DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

January 3, 2013

Upper Room offers parenting programs for teens

DERRY — The Upper Room, a Family Resource Center, offers a program highlighting education and resources for young parents.

The Upper Room’s TIPS, or Teen Information for Parenting Success program, teaches younger parents about life skills, how to parent successfully and how to access resources they may need.

Specific topics include child development, positive discipline, healthy meal preparation, family dynamics and money management. The program also offers health education to reduce abuse and neglect.

The program is aimed at current or expectant parents ages 23 or younger. All services are free and confidential.

“The program works to teach young parents important life skills to handle the stress that comes with caring for a child at a young age,” TIPS program coordinator Janis Tilly said. “We empower young parents to make the best decisions for their child and provide the resources to do so.”

Upper Room executive director Kimberly Bavaro said the program has been successful in other areas besides parenting, including help with schooling and employment.

“Within a three-month period from summer to fall (this year), TIPS had 47 parents enrolled with 68 percent employed, 81 percent completed high school and 11 percent are still in school,” she said. “Some are even working on a college education, including a master’s degree.”

Lilly stressed that hearing about child abuse in the news can make the program at The Upper Room all the more important in today’s stressful world.

“We want the public to know that armed with knowledge and resources instances of child abuse are preventable,” she said.

The TIPS program is funded by generous donations through the Alexander-Eastman Foundation, Granite United Way, Oak Foundation and Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, along with other support through Bank of America and Citizens Bank.

As a nonprofit agency, The Upper Room welcomes donations and 100 percent goes to help families.

“No matter how much, all funds make a difference and will help strengthen our community,” Bavaro said.

To learn more about TIPS at The Upper Room call 437-8477 or visit urteachers.org.

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