Rifle Middle School – the largest middle school on the western slope of Colorado – began offering the Parenting Journey program to families within their community in September 2015. Families in Rifle, CO, come from all walks of life but they share many of the same challenges when it comes to parenting.
Assistant Principal Jennifer Nipper trained as a Parenting Journey facilitator this past summer. “Parenting Journey is appropriate for ANY parent because it isn’t targeted at teaching parents one way to parent. It is targeting at having them reflect on themselves, their experiences, and their parenting and make their own decisions and goals moving forward. I love how the program is designed to nurture them. We have already seen how grateful they are for this nurturing and the supportive environment.”
Jennifer put in her all to recruit parents to the school’s inaugural Parenting Journey group. “At our Fall parent/teacher conference night I stood in front of a sign that said ‘Ask me about the Parenting Journey’ – I literally stood in front of the sign smiling all evening and had many people stop by to inquire. It helped me get better at describing what the program is and what it can do for parents. After that I called every person on the list to find out who was committed. From that grew our first group. Our second group has been formed largely through people talking to others about the program and either them calling us or us calling them. Word is spreading! We are excited that one of the people from a local organization called “Youth Zone”, with whom the schools in the area often partner, will be participating this next round. This means that they will know first hand what a great resource this is when they are working with families in the community.” Rifle Middle School plans to launch a second Parenting Journey group for non-English speakers in May.
As Parenting Journey grows and expands, we are thrilled to hear these and other success stories of how Parenting Journey is implemented and is affecting the local communities throughout the United States. Thank you to Rifle Middle School for sharing your story!