The Nugget Newspaper - News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Local children’s program receives service award


Last updated 3/1/2005 at Noon

Susan Springer

Edie Jones accepted a Service Award for Together for Children.

One toddler plays with a truck, one boy learns to use scissors and a little girl scribbles with crayons while their moms sit in the next room discussing discipline.

That’s one morning in the life of the award-winning program, Together For Children.

Last week, the program won special recognition from the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). The annual Vollum Humanitarian Service Award honored the program for enhancing the lives of children by strengthening families.

The award is named for the late Howard Vollum and his wife Jean.

“A parent is a child’s first teacher,” said Together For Children Executive Director Edie Jones. “It’s the most important and most difficult job they’ll ever have and most people enter this job with no training.”

Initiated in 1987, Together For Children (TFC) is a nonprofit agency which has served more than 2,700 families in Central Oregon. The program’s main focus is helping parents cope with the stresses of raising kids and getting them ready to learn.

TFC is available for families with children from birth to three years old. One day a week, families meet at Little Cloverdale Preschool near Sisters, or in Bend, Redmond or La Pine.

For the first hour, parents and children interact together, and then parents leave the room for a second hour of parent education. Topics range from understanding a child’s temperament to encouraging constructive play and good communication.

“If only every parent could benefit from TFC, there would be a lot less stress in families,” said TFC Board member Susan Robinson.

This Sisters resident knows the program first-hand since her two boys went through it. She said the program does a lot of good since parents continue to use the skills they learned from TFC as their children grow. Robinson says the award is “well-deserved” and is a great morale booster for the board staff andparents.

Jones accepted the award at EMO’s Annual Community Awards dinner in Portland.

“I’ve never talked to 300 people before!” said Jones.

To help the audience understand the program she asked parents to think back when their baby cried all night, or when their toddler bit someone or wouldn’t share. She explained that TFC helps parents cope with those types of stresses.

TFC helps children get off to a good start at school.

“One of the main problems in our state is that children aren’t ready to learn when they enter kindergarten,” said Jones.

Jones said that being ready to learn is not simply knowing the alphabet. She said there are important skills that promote learning. She wants to encourage kids to be able to follow directions, to be socially appropriate with other children, to be able to problem-solve and be able to sit and listen.

The program no longer receives state funds and now relies on tuition paid on a sliding scale, grants and fundraising.


Reader Comments(0)


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Https:// Data/dfault/images/masthead 260x100
Sisters Oregon Guide
Spirit Of Central Oregon
Spirit Youtube
Nugget Youtube

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023

Rendered 05/31/2023 07:38