FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (DATE)
The Illinois Campaign to Prepare Tomorrow's Parents
Carol Lewke, 1-561/620-0256, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana McDermott, Ph.D., DePaul University 312-362-5111,
and local program contacts available on request.
Your contact information if you will also field media inquiries
Campaign to Prepare Tomorrow’s Parents Joins
SIXTH ANNUAL "PREPARE TOMORROW'S PARENTS MONTH"
New organization works to bring Parenting Education to Illinois
children and teens
The Illinois Campaign to Prepare Tomorrow's Parents announces
its participation in the sixth national "Prepare Tomorrow’s
Parents Month" between Mother’s Day and Father’s
Day - a time for teachers, parents and youth group leaders nationwide
to introduce Parenting Education to young people. The Illinois
Campaign is a new affiliate of Prepare Tomorrow's Parents,
a national, non-profit organization formed in 1995 to promote and
facilitate Parenting Education for children and teens. Prepare Tomorrow’s
Parents Month is an annual effort to promote including Parenting
Education in schools and youth programs for all young people.
a child is the most noble and important job we will ever do for
our families and for our society," says Carol Lewke, Chicago-based
Co-Director of the Illinois Campaign and former president of Prepare
Tomorrow’s Parents. “What parents don’t know can
interfere with children reaching their potential. It can even cause
tremendous damage, particularly early on when they are the primary
caretakers of vulnerable infants.”
honor mothers and fathers and celebrate effective parenting, we
ask everyone who has regular contact with a young person to do one
activity this month to develop their potential for nurturing. We
also urge people who care about children to explore their community’s
opportunities and potential for children and teens to learn about
parenting, and to advocate where needed.
Illinois Campaign is joined by a growing list of partners,
including: DePaul University M.A. Program in Applied Professional
Studies: Parenting Education and Support; Illinois Association for
Infant Mental Health; Illinois Association of Family and Consumer
Sciences; Illinois Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers Association;
Kendall College Early Childhood Education Program; and Sudden Infant
Death Services of Illinois.
stakes are high. Just under 80% of perpetrators of child abuse and
neglect are parents, and nearly all the rest are relatives or other
caregivers. Lack of knowledge of child development and appropriate
discipline are significant factors in abuse and neglect. Many other
inadequately prepared or supported parents are unable to provide
the good parenting that is known to deter teen pregnancy, depression,
addictions, academic failure, delinquency and later criminal behavior.
to a national poll, the vast majority of U.S. adults believe that
parenting and relationship skills should be taught in schools. In
fact, this idea is not new to Illinois.
movement in Illinois over twenty years ago attempted to legislate
parenting education across all grades. Although the Illinois School
Code indicates that “School districts may provide instruction
in parenting education for [credit in] grades 6 through 12,”
listing a strong array of topics and providing for state assistance
to districts with such curricula; and although eighty percent of
these young people will become parents, very few students and almost
no boys receive this critical educational component. Yet, in the
past two decades, research has taught us extensively about how to
grow physically, emotionally, and cognitively sound babies and children;
as well as how to prevent abuse and neglect.
Illinois is to be applauded as the first state to require providing
pre-school for all three and four year olds, prepared parents are
critical from the outset. State legislators need to go a step further
and also require child-rearing classes before high school graduation,
as New York State has done.
developing child-rearing curricula there is no need to start from
scratch. Some excellent programs exist already. Family and Consumer
Science teachers are already qualified and prepared, and there are
many ways to integrate this learning into the current school coursework
at all grade levels. This learning can also take place in youth
groups and other community settings.
have shown that school-based Parenting Education programs help prevent
child abuse by building understanding of child development and parenting
skills such as empathy, listening, and problem-solving. Students
who understand the enormous responsibilities of raising a child
are also far more motivated to delay parenting until they are ready.
In addition, “these programs help students learn to care for
each other, thus eliminating much bullying and conflict that currently
impedes learning. Further, such programs help students build critical
thinking and reasoning skills that help them in terms of their academic
success in school,” notes DePaul University professor and
Illinois Campaign Co-Director Dana McDermott.
a local quote if you are able)
one doubts that the most effective way to teach important skills
-- reading, writing, math etc. -- is in schools. What could be more
important than the skill of being a good parent?” concludes
teachers and all adults who care about children are invited to visit
the comprehensive website www.preparetomorrowsparents.org
year-round for ideas for activities, including simple and engaging
steps to take at home, as well as classroom-ready learning experiences
for use by parents, teachers, and youth leaders from Brownies and
Boy Scouts to faith-based youth groups. The website also lists Family
and Consumer Sciences contact information, and over a dozen flexible
independent Parenting Education programs that are already available
Illinois Campaign to Prepare Tomorrow's Parents is an affiliate
of Prepare Tomorrow’s Parents, a nonprofit organization dedicated
to promoting and facilitating Parenting Education for children and
teenagers. To learn more about the benefits of Parenting Education
for young people and the programs available, visit www.preparetomorrowsparents.org
or call 1-561/620-0256.
to the Illinois Prepare Tomorrow's Parents Month Index Page
to Prepare Tomorrow's Parents Month Index Page