Moms build parenting skills through Caring Hands Closet Education Classes

Lacey S.(Lake City, IA) If children came with instruction books, the task of parenting may be less elusive for new moms and dads. While there are hundreds of “how-to” books on the shelves, the Caring Hands Closet program at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, offers a classroom approach to learning practical parenting and healthy behaviors. In 2008, Lacey Stevens, a mother of two young children from Manson, took her first class. “My favorite class was about family budgeting and stretching your dollars,” remembered Stevens. As a stay-at-home, she says the information was invaluable. “The classes are worth my time and effort to attend. I always learn something and enjoy the networking opportunity as well,” noted Stevens.

Education isn’t the only reward for parents attending the classes, which are offered seven times a year in conjunction with McCrary-Rost Clinic and the Calhoun County Department of Public Health. When a parent attends a class, they earn points, which can then be used to purchase items in the closet. “I saved up my points and then used them at Christmas time. It was nice to use my points to help buy toys for my children and stretch our Christmas budget,” says Stevens.

In addition to earning points by attending education classes, parents can earn points through different activities. “You can earn points by bringing your child to Well Baby Check Up, having your child immunized, and by getting prenatal and postpartum check-ups,” commented Reka Bohm, a Registered Nurse with McCrary Rost Clinic and a Caring Hands Closet volunteer. Other point opportunities include volunteering, attending children’s story hour at local libraries, stop smoking, having an annual physical exam, dental exams, and having a home visit. “My youngest child, Ava, has special medical needs and she receives some services at home, which are also worth points to use for shopping in the closet,” commented Stevens.

To learn more about Caring Hands Closet, you can call Stewart Memorial Community Hospital, McCrary-Rost Clinic at 712-464-3194 or the Calhoun County Department of Public Health at 712-297-8323.