State program offers aid to familiesPublished 12:05am Tuesday, December 18, 2012
By Julia Nagy/The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — Family comes first for Families First for Mississippi.
The Adams County organization, located at the Juvenile Justice Center, provides parenting classes and abstinence training for the county.
Program Facilitator Alethia Lawrence said she believes teaching these skills is essential to the community.
“I’m a mom,” Lawrence said. “I have a 17-year-old, and I still don’t know everything there is to know about being a mom. It’s been a great support for our community.”
The parenting classes are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday.
The classes teach basic skills and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of certain parenting styles.
The organization, which receives its funding through the Mississippi Department of Human Services, focuses its parenting classes on communication.
The Mississippi Community Education Center in Jackson oversees Families First’s funding.
Discipline, anger management and nurturing are topics included in the classes. Anyone is welcome to attend. The parenting classes are for adults and teens.
Families First in Adams County was formed 10 years ago and often receives referrals from the youth court and local pediatrician’s offices. Along with parenting classes, Families First covers other topics, leading bullying workshops and abstinence programs.
The abstinence class, which students must attend all the classes for the month, is held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m every Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s desperately needed,” Lawrence said. “In an area where there are not a lot of services, this is definitely something that can be utilized as a support to families.”