shift from the traditional and often narrow method of helping families. We are helping families grow stronger, do better, and be more successful, holistically. And it requires engagement from all sides — from us, as well as from parents and grandparents.
Building Community, One Family at a Time
Sheltering Arms isn’t just childcare, it’s community-building — connecting families to one another as well as to our staff, partners and other resources. In this way, while we build strong family units and healthy childhoods, we’re also building deep connections and an important support system that surrounds families long after their children have left our program. It’s why we have an expectation toward engagement. Because when parents work with us and work together, the return is exponential.
Sheltering Arms families take part in a wide variety of collaborative, connective programs from gatherings to workshops, leadership opportunities to year-long celebrations.
We create connection through groups:
- All-Pro Dad: Where dedicated dads provide men with the tools they need to make a difference in the lives of their children and families.
- IMOMS: Where mothers find inspiration, ideas, and insight on parenting, employment and networking.
- The Parent Café: Casual, coffee shop-like gatherings designed to spark conversation between parents about what it takes to keep families strong and to help them meet the challenges that come along with parenting.
We lead hands-on workshops:
- Parenting in the Real World: A class designed to teach parents vital skills regarding childhood development and family wellbeing.
- Transition Meetings: Led by a transition coach and designed to help families and children successfully make the shift from preschool to pre-k and pre-k to kindergarten.
We help parents get involved, become leaders and advocates:
- PLO (Parent Leadership Organization): Parent-nominated officers plan and facilitate group meetings designed to help increase year-long parent engagement with all Sheltering Arms Centers.
- PLO Boot Camp: Our most pivotal and important event. An annual gathering wherein we help parents become leaders, advocates and change agents for children and families, plus develop communities of parents throughout our Centers.
- Fostering Family Leaders (FFL) Program: A series of workshops designed to strengthen leadership skills in our parents and families so that they may become leaders in their communities.
We gather to celebrate all year long:
- Operation Storybook
- Week of the Young Child
- Fall Festival
- Grandparents Recognition
- Holiday, VIP and Pre-K Celebrations