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Free course on parenting offered in English, Spanish

Photo Credit: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Raynell Flohr (left) and Erin Devlin will teach free, weekly parenting classes in English and Spanish at Eagle Creek Elementary beginning in January.A free, weekly “Make Parenting A Pleasure” class will be offered at Eagle Creek Elementary starting in January.

The Estacada chapter of Todos Juntos procured a grant from the Oregon Parent Education Collaborative for the 10-week program, which will be offered in both English and Spanish.

The courses follow a Parenting Now! curriculum, which covers topics such as the basics of child development, verbal and non-verbal communication, the foundation of effective discipline, listening skills and diffusing anger and stress.

“The whole thinking behind this curriculum is get to the parents with the children at the youngest age, that’s why we target 0-8, not making parents feel defensive or diminished, but to build the parent up, because when the parent feels good about themselves, they’ll have confidence in their skills,” said Raynell Flohr, who will lead the parenting classes taught in English. “So many times parenting classes have been punitive and court ordered, and there’s a stigma attached to it, (but) that’s not what this is.”

“One analogy that they used (in the Parenting Now! certification training), was a suitcase. A parent is putting everything, every experience, everything that they teach their child into this suitcase. This is what the child is going to take with them when they’re 18-years-old and they leave the house,” said Erin Devlin, who will instruct the parenting classes in Spanish. “So you’re asking the parents, ‘What do you want to put into that suitcase?’ What do you want them to leave home knowing, and having experienced?”

Devlin emphasized that the classes focus on identifying parents’ values, not imposing them.

The classes will be offered for parents of children ages 0-8 from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 13, through March 17, at Eagle Creek Elementary.

The evenings will start with a free meal catered by Harmony Baking Company.

Flohr said three childcare workers have been hired to provide free, structured childcare during the parenting classes.

Participants will have their names entered in a drawing each night they attend.

Reservations are required.

Contact Raynell Flohr at 503-318-1224 or at flohrr@estacada.k12.or.us for more information or to make a reservation.

For questions on the classes offered in Spanish, contact Devlin at 971-998-4697.

About the instructors

Raynell Flohr

Raynell Flohr will instruct the free parenting classes offered in English.

Flohr is a passionate advocate for healthy environments for youth and drug-free communities.

She is the Estacada Junior High School librarian and the Estacada PreventNet Site Coordinator for Todos Juntos, a non-profit organization that works to enhance local resources and services for youth and families in Clackamas County.

Erin Devlin

Devlin will teach the parenting classes offered in Spanish.

Devlin is familiar with the Estacada area through her work with the Oregon State University Extension Service’s GROW Healthy Kids and Communities research project, a five-year study that seeks to develop strategies for rural communities to be more conducive to healthy eating and exercise practices as a way to prevent obesity in rural children.

Devlin has previously been a nutrition educator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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